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Lin Walker Brings Applied Research Passion to PDPS and Poultry Extension

Lin Walker seated at a microscope, wearing a white lab coat

photo by Sean Chen

Food safety is an important, ongoing concern for poultry producers and poultry consumers. A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have added coronavirus to their food safety worries. These worries are part of what makes the Prestage Department of Poultry Science proud – and lucky – to announce that Lin Walker has joined the faculty as Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist.

Dr. Walker is a microbiologist and has a passion for helping poultry producers keep their products safe. That’s good news for the producers and consumers.

Read more from Dr. Walker about her role and what keeps her busy when she’s not hard at work ensuring a safe, healthy food supply.

What’s your favorite thing about NC (so far)?

The sunshine in winter. I moved from central Michigan where it is very rare to have sunny days in January and February.

I’m also enjoying the diversity in North Carolina, especially in Raleigh – different ethnicities, lots of restaurants with cuisines from all over the world, and many fun places to explore. It is a place that has almost everything, and I think it’s a perfect environment to raise my family.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about NC State?

The extension program. I am excited to see that NC State values the application of research to solve real-world problems, which has always been my passion.

Specifically, North Carolina has a huge poultry industry which offers great resources and opportunities. Our department consists of so many great minds with diverse poultry experience.

I feel extremely fortunate to be here, and to team with our experienced faculty to address the needs of the poultry industry.

I feel extremely fortunate to be here, and to team with our experienced faculty.

Tell us about your position and focus.

I am an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in applied microbiology.

My focus is to assist the poultry industry to improve the microbial safety of their products and to ensure compliance with food safety regulations.

I am excited that my new position will build off of my previous research, which includes the development and validation of intervention technologies to control food-borne pathogens, predictive microbiology, thermal and non-thermal processing, and pathogen detection.

What’s the most important thing for people to understand about what you do?

The ultimate improvement of food safety has to be from farm to table. As we all understand, in the poultry industry, both pre-harvest and post-harvest require the control of food-borne pathogens to ensure food safety.

I am here to work with farmers, processors and consumers to mitigate microbial safety risk and assist such stakeholders in making better-informed decisions.

What else should everyone know about you?

I’m from China. My home town is Xi’an, home of the Terra-Cotta Warriors.

What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?

I’m reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. It is a self-mocking memoir of a very strict disciplinarian mother raising her two daughters in two cultures.

Any interesting or odd hobbies?

I love playing the piano, as well as gardening. If you stop by my office, you will see my blooming orchids, some of which I started as offspring picked from the mother orchid.