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Safety Officer/ Lab Manager

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Dhiraj Gautam, Ph.D. (Plant Pathology)

Dr. Gautam has been working as Laboratory Operations Manager and Safety Officer at APCD since September 2023. Dr. Gautam worked as Senior Biologist with Los Angeles County before joining APCD. His role as lab manager includes managing laboratory, conducting research, collaborating with USDA and other organizations related to citrus health, and surveying/analyzing grower’s citrus disease/pest samples. His role as safety officer includes perform safety and health program work, development of safety policies and procedures, participation in safety training and education of permanent and seasonal staffs, inspection of work areas and activities for hazards and investigation of any accidents. He got his Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University and carried out research into the Salmonella outbreak on cantaloupe. In the past, he has worked as laboratory manager/post-doc in a food microbiology laboratory (Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center) and worked on meat, dairy and vegetable products. Dr. Gautam also worked with USDA, Parlier, CA as Plant Pathologist for three years where he worked with fungicide alternatives such as fumigants and heated salts for preservation of fresh produce during post-harvest storage. Dr. Gautam was born and grew up in Hetauda, Nepal and he earned a BS (Agriculture) and MS (Plant Pathology) from Tribhuvan University, Rampur, Nepal. His hobbies include listening to music, singing, playing soccer, understanding animal behavior, and visiting new places.