Claire Murphy

Photo of Claire Murphy

Research Activities:

Within the WSU School of Food Science and stationed at the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, my position focuses on reducing foodborne pathogen contamination throughout the produce supply chain through my integrated research (30%) and extension (70%) appointment. 

My extension program is built on understanding and identifying stakeholder needs, enhancing existing programming, and developing new extension workshops aimed at mitigating food safety risks in emerging produce safety concerns and systems. My research program focuses on understanding the ecology and epidemiology of foodborne pathogens in produce production environments, investigating technologies for system-wide reductions in risk, and developing predictive models in an evolving digital agricultural space. 

My goal is to pair research and extension activities to complement each other by incorporating research objectives that include both field (e.g., sampling commercial packinghouses or harvesters) and laboratory (e.g., benchtop, growth chamber) experiments aimed at directly addressing stakeholder needs. My program will emphasize a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to meet the dynamic needs of the food industry while going beyond classical microbiology to include cutting-edge statistical tools with new pedagogical approaches.

I am currently accepting students (M.S. and Ph.D.) with a commitment to science, education, and service, to carry out ongoing research and extension projects.


  • 2023: Ph.D., Food Science and Technology, Department of Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech
  • 2023: MPH, infectious Disease, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech
  • 2020: M.S., Food Science and Technology, Department of Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech
  • 2018: B.S., Food Science, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Delaware 

Professional Experience:

  • 2023: Assistant Professor and Food Safety Extension Specialist, WSU School of Food Science – Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center