Dennis D'Amico

Associate Professor- Dairy Foods

Dr. Dennis D'AmicoContact

   Phone: (860)486-0567


   Office: ABL Room 302B

   Lab: ABL Room 315

   Lab Phone: (860)486-6586


Dr. D'Amico's Lab



  • Ph.D. (Food Microbiology), University of Vermont
  • M.S. (Food Microbiology/Technology), University of Vermont
  • B.S. (Nutrition and Food Sciences), Cum Laude, University of Vermont


  • 2019-present: Associate Professor, University of Connecticut, Dept. of Animal Science
    • 2018-present: Director of Graduate Studies, ANSC
  • 2013-2019: Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut, Dept. of Animal Science
    • 2018-present: Graduate Program Chair, ANSC Graduate Studies Committee
  • 2008-2013: Senior Research Scientist and Lecturer, University of Vermont, Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese


Classes Taught

ANSC 3641 Animal Food Products: Dairy Technology
ANSC 3642W Scientific Writing in Animal Food Products: Dairy Technology

Research/Outreach Interests

  • Improving the safety and quality of cheese
  • Working with small cheese producers on product development, process control, environmental monitoring, and the development and implementation of food safety management systems
  • Developing, supporting and delivering workshops to provide dairy manufacturers and professionals with technical and scientific knowledge necessary to assure the consistent production and sale of safe, high quality cheese and dairy products
  • Examining the microbial ecology of dairy products, the prevalence of pathogenic bacteria in raw milk destined for cheesemaking, and microbial behavior during the manufacture and aging of various foods
  • Identifying novel and natural interventions as preventive controls for pathogens in dairy foods


  • New York Farmers Medal, 2020
  • Above and Beyond Award. American Cheese Society, 2016
  • Young Scientist Award- Educator. American Society for Animal Science/American Dairy Science Association. Northeast Section, 2016
  • Outstanding Leadership, Collaboration, and Education, Outreach/Public Engagement, Innovation center for US Dairy, 2013
  • University of Vermont College of Agriculture and Life Sciences New Achiever Alumni Award, 2011
  • Developing Scientist Award. International Association of Food Protection, 2006
  • Graduate Student Teaching Award of Merit. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, 2004
  • Ruben and Rose Mattus Scholarship for undergraduate research, 2002

Professional Memberships & Service

  • American Cheese Society
  • International Association for Food Protection (IAFP)
    • Editorial Board, Journal of Food Protection
    • Editorial Board, Protection Trends
    • IAFP Dairy Professional Development Group
  • Oldways Cheese Coalition
    • Academic Advisory Committee
  • Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
    • Nutmeg Section of the Institute of Food Technologists
      • Chair of Scholarship & Awards Committee
  • American Dairy Science Association (ADSA)
  • American Public Health Association
    • Technical Committee for the 18th edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Dairy Products
  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

In the News

Recent Grants/Projects

  • Investigating Microbial Communities in Traditional Cheese Production in Wood to Improve Cheese Quality and Safety
  • Microbial Composition and Succession in a Novel American Raw Milk Cheese
  • Commercial bacteriophage preparations to control pathogens in milk and dairy products.
  • Evaluating the Antimicrobial Activity of a Novel Glycolipid.
  • Optimizing the Application of Hydrogen Peroxide to Control Listeria monocytogenes Contamination on the Surface of High-Moisture Cheese.
  • Impact of Protective Cultures on the Growth of Staphylococcus aureus in Milk and the Production of Enterotoxins.
  • S1077: Enhancing Microbial Food Safety by Risk Analysis. Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station Multistate Project.
  • Biocontrol of Foodborne Pathogens in Raw Milk for Cheesemaking using Novel Bacterial Antagonists.
  • Determining the efficacy of glycolipids to control Listeria monocytogenes in Queso Fresco.
  • Determining the Efficacy of Commercial Protective Cultures for the Control of Salmonella and Shiga-Toxin Producing Escherichia coli in Raw Milk for Cheesemaking.
  • Developing protective culture-based approaches to enhance the safety of raw milk cheese. .


  • Technical Assistance and Training for Dairy Processors to Enhance Microbiological Quality and Safety
  • National Dairy Food Safety Plan Coaching Workshop
  • Artisan Food Safety Advisory Team
  • Food Safety for Artisan Cheesemakers - Online Course

Recent Publications (Selected)

Aljasir, S.F, and D. D'Amico. 2020. The effect of protective cultures on Staphylococcus aureus growth and enterotoxin production. Food Microbiology.

Gensler, C.A., Brown, S.R.B., Aljasir, S.F, and D. D'Amico. 2020. Compatibility of commercially produced protective cultures with common cheesemaking cultures and their antagonistic effect on foodborne pathogens. Journal of Food Protection. doi: 10.4315/JFP-19-614.

Aljasir, S.F., Gensler, C., Sun, L. and D'Amico, D.J., 2020. The efficacy of individual and combined commercial protective cultures against Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, O157 and non-O157 shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in growth medium and raw milk. Food Control, 109: p.106924.

Brown, S.R.B., Kozak, S.M., and D. J. D’Amico. 2018. Applications of Edible Coatings Formulated with Antimicrobials Inhibit Listeria monocytogenes Growth on Queso Fresco. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. doi:10.3389/fsufs.2018.00001

Brown, S.R.B., E. C. Forauer, and D. J. D’Amico. 2018. Effect of modified atmosphere packaging on the growth of spoilage microorganisms and Listeria monocytogenes on fresh cheese. Journal of Dairy Science. 101:7768-7779.

Kozak, S.M., Y. Bobak, and D.J. D’Amico.  2018. Efficacy of antimicrobials applied individually and in combination for controlling Listeria monocytogenes as surface contaminants on Queso Fresco.  Journal of Food Protection. 81(1):46-53.

Kozak, S.M., Y. Bobak, and D.J. D’Amico. 2018. Control of Listeria monocytogenes in whole milk using antimicrobials applied individually and in combination. Journal of Dairy Science. Journal of Dairy Science. 101:1–12. doi:10.3168/jds.2017-13648.

Recent Abstracts and Presentations

Aljasir, S., and D. D'Amico. 2021. Probiotic Potential of Protective Bacterial Cultures. World Microbe Forum 2021.

Aljasir, S., and D. D'Amico. 2021. Pre-Exposure to Protective Bacterial Cultures in Food Attenuates Listeria monocytogenes virulence.

Sun, L., Atkinson, K, Zhu, M., and D'Amico, D.J., 2021. Antimicrobial Effects of a Bioactive Glycolipid on Spore-Forming Spoilage Bacteria in Milk.

Sun, L., Forauer, E.C., Brown, S.R. and D'Amico, D.J., Application of a Natural Bioactive Glycolipid to Control Listeria Monocytogenes Biofilms and As Post-Lethality Contaminants in Milk.

Aljasir, S., and D. D'Amico. 2020. Protective Cultures Inhibit Staphylococcus aureus Growth and Enterotoxin Production. J Food Prot 83 (sp1): 60.

Sun, L. and D. D’Amico. 2020. Different ecological process structures microbiomes on cheese interior and rind. American Society for Microbiology Microbe 2020.

Robinson, B. and D. D'Amico. 2020. Antimicrobial Activity of Hydrogen Peroxide, With and Without Neutralization, Against Listeria monocytogenes on the Surface of High-moisture Cheese. J Food Prot 83 (sp1): 53.

Brown, S. R. B., and D. D'Amico. 2020. Effects of Commercially Available Antimicrobials on the Inhibition and Inactivation of Listeria monocytogenes biofilms. J Food Prot 83 (sp1): 43.

Brown, S. R. B., and D. D'Amico. 2020. Effect of Sub-Inhibitory Concentrations of Antimicrobials on Listeria monocytogenes motility and Its Ability to Adhere to and Invade Caco-2 Cells. J Food Prot 83 (sp1): 210.

D'Amico, D., and S. R. B. Brown. 2019. Interventions to control Listeria monocytogenes as a surface contaminant on high moisture cheese. ADSA 2019.

Aljasir, S., Gensler, C., and D. D'Amico. 2019.  Determining the Effect of Individual or Combined Protective Cultures on the Growth of Listeria monocytogenes and Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Raw Milk. Journal of Food Protection. 82 (suppl.):243.

Gensler, C, and D. D'Amico. 2019.  Evaluation of Commercially Available Protective Cultures to Control Listeria monocytogenes and Shiga-Toxin Producing Escherichia coli in Soft, Surface-Mold Ripened Raw Milk Cheese. Journal of Food Protection. 82 (suppl.):59.

Sun, L. and D. D'Amico. 2019. Source Tracking and Succession of Microbial Communities during the Production of a Farmstead Cheese. Journal of Food Protection. 82 (suppl.):247.

Brown, S. R. B., E. Forauer ‚ and D. D'Amico. 2018. The Effect of Modified Atmosphere Packaging Conditions on Microbial Contaminants in Queso Fresco. Journal of Food Protection. 81 (suppl.):272

Forauer, E.,  S. R. B. Brown, and D. D'Amico. 2018. Surface Application of a Novel Glycolipid to Control Listeria monocytogenes on Queso Fresco. Journal of Food Protection. 81 (suppl.):272

Gensler, C., and D. D'Amico. 2018. Determining the Efficacy of Protective Cultures for the Control of Listeria monocytogenes and Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli in Raw Milk for Cheesemaking.  Journal of Food Protection. 81 (suppl.):63

Sun, L., and D. D'Amico. 2018. Antimicrobial Activity of Commercial Protective Cultures against Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Journal of Food Protection. 81 (suppl.):37

Recent Invited Presentations

Practical Tools and Solutions for Developing and Implementing Your Food Safety Plan. Presented at the 2021 annual conference of the American Cheese Society.

Of Cheese and Microbes. Michigan State University Food Science and Human Nutrition Department Seminar Series. Fall 2019.

Antimicrobial strategies for the control of Listeria monocytogenes on high moisture cheese. 2019. Annual Meeting of the International Association for Food Protection.

Overview of Cheese Industry and Safety: Regulatory Concerns and Initiatives. 2019. Annual Meeting of the National Association of Dairy Regulatory Officials.

Raw Milk Cheese Food Safety Plan Design. Presented at the 2019 annual conference of the American Cheese Society. Richmond, VA.

Enhancing Dairy Food Safety and Quality Through Research and Education. Penn State Food Science Department Seminar Series. Spring 2019.

Hobbies/Non-Academic Interests

  • Spending time with family and 3 dogs
  • Cooking and fermenting foods (kombucha, cheese, and other dairy products)
  • Homebrewing

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Department of Animal Science
Unit 4040
17 Manter Road
Storrs, CT 06269-4040

Tel: (860) 486-2413
Fax: (860) 486-4375