Work Food Innovation Center (FIC) 1920 N 21st St Rm 255
Lincoln NE 68588-6205
Work 402-472-2196 On campus, dial 2-2196
Dr. Chaves is a food scientist with expertise in food safety microbiology, product and process validations, and food safety management systems. His research program focuses on (1) developing, evaluating, and optimizing physical and chemical antimicrobial interventions to mitigate contamination of foods animal origin, including pet food, and (2) characterizing bacterial and viral persistence and survival in food matrices, food contact surfaces, and food packaging materials. He uses a variety of tools such as microbial challenge studies and predictive microbiology to generate information with direct application to the food industry. His Extension efforts focus on providing onsite and virtual training and technical assistance to the food manufacturing industry in Nebraska and beyond. These activities revolve around regulatory compliance with the hazard analysis and critical control points system (HACCP) and the US FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations including good manufacturing practices and pathogen environmental monitoring. His Extension activities reach hundreds of food processors and manufactures via remote delivery, and he actively collaborates with colleagues across the U.S. to deliver up-to-date food safety and sanitation programming. He is the USDA FSIS Nebraska HACCP Coordinator, the North Central Region FSMA Center Nebraska State Lead, and a member of the USDA FSIS National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection.


  • Ph D, Texas Tech University, 2015
  • MS, Clemson University, 2010
  • BS, University of Costa Rica, 2008

icon-bookmark-starAwards & Honors

  • Holling Family Faculty Inclusive Excellence in Teaching and Learning, UNL CASNR, 2022

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