Dianne BourassaDianna Bourassa

Assistant Professor/ Extension Specialist

Poultry Science Department


2013 Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Dissertation: Rhizobium lipid A very long chain fatty acid influence on structure
and function. University of Georgia
2004 M.S., Poultry Science – Factors affecting salmonellae recovery from broiler carcasses treated with trisodium phosphate.
University of Georgia
2002 B.S., Poultry Science – University of Georgia

Professional Experience

Present Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor, Auburn University Department of Poultry Science, Auburn, AL
2001 – 2016 USDA-Agricultural Research Service, US National Poultry Research Center, Athens, GA

Professional Affiliations

Alabama Poultry and Egg Association
Poultry Science Association
Worlds Poultry Science Association
2017 PSA Processing and Products Chair

Research Activities

Dr. Bourassa’s research focuses on poultry processing, microbiology, and food safety. Her poultry processing research topic areas have included stunning and animal welfare, the effects primary processing parameters on carcass microbiology, carcass sampling methods for foodborne pathogens, as well as the effects of on farm interventions on fully processed carcasses.


Extension Activities

Dr. Bourassa’s extension program includes support of the Alabama poultry industry in the area of poultry processing by providing education in essential areas such as stunning welfare, food safety, and regulatory compliance. Bourassa’s program also addresses poultry processing and food safety for the public and youth through programs including 4-H and FFA.

Courses Taught

Guest Lectures – POPH 7060 – Avian Diagnostic Microbiology, University of Georgia
Guest Lectures – POUL 4860 – Poultry Processing, University of Georgia

Select Publications

  • Gamble, G.R., Berrang, M.E., Buhr, R.J., Hinton, Jr. A., Bourassa, D.V., Johnston, J.J., Ingram, K.D., Adams, E.S., Feldner, P.W. Effect of simulated sanitizer carryover on recovery of Salmonella from broiler carcass rinsates. J. Food Prot. 79:710-714. 2016.
  • Bourassa, D.V., Wilson, K.M., Bartenfeld, L.N., Harris, C.E., Howard, A.K., Ingram, K.D., Hinton, Jr., A., Berrang, M.E., Gamble, G.R., Frye, J.G., Jackson, C.R., Buhr, R.J. Surface water accumulation and subsequent drip loss for processed broiler carcasses subjected to a post-chill water dip or spray. Accepted to Poultry Science 07/07/2016.
  • Jones, D.R., Guard, J., Gast, R.K., Buhr, R.J., Fedorka-Cray, P.J., Abdo, Z., Plumblee, J.R., Bourassa, D.V., Cox, N.A., Rigsby, L.L., Robison, C.I., Regmi, P., Karcher, D.M. Influence of commercial laying hen housing systems on the incidence and identification of Salmonella and Campylobacter. Poult. Sci. 95:1116-1124. 2016.
  • Wilson, K.M., Bourassa, D.V., Davis, A.J., Freeman, M.E., Buhr, R.J. Evaluation of the addition of charcoals to broiler diets on the recovery of Salmonella Typhimurium during grow-out and processing. Poult. Sci. 95:694-704. 2016.
  • Bourassa, D.V., Holmes, J.M., Cason, J.A., Cox, N.A., Rigsby, L.L., and Buhr, R.J. Prevalence and serogroup diversity of Salmonella for broiler neck skin, whole carcass rinse, and whole carcass enrichment sampling methodologies following air or immersion chilling. J. Food Prot. 78:1938-1944. 2015.
  • Bartenfeld, L.N., Fletcher, D.L., Northcutt, J.K., Bourassa, D.V., Cox, N.A., Buhr, R.J. The effect of high level chlorine carcass drench on the recovery of Salmonella and enumeration of bacteria from broiler carcasses. Poult. Sci. 93:2893-2899. 2014.
  • Musgrove, M.T., Stephens, C.B., Bourassa, D.V., Cox, N.A., Mauldin, J.M., Berrang, M.E., and Buhr, R.J. Enterobacteriaceae and Salmonella recovered from non-sanitized and sanitized broiler hatching eggs. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 23:516-522. 2014.
  • Webb, M.L., Spickler, J.L., Bourassa, D.V., Cox, N.A., Wilson, J.L., Buhr, R.J. Recovery of Salmonella serovar Enteritidis from inoculated broiler hatching eggs using shell rinse and shell crush sampling methods. Poult. Sci. 93:2117-2122. 2014.
  • Cox, N.A., Buhr, R.J., Smith, D., Cason, J.A., Rigsby, L., Bourassa, D.V., Fedorka-Cray, P. Cosby, D. Sampling naturally contaminated broiler carcasses for Salmonella by three different methods. J. Food Prot. 77:493-495. 2014.
  • Buhr, R.J., Walker, J.M., Bourassa, D.V., Caudill, A.B., Kiepper, B.H., Zhuang, H. Impact of broiler processing scalding and chilling profiles on carcass and breast meat yield. Poult. Sci. 93:1534-1541. 2014.
  • Zhuang, H., Bowker, B.C., Buhr, R.J., Bourassa, D.V., Kiepper, B.H. Effects of broiler scalding and chilling methods on quality of early-deboned breast fillets. Poult. Sci. 92:1393-1399. 2013.
  • Buhr, R.J., Spickler, J.L., Ritter, A.R., Bourassa, D.V., Cox, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Wilson, J.L. Efficacy of combination chemicals as sanitizers of Salmonella-inoculated broiler hatching eggs. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 22:27-35. 2012.
  • Hannah, J.F., Wilson, J.L., Cox, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Cason, J.A., Bourassa, D.V., and Buhr, R.J., Horizontal transmission of Salmonella and Campylobacter among caged and cage-free laying hens. Avian Diseases 55:580-587. 2011.
  • Hannah, J.F., Wilson, J.L., Cox, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Cason, J.A., Bourassa, D.V., and Buhr, R.J., Colonization of a marker and field strain of Salmonella Enteritidis and a marker strain of Salmonella Typhimurium in vancomycin-pretreated and nonpretreated laying hens. Avian Diseases 55:588-592. 2011.
  • Spickler, J.L., Buhr, R.J., Cox, N.A., Bourassa, D.V., and Rigsby, L.L., Comparison between rinse and crush-and-rub sampling for aerobic bacteria recovery from broiler hatching eggs after sanitization. Poult. Sci. 90:1609-1615. 2011.
  • Hannah, J.F., Wilson, J.L., Cox, N.A., Cason, J.A., Bourassa, D.V., Musgrove, M.T., Richardson, L.J., Rigsby, L.L, Buhr, R.J., Comparison of shell from unwashed and washed table eggs harvested from caged laying hens and cage-free floor-housed laying hens. Poult. Sci. 90:1586-1593. 2011.
  • Buhr, R.J., Bourassa, D.V., Cox, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Phillips, R.W., Kelley, L.C., Evaluation of a quail embryo model for the detection of botulinum toxin type A activity. The Botulinum J. 1:281-296. 2009.
  • Vizzier-Thaxton, Y., Cox, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Buhr, R.J., McDaniel, C.D., Cosby, D.E., Wilson, J.L., Bourassa, D.V., Ard, M.B., Apparent attachment of Campylobacter and Salmonella to broiler breeder rooster spermatozoa. Poult. Sci. 85:619-624. 2006.
  • Buhr, R.J., Bourassa, D.V., Northcutt, J.K., Hinton, Jr., A., Ingram, K.D., Cason, J.A., Bacteria recovery from genetically feathered and featherless broiler carcasses after immersion chilling. Poult. Sci. 84:1499-1504. 2005.
  • Buhr, R.J., Berrang, M.E., Cason, J.A., Bourassa, D.V., Recovery of bacteria from broiler carcass respiratory tracts before and after immersion scalding. Poult. Sci. 84:1769-1773. 2005.
  • Cox, N.A., Bailey, J.S., Richardson, L.J., Buhr, R.J., Cosby, D.E., Wilson, J.L., Heitt, K.L., Siragusa, G.R., Bourassa, D.V., Presence of naturally occurring Campylobacter and Salmonella in the mature and immature ovarian follicles of late-life broiler breeder hens. Avian Dis. 49:285-287. 2005.
  • Buhr, R.J., Musgrove, M.T., Cox, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Wilson, J.L., Bourassa, D.V., Recovery of Campylobacter jejuni in the feces and semen from broiler breeder roosters following three routes of inoculation. Avian Dis. 49:577-581. 2005.
  • Bourassa, D.V., Fletcher, D.L., Buhr, R.J., Cason, J.A., Berrang, M. E., Recovery of salmonellae following pH adjusted pre-enrichment of broiler carcasses treated with trisodium phosphate. Poult. Sci. 84:475-478. 2005.
  • Buhr, R.J., Bourassa, D.V., Wilson, J.L., Fletcher D.L., Improved efficiency of intact crop removal for broiler breeder rooster and hen carcasses during manual evisceration. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 14:20-24. 2005.
  • Cox, N.A., Hofacre, C.L., Bailey, J.S., Buhr, R.J., Wilson, J.L., Hiett, K.L., Richardson, L.J., Musgrove, M.T., Cosby, D.E., Tankson, J.R., Vizzier, Y.L., Cray, P.F., Vaughn, L.E., Holt, P.S., Bourassa, D.V., Presence of Campylobacter jejuni in various organs one hour, one day, and one week following oral or intracloacal inoculation of broiler chicks.  Avian Dis. 49:155-158. 2005.
  • Bourassa, D.V., Fletcher, D.L., Buhr, R.J., Berrang, M.E., Cason, J.A., Recovery of Salmonellae from TSP treated commercially processed broiler carcasses after chilling and after seven day storage. Poult. Sci. 83:2079-2082. 2004.
  • Bourassa, D.V., Buhr, R.J., Wilson, J.L., Elevated egg holding room temperature of 74ºF (23ºC) does not depress hatchability or chick quality. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 12:1-6. 2003.
  • Bourassa, D.V., Buhr, R.J., Wilson, J.L., Hatchability of eggs sanitized with increasing concentrations of BioSentry 904 or Bio-Phene. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 11:397-401. 2002.