Dr Mark Turner
Dr Mark Turner
Associate Professor - Food Microbiology
GradCert(HEd),The University of Queensland
PhD, Queensland University of Technology
BAppSci (Hons), Queensland University of Technology

Room C401, Hartley Teakle Building (83), St Lucia Campus
P: +61 7 3365 7364
F: +61 7 3365 1177
E: m.turner2@uq.edu.au

Professional Membership of:

  • Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM)
  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
  • International Association of Food Protection (IAFP)
  • Australian Association of Food Protection (AAFP)
  • Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST)

Expertise Topics

  • Food fermentation, spoilage and safety
  • Fermentation bacteria
  • Dairy sporeforming bacteria
  • Lactic acid bacteria applications for food safety
  • Microbial genetics and genomics
  • UQ Researchers profile

Research projects

  • Lactic acid bacteria stress adaptation mechanisms and comparative genomics
  • Cyclic-di-AMP signaling in bacteria
  • Cheese adjunct bacteria screening and characterisation
  • Cheese flavour characterisation
  • Dairy sporeforming bacteria molecular diagnostic method development and control
  • Lactic acid bacteria as biocontrol agents on vegetables, fruits and dairy

Selected publications

  • Dhakal, R., Seale, R.B., Deeth, H.C. and Turner, M.S. 2014. Draft genome comparison of representatives of the three dominant genotype groups of dairy Bacillus licheniformis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 80:3453-62.
  • Cheong, E., Sandhu, A., Jayaram, J., Le, T., Nhiep, N., Ho, H., Zwielehner, Z., Bansal, N. and Turner, M.S. 2014 Isolation of lactic acid bacteria with antifungal activity against the common cheese spoilage mould Penicillium commune and their potential as biopreservatives in cheese. Food Control 46:91-97.
  • Chauhan, K., Seale, R. B., Deeth, H.C. and Turner, M.S. 2014. Hypervariable pili and flagella genes provide suitable new targets for DNA high-resolution melt-based genotyping of dairy Geobacillus spp.. Journal of Food Protection 77: 1715-1722.
  • Tan, E., Rao, F., Pasunooti, S., Pham, T. H., Soehano, I., Turner, M. S., Liew, C.W., Lescar, J., Pervushin, K. and Liang, Z. X. 2013. Solution Structure of the PAS Domain of a Thermophilic YybT Homolog Reveals a Potential Ligand-Binding Site. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 288:14949-14959.
  • Chauhan, K, Dhakal, R, Seale, RB, Deeth, HC, Pillidge,C, Powell, IB, Craven, H, Turner MS. 2013. Rapid identification of dairy mesophilic and thermophilic sporeforming bacteria using DNA high resolution melt analysis of variable 16S rDNA regions. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 165:175-183.
  • Dhakal, R., Chauhan, K., Seale, R. B., Deeth, H. C., Pillidge, C. J., Powell, I. B., Craven. H & Turner, M. S. 2013. Genotyping of dairy Bacillus licheniformis isolates by high resolution melt analysis of multiple variable number tandem repeat loci. Food Microbiology 34:344-351.
  • Smith, W.M., Pham, T.H., Lei, L., Dou, J., Soomro, A.H., Beatson, S.A., Dykes, G.A. and Turner, M.S. 2012. Heat Resistance and Salt Hypersensitivity in Lactococcus lactis Due to Spontaneous Mutation of llmg_1816 (gdpP) Induced by High-Temperature Growth. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78: 7753-7759.
  • Seale, R. B, Dhakal, R., Chauhan, K., Craven, H.M., Deeth, H.C., Pillidge, C.J., Powell, I.B. and Turner, M.S. 2012. Genotyping of Present-Day and Historical Geobacillus Species Isolates from Milk Powders by High-Resolution Melt Analysis of Multiple Variable-Number Tandem-Repeat Loci. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78:7090-7097.

Teaching and Development

  • MICR2001 Food Microbiology 1 (Coordinator)
  • MICR3860 Food Microbiology 2 (Coordinator)
  • MICR7001 Food Microbiology (Coordinator)
  • FOOD3017/FOOD7006 Food Safety and Quality Management (teach 2 weeks)
Assignment based courses:
  • FOOD3601 Special Topics (Coordinator)
  • FOOD4601 Advanced Topics (Coordinator)
  • FOOD7018 Food Bioprocessing (Coordinator)
  • FOOD7024 Special Topics in Food Science and Technology (Coordinator)


Dr Mark Turner is an Associate Professor in Food Microbiology in the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences at the University of Queensland (UQ). Since completing his PhD at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) under the supervision of Prof Phil Giffard, he has undertaken postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Prof John Helmann (Cornell University, USA, 1999-2000) and in the CRC for Diagnostic Technologies (QUT) (2000-01). He subsequently supported his own position through being awarded a Dairy Australia Fellowship (2001-03) and an NHMRC New Investigator Grant (2004-06). He accepted a teaching and research position at UQ in 2007 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2010. He leads a research team in the area of food quality and safety with current grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC Linkage, ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub and ARC Industry Transformation Training Centre schemes) and Dairy Innovation Australia Ltd (DIAL). He has also attracted funding from Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and Geoffrey Gardiner Dairy Foundation (GGDF). His current research focus is in lactic acid bacteria genetics, comparative genomics, cheese flavour, cheese cultures, antifungal biocontrol applications as well as dairy sporeforming bacteria molecular tracking and genomics. Mark or his group members have presented invited or selected seminars in the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Singapore and China in food quality and safety. He has supervised 11 PhD and MPhil students to completion and currently supervises 7 PhD students and 3 postdoctoral research fellows. He teaches into food microbiology, food safety and food biotechnology courses and coordinates the Master of Food Science and Technology coursework programs. He is a member of the editorial board of the international peer reviewed Journal of Food Protection.





On this site