Professor Mark Turner

Deputy Head of School

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Faculty of Science

Affiliated Associate Professor

Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
+61 7 336 57364


Mark is a Professor of Food Microbiology and Deputy Head of 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 an academic position to specialise in food microbiology at UQ in 2007. He leads a research team in the area of food fermentation, quality and safety with current funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery). He has also attracted previous funding from the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub, ARC Industry Transformation Training Centre and Linkage schemes, Horticulture Innovation (HIA), Dairy Innovation Australia Ltd (DIAL) and Geoffrey Gardiner Dairy Foundation (GGDF). His current research focus is in lactic acid bacteria genetics, stress signaling, cheese cultures (flavour genes and genomics), antifungal and anti-pathogen (Salmonella and Listeria) biocontrol food applications. Mark or his group members have had the privilege of presenting invited or selected seminars in the USA, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, New Zealand and South Korea on food quality and safety research areas. He has supervised 20 PhD and MPhil students to completion and currently supervises 6 PhD students, 1 postdoctoral research fellow. He teaches into food microbiology, food safety and food biotechnology courses. He is a Fellow of both the Australian Society for Microbiology (FASM) and Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (FAIFST) and a member of the editorial boards of mBio and Journal of Food Protection. He was the recipient of the 2017 Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST) Keith Farrer Award of Merit.

Research Interests

  • Lactic acid bacteria genetics and manipulation
    This research interest includes fundamental structure and function studies of genes/proteins as well as applications of food and probiotic lactic acid bacteria. These include the economically important cheese fermentation starter bacterium Lactococcus lactis. We are interested in identifying the roles of genes involved in moderating stress resistance (oxidative, cell envelope and osmotic stress) with a focus on understanding c-di-AMP signalling. Techniques used in this project include gene inactivation/overexpression, suppressor mutant selection, next generation genome sequencing and bioinformatics. This work is funded by an ARC Discovery grant.
  • Biocontrol of pathogens and spoilage organisms on foods
    This research area involves the isolation and identification of naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria (LAB) on ready-to-eat vegetables which have antagonistic activity against bacterial pathogens, such as Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella on ready-to-eat vegetables as well as spoilage fungi of dairy foods.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Queensland University of Technology


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View all Supervision


Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Ho, Van Thi Thuy, Dong, Anran, Lo, Raquel and Turner, Mark S. (2021). Isolation and evaluation of anti-listeria lactococcus lactis from vegetal sources. Listeria Monocytogenes. (pp. 243-257) New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0982-8_19

  • Turner, Mark S., Vu, Thu Ngoc Minh, Marcellin, Esteban, Liang, Zhao-Xun and Pham, Huong Thi (2020). Osmoregulation via Cyclic di-AMP Signaling. In Microbial Cyclic Di-Nucleotide Signaling (pp. 177-189) Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-33308-9_11

  • Smith, William M., Dykes, Gary A., Soomro, Aijaz H. and Turner, Mark S. (2010). Molecular mechanisms of stress resistance in Lactococcus lactis. Current Research, Technology and Education Topics in Applied Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology. (pp. 1106-1118) edited by Antonio Méndez Vilas. Badajoz, Spain: Formatex Research Center.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Nguyen, Vu Tuan, Fegan, Narelle, Turner, Mark S. and Dykes, Gary A. (2012). Influence of prior mode of growth on physiological properties of Campylobacter cells. 12th Government Food Analysts Conference, Brisbane, Australia, 22-24 February 2011. Coopers Plains, QLD, Australia: Health and Food Sciences Precinct (HFSP).

  • Atkins, H., Geier, M. S., Turner, M., Forder, R. E. A., Pattanaik, A. K., Yazbeck, R. and Howarth, G. S. (2010). A novel mutant probiotic and the effects on colonic inflammation in a rat model of colitis. Australian Gastroenterology Week 2010, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, 20-23 October 2010. Richmond, VIC, Australia: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2010.06450.x

  • Wang, D. J., Turner, M. S., D'Arcy, B. R., Williams, B. A. and Ferruzi, M. G. (2010). Changes in pig ileal bacterial numbers upon exposure to grape seed extract. Nutrition Society of Australia 34th Annual Scientific Meeting (NSA2010), Perth, Australia, 30 November - 3 December 2010. Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA).

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision