Meet the team

Dr Laura Fernández Celemín Director General
Dr Laura Fernández Celemín

Laura joined EUFIC in 2002 as Scientific Advisor, and has since contributed to the growth of the organisation fulfilling different functions throughout the years. She leads the organisation since January 2015, and passionately believes that the strength of EUFIC are the people who work in it.

Laura has a BSc in Dietetics from Institut Paul Lambin in Brussels, a degree in Human Nutrition from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, and a PhD in Biomedical sciences from the same university.

Outside work, Laura enjoys cooking and eating, being active, and spending time with her family and friends.

"Be the change you want to see in the world"

Mahatma Ghandi

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Dr Sophie Hieke Research Advisor
Dr Sophie Hieke

Since joining EUFIC in 2011, Sophie has been in charge of the Consumer Science department. She also coordinated the EU-funded project on health claims, CLYMBOL. Sophie has specialised in behavioural science and decision-making – she basically tries to understand how we buy and consume food and what could help us make healthier and more sustainable choices.

She holds a PhD in statistics and empirical research from the Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich and is currently a professor for marketing and communication at Munich Business School. Sophie regularly publishes in peer-reviewed journals, attends conferences and gives talks all over the world. In 2020, she joined Food Navigator’s Expert Advisory Panel after having served as an associate editor at Public Health Nutrition for three years.

In her spare time, Sophie loves to eat – especially cheese.

"Statistics are like bikinis: what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”

Aaron Levenstein.

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Frédéric Goffard Finances & IT - Area Lead
Frédéric Goffard

Frédéric uses his financial and tech genius to keep EUFIC’s figures and equipment streamlined and running smoothly. He joined EUFIC in 2012 having previously worked in the various fields of Design (Design Board), IT (Telematics and Services), Solar Panel (Imperbel/Derbigum), Crude Oil and Gaz trading (Fortum Oil) as well as Trade Association/Lobbying (DigitalEurope). Frédéric brings with him a wealth of knowledge in Finance, IT and Belgian legislation.

Frédéric has a BSc in Accounting from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (EPHEC – Brussels) and followed evening courses in Tax Law and IT.

Besides his professional activities, Frédéric is also the founder and treasurer of two not for profit associations: 'Les Amis de Thierry' (cancer) and the Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles (Field hockey and Tennis Club). You will mostly see him on hockey pitches as a player or referee or behind a nice glass of wine.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Oscar Wilde

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Dr Nina McGrath Content Production - Area Lead
Dr Nina McGrath

Nina joined the team in 2015 and manages EUFIC’s food safety activities, as well as leading the dissemination activities for EU projects OLEUM and NanoPack. She has a MSc in chemistry and a PhD in polymer and materials science from the University of Bristol, UK. Before EUFIC, Nina worked as Science Counsellor at Euro Chlor, providing scientific support on health and environmental issues.

Nina enjoys mixing chemicals in the lab, ingredients in the kitchen and is herself a bit of a mix with Danish, Irish and Belgian roots.

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

Marie Curie

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Matteo Sabini Collaborative Projects - Area Lead
Matteo Sabini

Matteo joined EUFIC in November 2021 after he worked as project manager and proposal writer in the agri-food and bioeconomy sectors. With a master degree in political science and a specialisation course in EU funding programmes, he has been involved in stakeholder engagement, communication, raising awareness, exploitation and networking activities in Research & Innovation EU funded projects. Moreover, he supported SMEs of the agrifood sector in the innovation management process, technology transfer and internationalisation activities, being also a member of the Agrifood Sector Group of the Enterprise Europe Network from 2017 to 2021. Finally, he also worked as a trainer for researchers and innovators in proposal writing and EU funded projects management.

During these activities, he developed a strong commitment in making science contents and facts understandable to the civil society, thus stimulating their curiosity and new questions for researchers.

When working time is over, Matteo relaxes spending time with his old friends, enjoying the sound of the sea, tasting good wines, discovering small villages in rural or mountain areas. He loves travels (and tasting local and traditional food!), photography and memes. 

“In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted! - Bertrand Russell

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Dr Betty Chang Research - Area Lead
Dr Betty Chang

Betty is a researcher at heart - always striving to improve her understanding of people's behaviour and their motivations. Having completed her PhD in psychology from the University of New South Wales in 2008, she then moved from Australia to Belgium in order to pursue her first postdoc. After being an academic researcher for 13 years, Betty worked on European projects at GfK before joining EUFIC in 2019. Among her diverse research interests, she has worked on projects related to health and consumer psychology and food policy.

Betty enjoys thinking about food from all perspectives, from the hedonic, salutary, environmental and social points of view. She also loves learning about new ideas through travelling, reading and films.

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." ― Dorothy Parker

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Carlos Abundancia Outreach - Area Lead
Carlos Abundancia

Since joining EUFIC in 2015, Carlos has been the right hand man of the communications team taking care of activities such as EU funded projects, statistical web analysis and social media. He brings to the job a scientific background and loads of motivation and positive attitude, always looking for new challenges in the digital world.

He has a BSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from CEU San Pablo University and a European MSc in Food Science, Nutrition and Metabolism from University of Navarra. Carlos has recently finished studying for an Executive Master in Digital Marketing and Communication from the Solvay Business School, Brussels.

In his spare time, Carlos is mostly travelling and trying new food.

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”  ― George Bernard Shaw.

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Vito D'Amico HR, Administration & Legal - Area Lead
Vito D'Amico

Vito holds a Master’s degree in law and a specialisation in Privacy obtained at the University of Maastricht.

He joined EUFIC in 2018 and is currently in charge of the HR, administrative and legal work of the organisation.

He’s also involved in members engagement and relations with the Governance.

Vito is fluent in Italian, French and English.

In his spare time, he likes to read, have long walks and has a passion for cooking.

“One is always a long way from solving a problem until one actually has the answer.” ― Stephen Hawking

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Katerina Palascha Research - Senior Manager
Katerina Palascha

Katerina joined EUFIC as a senior research manager in 2021, working remotely from Greece on a project-by-project basis. She founded her own company (SensEat), providing research services to various NGOs and nutrition counselling to individuals and groups. Katerina has a BSc in dietetics & nutrition from Harokopio University (GR), as well as an MSc in nutrition & health and a PhD in marketing & consumer behaviour from Wageningen University & Research (NL). She specializes in non-diet approaches to eating and is an advocate of the Health-At-Every-Size movement, emphasizing the importance of focusing on overall well-being independently of weight status. She is fascinated by the human body's capacity to survive and thrive, so she is passionate about exploring this potential as a means to healthy and sustainable eating. She dreams about a world where people enjoy the food on their plates and make mindful food choices, caring for their and the environment’s well-being. In her limited free time as a mother of three children, she enjoys making puzzles, gardening, or simply being in nature.
 

“Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance” ― Epicurus

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Elisangela Rosario Membership and Funding Manager
Elisangela Rosario

Elisangela joins the Eufic in 2023, she is passionate about sustainability, communication, and diversity. Elis loves food, writing, greenery, and being in contact with nature. Her connection with food comes from her childhood when vegetables and fruits were the methods to keep the family healthy. For her, a healthy diet and positive habits have the power to keep us physically and mentally in balance. Curious, open mind and creative, she moved to the Netherlands to pursue a Master in Business and focus on contributing to society through sustainable development. 

Before joining Eufic, she worked in international teams with Project & Product Management, Stakeholder Engagement, and Customer Experience in the Technology Sector and Food Chain. Elis also got involved in fostering culture and fundraising projects. In her free time, she is interested in discovering new places, art, photography, walking in nature, new tastes, and learning. 

"In food, excellent medicine can be found, in food, bad medicine can be found. Good and bad are relative." ― Hippocrates

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Giulia Gaggiotti Senior Knowledge & Operations analyst
Giulia Gaggiotti

Giulia joined EUFIC in March 2019 where she is currently responsible for the implementation of a project management and impact monitoring approach across the board and for supporting cross-team collaboration and knowledge exchange. She has considerable experience leading communication activities of various publicly funded projects on food and nutrition, translating complex science into clear and practical information, and coordinating the work done under the EU4Health Operating Grants (years 2022 and 2023).

She holds a Master's degree in Conference Interpreting and a MSc in Management from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

A firm believer in self-motivation, being part of the EUFIC team is a golden opportunity to show how everyone can make food a delicious ally for life. Indeed, when she's not at her desk you can find her cooking for her friends & family or on a yoga mat.

“The most authentic expression of love is: did you eat?" ―  Elsa Morante

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Marie-Christine Thurm Collaborative Projects - Senior Manager
Marie-Christine Thurm

Marie joined the team in 2020 as a Communication’s Manager. She is managing a variety of EU projects, for example on alternative proteins, microbiome research or food education, and enjoys working closely with partners on communicating science. With a master’s degree in Communication and Information Sciences from Tilburg University, she is always keen on finding a good story.

Before joining EUFIC, she worked for 5 years on communicating safety and health related issues in Brussels: first in the area of aviation, then on safety & health at work. Back in Germany, she managed the communication of a food start-up.

In her free time, Marie enjoys making music with her friends. You can also find her on the dance floor or trying new recipes.

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Camila Massri Collaborative Projects - Senior Manager
Camila Massri

Camila joined EUFIC in November 2017 assisting in projects and research related to consumer insights and food. She has an MSc in International Health from Uppsala University in Sweden, which was the starting point of her journey in the public health area. During her studies, she discovered her interest in nutrition, especially on the importance of the correct delivery of information to the population in the malnutrition prophylaxis. For this reason, she decided to carry out her thesis on food labeling in her native country, Chile. As a food lover, Camila is often trying out new foods and thinking already about her next meal.

"Sometimes it's the smallest decisions that can change your life forever" - K. Russell

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Debora Serra Collaborative Projects - Manager
Debora Serra

Debora joined the team in 2023 as a Communication Manager. She is from Sardinia, Italy, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Toxicology at Cagliari University. During her studies, she discovered her interest in communication, especially health. For this reason, she decided to complete her studies with an MSc in science communication from Siena University with a thesis in bioethics. Before joining EUFIC, she worked as an editor, journalist and science explainer.

When she’s not at work, she likes to spend her time reading books about the history of science and visiting art exhibitions.

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Giacomo Sini Collaborative Projects - Manager
Giacomo Sini

Giacomo joined the team in 2023 as project manager and support in proposal writing. He has a master’s degree in international relations and diplomatic affairs and a specialization in proposal writing for EU funding programs. He has 4 years of working experience in project management and proposal writing for different EU funding schemes in the aerospace domain.

When he isn’t working, he enjoys reading novels, playing music and spending time with his dog Machi. 

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Malou Reipurth Research - Manager
Malou Reipurth

Malou joined the Research team in April 2019 (working remotely from Copenhagen), assisting the team in research projects, presentations, and publications. She completed a BA in Global Nutrition and Health from the Metropolitan University College, Denmark, and an M.Sc. in Food Innovation and Health at the University of Copenhagen, during which she focused on consumers and plant-based and sustainable diets.

The driving force of her career is curiosity and a belief in consumers’ rights and the ability to make informed choices. She is passionate about improving our food culture and making it more tasty, healthy, and sustainable altogether, which she wishes to contribute to as part of the EUFIC team.

As a true foodie, Malou loves experimenting with new, weird ingredients and to indulge in the best of what can be grown locally and seasonally. She spends much of her free time running and walking in nature and trying to find dogs to pet

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Daniela De Lorenzo Media & Outreach - Manager
Daniela De Lorenzo

Daniela joined EUFIC in 2023 as an Outreach and Media manager assisting the communication team.

She has a B.A. in political science and a Master's degree in Journalism, Media and Globalisation from Aarhus University and the University of Amsterdam. She is a communication enthusiast interested in the new ways media and communities consume and produce information through digital tools.

Prior to joining EUFIC, she worked in the communication units of European institutions and environmental NGOs, as well as a journalist covering food culture, food safety and agricultural news for a variety of news outlets.

She is fluent in Italian, English, French, Danish and Norwegian while still trying to learn Dutch.

“I like those who carefully choose the words not to say” ―Alda Merini

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Judith Dessy Graphic Design - Manager
Judith Dessy

Judith joined EUFIC in november 2022. She is graphic designer and has always had a passion for illustration. What pleases her and delights her above all is her job is the alliance of these two fields : putting illustration at the service of graphic design, and vice versa. After almost two years as a graphic designer for a non-profit association and a year of traveling in New Zealand, she undertook a training in motion design at Cepegra. It was an opportunity to go further in the alliance of these two worlds, and to open up a new space for creation and discovery.
When she’s not at the office, she likes to spend her time tinkering, experimenting new creative and manual things or read a great book in cafe. She is also always up for a good hike in nature!

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Stephan Kampshoff Collaborative Projects - Manager
Stephan Kampshoff

Stephan joined EUFIC in July 2020 as an intern in Food and Health. He is currently completing his Master of Science in Nutrition and Health at the University of Applied Sciences in Münster, Germany.

Stephan believes that the communication of science-based discoveries, especially in the field of Nutrition and Health, is a key factor for the future development of strategies against non-communicable diseases and for the overall public health policy and that proper communication between all parties is crucial.

In his free time, besides his main sport table tennis, he likes to try out various sports and enjoys taking pictures while hiking in nature. He also likes to go to one or the other concert.

"Waste no more time arguing about what a good person should be. Be one." ― Marcus Aurelius

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Maria Scherbov Collaborative projects - Junior Manager
Maria Scherbov

Maria joined EUFIC in March 2022. Before EUFIC Maria worked at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), supporting projects related to food safety and food sustainability. Maria has a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Warwick and an MSc in European Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in the UK. She is driven by policies helping to improve the quality and sustainability of diets and is passionate about engaging with people across the food system to promote effective action at all levels.

In her free time, Maria enjoys experimenting with plant-based foods, writing music, singing and performing her songs.

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” Rumi

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Ana Jacheva Graphic Design - Junior Manager
Ana Jacheva

'Ana joined EUFIC in January 2022 as an intern. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from the University of Sunderland, UK, and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Media & Information Design at LUCA School of Arts in Brussels, Belgium.

As a graphic designer, among other projects, she has developed concepts with a multidisciplinary approach related to Design for Social Good about important global topics - recycling and education. Passionate about using design to address and aid contemporary issues in society, her next step is to develop a useful concept for the management of food and its waste. 

Ana is determined, cheerful and a perfectionist with a passion for art, typography, and illustration. She loves clunky earrings, the color yellow, and French fries. She is a devoted music listener, enjoys meeting up with friends, visiting exhibitions and museums in her free time.

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Laura Bosman Content Production - Junior Manager
Laura Bosman

Laura joined the EUFIC team as a content & outreach intern in May 2022. She obtained a BSc in Nutrition and Health at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and she is currently finishing her MSc in the same field, specializing in nutritional and public health epidemiology. Furthermore, she studied public health at the University of Eastern Finland for four months to strengthen her foundation for understanding public health and related research, issues of global health and health promotion.

Throughout her studies and volunteer work as a co-writer of the nutrition and health magazine of her study program, Laura has gained insight into the communication of accessible, appealing, and actionable science-based nutrition information. As an EUFIC intern, she hopes to contribute to spreading nutrition science awareness throughout the public and thereby inspire and empower people to make dietary and lifestyle changes to improve their health and the health of our planet.

She loves spending her free time in the dance studio, outside in nature on long walks or on her bike, travelling to new places, meeting with friends, cooking delicious plant-based food, and enjoying lots of peanut butter.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

 

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Kenia Fita Capdevila Collaborative Projects - Junior Manager
Kenia Fita Capdevila

Obsessive reader, board game player, and proud Servas traveller. With a background in food systems, I'm particularly interested in science communication, food literacy, and how they can be linked to a sustainable food system. Currently finishing an MSc in Human Nutrition and Food-Related Behavior with a thesis focused on how nutrition is communicated. I volunteer my time as an editor in The Science Basement and as the chair of a non-profit community fridge in Helsinki.

"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ― Mark Twain

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Darya Silchenko Collaborative Projects - Junior Manager
Darya Silchenko

Darya joined EUFIC in September 2023. She has a BA in Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University in the United States and an MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security from the University of Galway in Ireland. Before EUFIC, she worked at the Committee Linking Entrepreneurship, Agriculture and Development (COLEAD), where her passion for food systems expanded into exploring how SMEs and entrepreneurs contribute to food security, nutrition, fair trade and environment/climate-friendly agriculture and production processes. 

Prior to moving to Brussels, Darya was a research assistant at the University of Galway, where she worked on a project investigating the linkages between climate change, migration and social protection. 

Darya is passionate about solutions where growing and eating food can change the world for the better. 

Her hobbies include bouldering, spending time in nature, listening to music, cooking and practising yoga and meditation. 

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Florentin Ndizeye Collaborative Projects - Junior Manager
Florentin Ndizeye

Beer lover, sports enthusiast and unplayable in geography. Florentin joined EUFIC in September 2023 after working for Plan International Belgium for two years.

Despite possessing a Master's degree in International Politics, Florentin believes in the power of good nutrition and is motivated by helping people make better food choices while having fun.

In his spare time, he enjoys feeding his mind by listening to podcasts with interesting stories and people. He also enjoys shining on the dance floor, hiking in nature, and volunteering as a radio host for Ultrason.

"I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." – Michael Jordan.

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José Miguel Sánchez Zaballa Collaborative Projects - Intern
José Miguel Sánchez Zaballa

José Miguel joined EUFIC in September 2023 as a Scientifical Communication Intern.

Born and raised in Mexico but with Spanish heritage, he decided to move to Europe after graduating from high school to study Food Science and Technology at Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha.

During his studies, he was given the opportunity to go on an exchange year to Italy. There, he discovered his two major passions: multicultural exchanges and food, particularly olive oil, a product he considers the best representation of the Mediterranean cultures. This newly found passion led him to complete an olive oil-tasting class as well as an internship in an olive oil mill. Back in Spain, he had the opportunity to combine his passion for aromas and new food products in an experimental study on the use of blueberries in the aromatisation of partial- and totally deal-alcoholised wine.

At EUFIC, he looks forward to contributing to each publication with his analytical mind and scientific point of view to provide trustworthy information to consumers.

A bold foodie at heart, he´s always looking for new recipes. You are, therefore, most likely to hear him talk about food and drinks. Outside of the working hours, you might see him planning trips, reading books, and perhaps tasting wine or olive oil.

His favourite cuisine is Lebanese.

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Irene Marchiani Collaborative Projects - Intern
Irene Marchiani

I am deeply passionate about plant-based cuisine, feminism and embracing life through sustainable and compassionate lenses. My academic journey began with a BSc in Food Technology from the University of Florence and is continuing with an MSc in Food Technology at Wageningen University, specializing in Gastronomy Sciences. My focus revolves around the social and cultural dimensions of food. 

My dedication is to promote equitable and inclusive food systems, rooted in the belief that food has the potential to bring transformative change to individuals and society at large. Through my recent thesis, I delved into the influence of food practices on the sense of home and belonging among asylum seekers living in the Netherlands, a journey that allowed me to gain a more holistic and socially oriented perspective on food.

I highly value volunteer work, which I experienced through my three-year journey in Greenpeace and my involvement in the student association ESN Wageningen.  

Currently, I'm an intern at EUFIC in the area of science communication, driven by a desire to enrich my understanding of food systems further and gain valuable practical skills. 

"Live simply so that others may simply live." – Bell Hooks.  

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Cédric Sabellico Graphic Design - Intern
Cédric Sabellico

Cédric joined EUFIC in January 2024 as an intern. He obtained a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Techniques from the Haute Ecole en Hainaut, BE.

After a 3-months internship and working with a few clients as a graphic designer, Cédric is looking to get more experience in a devoted organisation such as EUFIC. He feels like it is the perfect opportunity to try out a different workspace while evolving as a designer but also as a person.

To him, design is a way to express creativity, and communicate but also help people. Since he was a kid, he always loved learning, which is why he decided to pursue graphic design.

When he's not listening to some music or designing, he's probably watching a movie at the cinema or playing with friends online.

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