Meet the team
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"
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.”
Nimali leads EUFIC’s communications team and activities, covering corporate, external and internal communications.
She joined the team in December 2018, bringing over a decade of strategic communications experience with her, as well as a true passion for changing the world through words.
In her previous role at European Climate Foundation in Brussels, she directed the European arm of a global network of communications experts who work to strengthen the public discourse on climate change and its solutions, and acted as a strategic communications advisor to the wider European climate action community.
She holds a Master’s Degree (Distinctions) in International Business Management from the University of West London and a Bachelor’s Degree (Honours) in International Tourism and Travel Management from the University of Brighton.
When away from her desk, you’ll likely find her out in the green discovering nature with her family, experimenting with Sri Lankan spices or playing music with her friends.
"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."
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.”
Fundraiser at heart, Elodie joined EUFIC in 2020 to focus on the fundraising and development activities.
She brings over a decade of designing and implementing fundraising strategies for the higher education, research and health sectors in several European countries as well as a genuine passion for philanthropy.
She holds a Master’s Degree in European Studies and Competitive Intelligence from the University of Strasbourg (ITI-RI) and Universidad de Deusto and a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Languages and International Business from the Catholic University of Lille and the Munich Ludwig Maximilian Universität.
In her spare time, she likes travelling, playing tennis and trawling flea markets hunting out antiques. She also enjoys trying out new recipes with friends and family.
“They did not know it was impossible, so they did it.”
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.”
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
Bettina joined EUFIC in July 2018 with experience in scientific project management, public funding (mainly EU research and innovation projects) and communication and stakeholder engagement in the food sciences. Her specific interests are to bring together actors at the science-policy interface for better food systems and engaging with people from all walks of life on why the science behind food matters to them, personally and professionally, and to us as a community living on a planet with limited resources. Bettina has a background in infectious disease control and treatment gained during her PhD and post-doc experience at Cardiff University.
In her spare time, Bettina enjoys yoga (teaching), gardening in the sunshine and reading about a wide range of social justice issues, leadership and coaching approaches.
“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort.” ― Brené Brown
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
Christina joined EUFIC in 2011, starting as an intern, after obtaining a First Class Honours degree in Nutrition from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen (UK). Since then, she has led various projects, communicating and disseminating complex science on diverse topics related to food and health. She brings an 'eagle eye' for editing and publishing, and an empathetic heart to her work.
Christina is a PhD candidate leading research on understanding the conceptualisation of processed foods, in collaboration with the University of Surrey.
In her spare time, Christina enjoys nature, being active and creative, trying different cuisines, and spending time with friends and family.
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
Davide joined EUFIC in January 2018 to focus on media, corporate communications and the overall EUFIC engagement strategy, dealing with a series of EU projects communication. Davide brings several years of experience as public affairs and communication consultant on food, health and consumers issues in Brussels.
He holds a post-graduate master in European Interdisciplinary Studies from the College of Europe, and a master in Political Communication from the University of Florence.
In his spare time, he enjoys running after a (tennis and football) ball, learning new languages, cooking and eating.
Nazim Hikmet Ran says "the most beautiful sea hasn't been crossed yet": I think of science as the best waves we haven't seen yet.
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.
Vito is an Italian national who in addition to his mother tongue speaks English and French. He is a jurist and certified Privacy and Data Protection professional. He spent the last three years between France and Belgium, working for several EU Institutions and specializing in Privacy & Data Protection legal field. He is looking forward to helping EUFIC comply with GDPR and other legal matters.
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
Virginie joined the team as a Food and Health intern in September 2018. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from UCLL Leuven and has completed a Master of Science in Health Promotion at Ghent University. She is passionate about advocating relevant health-related topics to empower people to make healthy choices. Much like the Eufic spirit, she enjoys finding creative solutions to complex problems.
With enthusiasm, she fully emerges into both major issues such as children’s food habits as well as niche topics such as edible flowers. She sees herself as a bridge builder between scientific content and people’s everyday life. Through previous eye-opening experiences, she discovered that grasping the full living environment of people is crucial in developing successful interventions.
In her spare time, Virginie likes to go on mini adventures, discovering arty neighbourhoods in new cities, picking out fresh flowers, watching documentaries, and eating cheesecake.
“Extremes are easy. Strive for balance.”– Colin Wright
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.
Carolina joined the EUFIC in March 2019. She is a Registered Nutritionist and holds a bachelor degree in Nutritional Sciences from the Instituto Universitário Egas Moniz in Portugal.
As the emerging science surrounding nutritional sciences is turning consumers more interested in what they eat, Carolina recognizes the important role of health professionals in presenting accurate and easily understandable nutrition information to improve dietary habits. With a background in Design & Multimedia, she found EUFIC to be the perfect opportunity to merge her two passions by combining nutrition knowledge with astute communication. Her mission? To restrict misinformation about nutrition and empower people to make healthy eating choices.
In her spare time, she likes to disconnect from the online world and get lost in breathtaking landscapes, read paperback books or have good talks with friends.
Astrid joined EUFIC in February 2019. She holds a master in Visual and graphic communication from the ARTS² Academy of Arts in Mons. Her love for design and food motivates her to find new and beautiful ways to communicate food-related information and make it accessible for everyone.
In her spare time, you'll find her experimenting with recipes, trying new food with her family and friends, looking for the next place to travel to or drawing for her Instagram.
"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." ― Lewis Carroll
Giulia joined EUFIC in March 2019 and is involved in the dissemination activities for EU and EIT Food projects. She holds a Master's degree in Conference Interpreting and a MSc in Management from VUB (Brussels).
Giulia can’t remember a time when she wasn’t curious about food and nutrition. Being part of the diverse and inspiring EUFIC team is a golden opportunity to keep learning and enable others to make healthier choices. Fascinated by nutrition-related behaviour and a firm believer in self-motivation, she is willing to show that everyone has the power to make food an ally for life.
When she is not at her desk you can find her on a yoga mat, catching up with friends and trying her best to blend in with the humans of Brussels.
“The most authentic expression of love is: did you eat?" ― Elsa Morante
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
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
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
Rieke joined the EUFIC team as a Food and Health intern in March 2021. She studied nutrition and food science at the University of Bonn and is currently finishing her Master’s degree in Food Systems at the University of Hohenheim in Germany. Whilst a true fan of science and research, she is also a convinced advocate of the essential role of knowledge mediators. Constantly striving to pass on values such as wellbeing, health and environmental awareness to those around her, she is committed to improving our food systems by helping people adopt healthy and sustainable diets. She likes to take advantage of opportunities wherever she can and is excited to embark on a journey of many learnings at EUFIC.
Rieke is fluent in five languages and has lived in exotic countries such as Costa Rica, Chile and Japan. She spends a great deal of her time on personal development, but you can also find her on her yoga mat, cooking dinner with friends or brewing flamboyant specialty coffees.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” ― Pablo Picasso
Annalisa joined EUFIC as an intern in September 2020. She holds a Bachelor degree in interpretation and translation and a Master degree in international relations and human rights. She loves travelling and getting to know people from all over the world, with their interesting and unique traditions. Discovering a culture also means trying its typical cuisine and food, and this makes her travels even more enriching.
She is passionate about foreign languages and speaks fluent Italian, English, French and Spanish. She tries to be informed about what's happening around her, especially making the most of social media communication in our dynamic world, and is passionate about sustainability and plant-based diets.
She usually spends her spare time reading in cafés and parks, discovering museums and having brunch or aperitifs with her friends.
'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.
Nora joined the EUFIC team in March 2021 as a Collaborative Project Intern. She graduated in a Human Nutrition and Dietetics Bachelor in the University of Barcelona and then decided to redirect the attention of her studies towards public health. She is currently enrolled in a Public Health Master in the University of Porto and conducting her thesis focused on the impact salt has on our health.
She is very passionate on making a healthy and sustainable diet as accessible and easy as possible. And although she truly believes on the power of science, according to her, science is pointless if the knowledge gained is not understandable for the main population. She is of the opinion that it is our responsibility to translate this information and make it available for everybody. Furthermore, she thinks that for nutrition policies to be efficient they must consider the cultural and gastronomical dimensions, which are often unacknowledged.
Aligned with her passion for nutrition, she loves to cook and share meals with friends and family. To take care of her mental and physical health, she likes to keep a morning that consists of: yoga flow, meditation, making the bed, planning the day ahead, setting positive affirmations and having a wholesome breakfast.
To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. - Buddha
Yazú studied Food Science at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, driven by the desire to tackle misinformation around food, which is reflected in people's diets and lifestyles. During her studies, her proactivity and desire to learn and accept challenges led her to participate in national and international projects focused on the transmission of knowledge in food science, food safety and quality, as well as agricultural development.
She is currently finishing a Master’s degree in Food Science and Agribusiness, developed in France, Italy, Romania and Greece, combining her passion for science, her desire to improve our food systems and the power of communication, where she believes, the access to truthful information and the possibility to understand it, is vital for anyone.
In her free time you can find her playing sports or planning her next adventure. Traveling and getting to know new places, cultures and food fascinates her, as well as a good conversation and sharing her experiences.
I have a bachelor degree in International Markets and Financial Economics, but I have always been fascinated by anything, from languages to chemistry. In particular, environmental topics, sociology and communication became a growing interest.
Four things I love doing are spending time with my friends, hiking, singing and eating sweets.
I would like to improve in photography, dancing and in learning new languages. And too many other things…
"Live fully, Love all, Laugh lots"
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