Das 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 Outreach - 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 - Senior 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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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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Sofia Mendes Collaborative Projects - Manager
Sofia Mendes

Sofia has a Bachelor's degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Porto and a Master's in Public Health from the University of NOVA of Lisbon, Portugal. Her academic background and work practice have cultivated her ambition to support citizens to live healthier and more sustainable lives, with research and communication on food and health as core allies. This ambition, together with her curiosity and interest in collaborating with professionals from diverse disciplines and contact with different realities, contributed to her decision to move from Portugal to Belgium. In Portugal, Sofia worked on the implementation of several projects aiming to promote good nutrition, and healthy lifestyles and prevent NCDs. By fostering a positive relationship with food and acknowledging its powerful role not only in health, but also in society, culture and environment, Sofia believes that connecting citizens to science is key to promoting structural changes that contribute to better decisions, healthier lives and the planet.

In her spare time, Sofia is most likely outdoors exploring new places, walking or cycling, not intimidated by the often rainy and grey weather in Belgium. She also enjoys watching cooking series, and experimenting with new recipes and restaurants. Sofia speaks Portuguese, and English and is currently learning Dutch.

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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 Content & Engagement - 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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Rhodi Ramsay Outreach - Junior Manager
Rhodi Ramsay

As a lover of food and communication, I am happy to be able to combine both at EUFIC! I hope to put my Journalism degree to good use as I am motivated to inform and improve people’s food literacy, as well as my own! I believe information is a powerful source for good when it is open and accessible to all.

In my spare time, I try to mountain bike into the relatively flat Belgian forests and then not to disturb the neighbours too much with my saxophone playing.

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Carmen Scioti Outreach - Junior Manager
Carmen Scioti

Carmen holds a master in Environment and Development from the University of Copenhagen. After spending three and a half year in the Scandinavian context, she collected experiences in several NGO and private businesses. Her next adventure brought here to the European Commission, working on the ‘European Sustainable Energy Week’ as community manager. Her area of expertise are food systems, youth engagement and communication. She hopes with her job to help people to get more connected to nature through food. Carmen enjoys gardening, baking bread and knitting.

‘The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.’ - Henry David Thoreau

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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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Dina Levinson Collaborative Projects - Junior Manager
Dina Levinson

Dina joined EUFIC in April 2024 with an interdisciplinary background studying in Germany and Austria. She holds a BA in Media- and Cultural Science and an MA in International Health and Social Management. Previously, she worked as a trainee at the European Parliament and is experienced in the healthcare sphere and in managing EU-funded projects through working for several medical practices, the Allianz and a health management NGO.

She is particularly interested in the connection between nutrition and mental health, an area she extensively researched during her Master's degree.

In her free time, she enjoys running and playing the piano and guitar. 

Growing up bilingually with Russian and German, she is fluent in English and Spanish and has a good command of French.

“It is health that is real wealth, not pieces of gold and silver” - Mahatma Gandhi

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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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Teona Tortladze Collaborative Projects - Intern
Teona Tortladze

Born and raised in the lovely vibes of Tbilisi, Georgia, she decided to take a leap to Italy after earning a Public Health degree from Tbilisi State Medical University. Now, she's on this whimsical journey, diving into the fascinating world of Food and Health at the University of Padova.

Speaking of food, she has a soft spot for both the bold flavours of Georgia and the exquisite taste of Italy. It's like a tasty love affair between two cultures, and she is the matchmaker.

When she is not busy making the world a better place, you will catch her hanging out with her friends, sharing laughs, and taking leisurely strolls with her furry friend. She is a certified animal lover!

With dreams as big as her heart, she is on a mission to grow professionally and leave her mark on the world. So, here is to her journey – a sprinkle of kindness, a dash of passion, and a whole lot of love. She is ready to make the world a friendlier, healthier and more sustainable place for us all!

"You must be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

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Leona Skracic Collaborative Projects - Intern
Leona Skracic

Leona joined the EUFIC's team as an EU Collaborative intern in March 2024.

She obtained her Master's degree in Nutrition Science from the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology at the University of Zagreb. Thanks to the support of her mentors, Leona is currently working on writing a scientific study based on her master's thesis in order further to explore the intriguing link between dietary diversity and migraine.

Along with that, she is working a nutritionist at Nutrivision centre where she collaborates with different clients guiding them towards better dietary and lifestyle habits while helping them achieve their goals.

In her spare time, Leona finds joy in running, listening to podcasts and creating inspiring fitness and diet content for her social media account Volim Nutritivno.

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Esra Akad Collaborative Projects - Intern
Esra Akad

Esra holds a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Türkiye. She is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Global Food, Nutrition, and Health at the University of Bayreuth in Germany. While studying, she volunteered at NGOs that concentrated on protecting the environment. Esra is a senior education anchor at the European Network of Dietetic Students (ENDietS) and is responsible for organising webinars.

She is interested in sustainable food, plant-based diets and food politics. As part of a multi-country study, she conducted her master's thesis on the impact of front-of-package nutrition labelling on Turkish consumers. In her spare time, she likes to do yoga, listen to music, watch series, ride her bike and play guitar. She also actively learns German and Italian and enjoys reading books by Haruki Murakami.

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Kevin Lela Operations - Intern
Kevin Lela

Kevin joined the team in February 2024 and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics at the VUB, Belgium.

Since September 2023, he has also been an undergraduate teaching assistant for the Faculty of Economics at his uni and a member of several student associations. Among others, he’s very passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation; however, when he’s not working or studying, you’ll most likely find him re-reading Camus, watching Jannik Sinner play or taking a nice stroll.

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