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

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.

Nimali Samarasinha Director Strategic Development
Nimali Samarasinha

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."

Marie Curie

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

Elodie Treillard Membership & funding - Area Lead
Elodie Treillard

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.”

Mark Twain

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

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

Dr Bettina Schelkle Project Management - Area Lead
Dr Bettina Schelkle

Bettina joined EUFIC in July 2018 with a background in infectious disease control and treatment gained during her PhD and post-doc experience at Cardiff University. She then worked in scientific project management in nutrition and food safety, combining her passion for a healthy lifestyle with her science background.

In her spare time, Bettina enjoys yoga (teaching), gardening in the sunshine and inspiring her fellow women to be the best version of themselves in a busy world.

 “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi

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

Christina Sadler Research - Area Lead
Christina Sadler

Using her eagle eye in editing, Christina manages EUFIC’s flagship Food Today publication, and coordinates other projects to translate nutrition and health science. She leads the outreach activities of EU projects MyNewGut and RICHFIELDS. Christina joined EUFIC in 2011, after experiences in dietetic practice with the NHS, nutrition policy at the UK’s Food Standards Agency and public affairs at Diabetes UK.

She has a First Class Honours degree in Nutrition from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, for which she was awarded the Farnsfield medal.

In her spare time, Christina runs half marathons, dances on ice, and plays the accordion.

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”


Davide Carrino Media & Corporate Communications - Area Lead
Davide Carrino

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.

Carlos Abundancia Public Engagement - 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.

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

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 Massri Research - 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

Virginie Maenhout Collaborative Projects - Manager
Virginie Maenhout

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-Christine Thurm Collaborative Projects - Manager
Marie-Christine Thurm

Marie joined the team in 2020 and is looking forward to work with the Communication team. She has a Master's degree in Communication and Information Sciences from Tilburg University and is always keen on finding a good story.

She has several years of experience in communicating about safety and health issues. In the past 5 years she worked in Brussels, first in the area of aviation, then Safety and Health at work. Back in Germany she also 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 making cookies.

“Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity.” – Jonathan Safran Foer

Carolina Vieira Content Production - Manager
Carolina Vieira

Carolina joined the EUFIC team as a Food and Health intern in March 2019. She is currently finishing her bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Sciences at 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 on 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 empowering people to make healthy eating choices.

In her spare time, she likes to disconnect from the online world and getting lost in breathtaking landscapes, reading paperback books or having good talks with friends.

“The value of things is not the time they last, but the intensity with which they occur. That is why there are unforgettable moments and unique people.” ― Fernando Pessoa

Astrid Vandromme Creative Content - Manager
Astrid Vandromme

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 Gaggiotti Project Management - Manager
Giulia Gaggiotti

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 Reipurth Research - Junior Manager
Malou Reipurth

Malou joins the Consumer Science team in September 2021 (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 a M.Sc. in Food Innovation 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’ right and ability to make consent choices. She is passionate about improving our food culture and make it more healthy, tasty, and sustainable altogether, and she hopes that she can contribute to this as part of the EUFIC team.

As a true foodie, Malou loves experimenting with new weird ingredients such as active coal and blue spirulina. Having recently become a first-time garden owner, she spends much of her weekend trying to grow her own foods and flowers.

Stephan Kampshoff Collaborative Projects - Junior 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

Rieke Sproten Collaborative Projects - Intern
Rieke Sproten

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

Birce Kocak Collaborative projects - Intern
Birce Kocak

Birce joined the EUFIC team as a Food and Health intern in August 2021. She holds a double major in nutrition and dietetics and psychology at the Yeditepe University, and is currently finishing her Master’s degree in Behavioral Sciences at the Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany.

Being a true fan of healthy living, she is passionate about healthy eating and underlying health behaviors of people with their diet choices. She is committed to be an advocate of bringing awareness on health, food and sustainability to people with the help of science and research. Within her growth journey at EUFIC, she is excited to spice her background up.

In her spare times, Birce likes to spend time dancing salsa, going to concerts with friends but also diving into the nature, doing yoga and watching movies on Sunday evenings.

“Science is the most reliable guide for civilization, for life, for success in the world. Searching a guide other than the science is meaning carelessness, ignorance and heresy.” M. K. Ataturk

Ana Campos Collaborative projects - Intern
Ana Campos

Ana joined EUFIC in September 2021 as an intern. She studied Nutrition and Food Sciences and she is currently completing her master’s degree in Consumer Sciences and Nutrition at the University of Porto, Portugal.

As a nutritionist that has already developed and presented scientific works on public health and food safety, and that has already given consultations to people in a clinical context, Ana can see that translating scientific information into easy understandable language is a big challenge, but most importantly: it is a big necessity, nowadays. She believes that by communicating science, we can empower people to become healthier.

Ana has lived in Portugal, Brazil and Italy. Besides her daily run, during her free time, she likes to meet her friends for dinner, and she enjoys watching classic films. She is also a huge fan of travelling, she loves to discover new places, try new foods and to take pictures of everything.

"Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic." - J.K. Rowling 

Susana Mittmann Collaborative projects - Intern
Susana Mittmann

Susana joined the EUFIC team as Food & Health intern in September 2021. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition & Home Economics in Hamburg, Germany, she spent several years gaining professional experience as nutrition expert in Germany, Spain and Costa Rica before going back to university.

Currently, she is finishing her Master of Science in Nutrition & Health at Wageningen University & Research in The Netherlands. She has great interest in the fundamental understanding of molecular processes of nutritional physiology but for nutritional advice she likes to zoom out to see the body as a whole. According to her understanding, health promotion needs to follow a holistic approach that includes healthy eating, regular exercise, and beneficial habits like daily movement. Additionally, she believes that healthy eating should co-exist with environmentally sustainable lifestyles to support our planet in the current climate crisis.

Above all, Susana is extra passionate about the art of visualizing and explaining complex knowledge making science understandable and graspable for everybody.

Her morning routine consisting of yoga and meditation motivates Susana to start her day in the right place allowing her to master every challenge that awaits. She likes to finish her day with some exercise, a tasty dinner with friends or doing some craft art.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

Annalisa Canova Public engagement - Intern
Annalisa Canova

Annalisa joined EUFIC as an intern in September 2020. She holds a Master degree in international relations. 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, Frencha and Spanish. She tries to be informed about what is happening around her, especially making the most of social media communication in our dynamic world.

She usually spends her spare time reading in cafés and parks, discovering museums and having lunch or aperitifs with her friends. She considers herself a “flâneuse”, always willing to have a stroll in cities, and a sunset lover, which she tries to capture in her photos and immortalize in her memory.       

Marija Grakalskiene Media & Corporate Communications - Intern
Marija Grakalskiene

Marija has joined EUFIC as a Communications intern in September 2021. She is currently in her final year pursuing a master’s degree in Communication and Information at the University of Amsterdam. She also holds a bachelor’s degree of English Philology from Vilnius University and can speak 4 other languages with varying fluency.

Contributing to EUFIC’s communications combines two of Marija’s passions – employing her creativity, and helping people. 

To wind down after a long day, Marija loves spending time with her family and friends, and going on walks in the forest. She also enjoys baking, biking, and Salsa dancing.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt” – William Shakespeare

Ana Jacheva Creative content - Intern
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.