Invited Speakers

Note: Speakers are listed in alphabetical order by their last names in ascending order.

Federica Camin
Researcher at Fondazione Edmund Mach, Trentino, Italy

Talk title: Traceability and authentication of premium products using stable isotope ratios analysis

Federica Camin has a PhD in Agricultural Science and Biotechnology. Since 1998 she has been working as a researcher at Fondazione Edmund Mach, where she is currently the head of the ‘Stable Isotope and Traceability’ unit. Her main areas of research concern the application of stable isotope ratio analysis of bio-elements to food, aimed at characterising geographical origin and controlling and protecting quality and authenticity. Federica has been involved in several projects funded by European agencies (currently the FOOD INTEGRITY FP7 and the MASSTWIN H2020) and by national, regional and private agencies. She is the scientific coordinator of the Stable Isotope Italian Group and she has participated as national expert to several technical commissions (European Commission, International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), International Olive Council (COI), Joint Research Centre (JRC)). Recently she has been appointed as overseas guest professor by China National Research Institute of Food and Fermentation Industries (Beijing) and as Distinguish Professor and International Supervisor by the Institute of Food Science and Technology Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (Beijing).

Adrian Covaci
Professor of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Toxicological Centre) at the University of Antwerp, Belgium

Talk title: “A Bug Lunch” – Evaluating the chemical safety of edible insects

Adrian Covaci is professor of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Toxicological Centre) at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. He obtained his PhD in 2002 and further had a post-doc fellowship from the Flanders Fund for Scientific Research (FWO) until 2009. In 2007, he joined the regular academic staff of the University of Antwerp as senior lecturer and became full professor in 2012. He has been involved in the Toxicological Centre since 1997. His research interests focus on the analytical, environmental, biomonitoring aspects and risk assessment of emerging organic contaminants, elucidation of exposure pathways to humans for organic contaminants, estimation of fate, occurrence, and consumption of illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals via wastewater analysis. He is Associate Editor of Science of the Total Environment and Editor-in-chief of Environment International.

Tome Eftimov
Postdoctoral Researcher Fellow at the Centre for Population Health Sciences, Stanford University, USA

Talk title: Food and nutrition data management and knowledge discovery

Tome Eftimov is a Postdoctoral Researcher Fellow at the Centre for Population Health Sciences, Stanford University, USA. He was awarded his PhD degree from the Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School, Ljubljana, Slovenia In 2018. During his PhD studies, he received a scholarship from the project “Era-Chair ISO-FOOD”. His main areas of research include statistics, heuristic optimization, natural language processing, machine learning, and semantic web. Specific topics of research include information extraction of food- and nutrition-related concepts from textual data, food matching, and knowledge management for food- and nutrition-related data.

Gerald A. Herrmann
Director, Organic Services GmbH, Germany

Talk title: A non-analytical solution to supply chain integrity countering fraud

Gerald A. Herrmann, an agricultural engineer, has pioneered the organic sector since the 1980ies. He is a worldwide renowned specialist and organic industry expert and speaker. Gerald spent about two decades shaping Naturland e.V., an international farmers’ association and private organic certifier, as farm consultant, its President and Executive Director. He served voluntarily in different capacities at IFOAM – Organics International, including as its President. Today he is a partner and director of Organic Services GmbH, an international strategy- and management consultancy, specializing in the organic (food) sector, sustainability and development matters. Organic Services is an internationally renowned expert for software-based audit and traceability management systems, including solutions »Check X/ Check Organic«, the platform to combat fraud in commodity supply chains, »Group Integrity«, for the administration of (internal) control systems for smallholder groups, companies with contract production and »Ecert Basic« for the management of certification processes of local certifiers.

Simon Kelly
Food Safety Specialist at the Seibersdorf Food and Environmental Protection laboratory, Austria

Talk title: A new rapid method for stable isotope analysis of non-exchangeable hydrogen to detect undeclared addition of sugar and sugar syrups to food

Simon Kelly gained his degree in Chemistry from Anglia Polytechnic in 1992 and completed PhD at University of East Anglia, Norwich School of Environmental Sciences in 2002. At the moment he is a Food Safety Specialist for traceability at the FAO/IAEA Joint Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture in the Seibersdorf Food and Environmental Protection laboratory in Austria. Simon has been involved in food authenticity research for over 20 years and has previously held positions at the Institute of Food Research (Norwich, UK) and the Food and Environment Research Agency (York, UK). His current research interests include developing field-deployable methods for rapid screening of food adulteration, improving accessibility to isotopic methods for developing countries and investigating position-specific isotope ratios measured by mass spectrometry to improve food authentication methods.

Nives Kovač
Senior Scientific Associate at the Marine Biological Station Piran, Slovenia

Talk title: A scientific view of the Sečovlje Salina

Assoc. Prof. Nives Kovač is Senior Scientific Associate at the Marine Biological Station Piran i.e. department of National Institute of Biology (Slovenia). She has a B.Sc. in Biology and chemistry and a M.Sc. degree and Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of Ljubljana. Her professional skills and experience (more than 25 years) in the field of basic and applied marine research involve different topics such as: cycling, composition and transformation of organic matter, pollution of coastal waters and study of biogeochemical processes in hypersaline environments. She is also employed at the Faculty of Education (University of Primorska).

Katrin Löschner
Senior Researcher in the National Food Institute of the Technical University in Denmark (DTU)

Talk title: Nanoparticles in food – an overview

Katrin Löschner is a material scientist and currently holds a position as Senior Researcher in the National Food Institute of the Technical University in Denmark (DTU). Her main research interests are in the area of detection and characterization of nanoparticles in food and biological matrices. She is currently leading the work package “Sample preparation” of the FP7 project NanoDefine (“Development of an integrated approach based on validated and standardized methods to support the implementation of the EC recommendation for a definition of nanomaterials”).

Nataša Poklar Ulrih
Professor of biochemistry at the University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Talk title: Proliposomal encapsulation of resveratrol

Nataša Poklar Ulrih is a full professor of biochemistry at University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Food Science and Technology. She is a vice-dean of Science and Research at Biotechnical Faculty. She is the coordinator of the research program P4-0121 “Biochemical and biophysical chemical characterization of the natural compounds”. As a post-doctoral fellow, she worked at The Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, as a visiting professor at University of Toronto (Canada) and University of California Santa Cruz (as Fulbright fellow). She has been successfully coordinating many national and international projects. Her research interests are interactions of small molecule’s with biological macromolecules, polyphenols and other natural compounds, and the new technologies (nano based) for encapsulation and stabilization of small molecules and plant extracts. She has published more than 130 peer review articles, two patents and two patent applications

Nives Ogrinc
Deputy Head of the Department and Head of the Organic Biogeochemistry, Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Talk title: Compound specific isotope analysis in food authenticity

Nives Ogrinc received her PhD degree from the same faculty in 1997. She performed her PhD studies at the Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana in the field of ecology using a stable isotopes approach to study carbonate system in different aquatic environments. Nives obtained a NATO-postdoctoral fellowship from 2000-2002 in the Department of Chemistry at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. This fellowship offered her possibilities to be involved in a larger research project on mercury (Hg) cycling in Canada (METAALICUS) using stable isotopes of Hg. Now, she works in the Department of Environmental Sciences as the Deputy Head of the Department and Head of the Organic Biogeochemistry group. She is also a professor at the Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School and a visiting professor in Earth Science at University of Parma, Italy. Recently she applied Compound Specific Isotope Analysis in environmental and food studies. In food studies this method was used to trace the sources, origin and authenticity of various foodstuff. She has published more than 144 peer-review papers, 13 book chapters and coordinated national and international projects and organized several workshops and conferences/ symposiums. Her h index is 29 according to scopus. In addition, she is a member of the Editorial board of the Journal of Soils and Sediments and a member of the expert group on Food Quality and Safety in the framework of the European Technology Platform ‘Food for Life’.

Arndt Schimmelmann
Senior Scientist at the Indiana University, Department of Geological Sciences, USA

Talk title: Development of honey, vegetable oil, flour, and collagen stable isotope reference materials

Arndt Schimmelmann received his M.Sc. Chemistry, from the University of Braunschweig, Federal Republic of Germany 1979 and Ph.D. in Geochemistry, University of California in Los Angeles, USA in 1985. His scientific positions include Postdoc, 1985-1988, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and then between 1988-1993, as a specialist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography before becoming a Senior Scientist at the Indiana University, Department of Geological Sciences. His current research activities include the development and distribution of compound specific hydrogen and carbon stable isotope reference materials that are being used by more than 150 laboratories worldwide, including the U.S. and Canadian customs agencies, Olympic and forensic drug testing laboratories, major oil companies, and environmental laboratories. Further his research projects focused into shale gas, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, paleoclimatology of laminated sediments, radon isotopes in soil-built dwellings in developing countries, subterranean methanotrophic consumption of atmospheric methane.

Joanna Szpunar
National Research Council of France (CNRS)

Talk title: Mass spectrometry techniques for the speciation and isotopic composition of selenium in food

Joanna Szpunar graduated from the Warsaw University of Technology in 1986 and obtained her PhD (1992) and DSc. (habilitation) (2000) from at the University of Warsaw. Since 1997, she works at the National Research Council of France (CNRS). In 2007 she obtained the title of professor of chemistry (Poland). Her research interests concern bioinorganic speciation analysis and hyphenated techniques for metallomics. She was the chairperson of the Winter Conference on Plasma Spectrochemistry in 2013. Joanna Szpunar is the laureate of the 2017 European Award for Plasma Spectrochemistry.

Frank Vanhaecke
Senior Full Professor in Analytical Chemistry at Ghent University, Belgium

Talk title: Acquiring enhanced insight into the sources of marine Hg pollution, the associated risks and in vivo Hg metabolism via high-precision Hg isotopic analysis with CVG-MC-ICP-MS

Frank Vanhaecke received a PhD from Ghent University (Belgium) in 1992. He carried out postdoctoral research at Ghent University (with Luc Moens) and at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany (with Klaus G. Heumann). Currently, he is Senior Full Professor in Analytical Chemistry at Ghent University, where he leads the ‘Atomic & Mass Spectrometry – A&MS’ research group that is specialized in the determination, speciation, and isotopic analysis of (trace) elements via ICP-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). His group studies fundamentally oriented aspects of the technique and develops methods for solving challenging scientific problems in an interdisciplinary context. Specific topics of research include the direct bulk and spatially resolved analysis of solid materials by means of laser ablation (LA) – ICP-MS, the development of speciation strategies based on HPLC-ICP-MS for ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of pharmaceutical drugs) studies and isotopic analysis using multi-collector ICP-MS. At the 2011 Winter Conference on Plasma Spectrochemistry, Frank received a ‘European Plasma Spectrochemistry Award’. In 2013, he was designated ‘Fellow of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy – SAS’. In 2017, he received the Lester Strock Award from SAS.

Urška Vrhovšek
Head of the Metabolomic Unit, Edmund Mach Foundation, Trentino, Italy

Talk title: Foodomics: a milestone in food and nutritional studies

Urška Vrhovšek currently leads the metabolomic unit (20 persons) at Edmund Mach Foundation which is a core technology necessary to perform competitive studies in the fields of functional genomics and nutrigenomics. Her scientific fields of work are food chemistry and human nutrition. She is especially interested in study of food composition especially berries, apples, grape and wine. The second part of her research activity is devoted to the studies of the mechanistic approaches of polyphenols absorption in different models, cell cultures, rats and humans. Her current primary scientific interest is metabolomics.