University of Hertfordshire

Dr Esther Garcia-Cela

Lecturer

Overview

Dr Esther Garcia-Cela obtained her PhD in Agricultural and Food Science and Technology in 2014 at Lleida University, Spain. She conducted her research work in two centres of excellence in Applied Mycology: The University of Lleida, Spain, under the supervision of Prof. Sonia Marin, and the Catholic University of Sacro Cuore of Piacenza, Italy, under the supervision of Prof. Paola Battilani. During this period, she gained an in-depth understanding of the management of risk issues applied to mycotoxin analyses, in particular to the uncertainty of both sampling and analytical chemistry techniques. Her research focused on the development of different strategies for mycotoxin reduction in food and feed chains, especially by using chemical and vegetable extracts as antifungal compounds. During these studies, both current climatic conditions and conditions predicted by the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) were considered. In Italy, she focused her work on the development of a biological control agent against Aspergillus flavus to minimize aflatoxin contamination of maize. She was appointed as a Research Fellow in Applied Mycology in the Applied Mycology group lead by Prof Naresh Magan at Cranfield University (UK) in 2016. During this time, she developed predictive microbiology models of mycotoxigenic fungi and created Decision Support Systems to improve the storability of key cereals and nuts and avoid spoilage and occurrence of mycotoxins

In 2019, Dr Garcia-Cela joined the University of Hertfordshire as a Lecturer in Applied Mycology, aiming to continue her research focusing on the development of high throughput techniques for studying the ecophysiology and toxin production of fungi during different developmental stages.

Research opportunity

I am interested in students who would like to complete there MSc by Research or PhD research in the applied Mycology area, especially related to (a) fungal identification, (b) food safety, (c) molecular ecology of mycotoxigenic fungi, (d) post-harvest Decision Support Systems for minimizing food spoilage, and (e) risk assessment. Students interested in working with Dr Garcia-Cela should contact her directly via email <e.garcia-cela@herts.ac.uk>. More information on postgraduate studies in Microbiology and Mycology at UH may be found here: https://www.herts.ac.uk/courses/masters-by-researchphd-microbiology

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