Contact Dr Carol Verheecke
Areas of expertise
- Agrifood Systems
- Food Quality
- Food Safety
- Food waste
- Plants and microbes
Dr Verheecke-Vaessen has an MSc and PhD in food safety research and was awarded the best innovative PhD by the Federal University of Toulouse (France - 2015). Her previous industrial experience includes the development of Decision Support Systems for post-harvest management of stored cereals and liaison coordinator with food chain transformers. She joined the Applied Mycology group at Cranfield University in 2016.
Since she joined Cranfield University, Dr Verheecke-Vaessen is the reference point for molecular techniques (qPCR, RT-qPCR, Sequencing) and analytical chemistry (analysis of mycotoxins by HPLC, LC-MS/MS) for the Applied Mycology group. Her main ongoing research projects include "Oats for the future: deciphering potential of host resistance and RNAi to minimise mycotoxin contamination under present and future climate scenarios" funded by the BBSRC and "NutriNuts: Mitigation of aflatoxin occurrence in Ethiopian peanuts used in therapeutic food products to reduce malnutrition in Africa" funded by UKRI.
Dr Carol Verheecke-Vaessen has focused her research interests on deciphering the stimuli (abiotic or biotic) involved in the triggering of mycotoxins production to reduce the community exposure of these toxigenic compounds. Her research covers a while portfolio of activities from food contamination assessment to deciphering the fundamental mechanisms involved using state of the art molecular and analytical techniques.
She has more than 11 years of experience in this research topic.
Her current interest are:
- Developing holistic solutions from farm to fork to manage mycotoxin risk;
- Understanding dynamic abiotic and biotic factors impacting fungal growth and mycotoxin production within the Agrifood chain – including climate change scenario;
- Creating solutions for detection and prevention of fungal contaminants;
- Developing of Decision Support Systems to improve the storage of commodities susceptible to fungal spoilage;
- Developing bio-control agents in response to Agrifood challenges;
- Creating innovative solutions to transform food waste into profitable by-products.
She is currently involved in the Agrifood MSc suite of courses. She mainly lectures on the MSc in Food Systems & Management with a special focus on the Food Safety Quality Management and Certification where she manages the laboratories activities, gives lectures and more recently was responsible for the hybrid teaching conversion for a CoVid19 safe environment.
Her other tasks include supervision of PhD, MSc and visiting student projects.
UKRI, Industrial partners, charities
Articles In Journals
- Bouti K, Verheecke‐Vaessen C, Mokrane S, Meklat A, Djemouai N, Sabaou N, Mathieu F & Riba A (2020) Polyphasic characterization of Aspergillus section Flavi isolated from animal feeds in Algeria, Journal of Food Safety, 40 (February) Article No. e12743.
- Garcia-Cela E, Sanchez FG, Sulyok M, Verheecke-Vaessen C, Medina A, Kruska R & Magan N (2020) Carbon dioxide production as an indicator of Aspergillus flavus colonisation and aflatoxins/cyclopiazonic acid contamination in shelled peanuts stored under different interacting abiotic factors, Fungal Biology, 124 (January) 1-7.
- Verheecke‐Vaessen C, Monte J, Garcia‐Cela E, Magan N & Medina A (2020) Proof of concept: could snake venoms be a potential source of bioactive compounds for control of mould growth and mycotoxin production, Letters in Applied Microbiology, 71 (November 2020) 459-465.
- Abdelmohsen S, Verheecke-Vaessen C, Garcia-Cela E, Medina A & Magan N (2020) Dynamics of solute/matric stress interactions with climate change abiotic factors on growth, gene expression and ochratoxin A production by Penicillium verrucosum on a wheat-based matrix, Fungal Biology, Available online 16 October 2020 (1).
- Portell X, Verheecke-Vaessen C, Torrelles-Ràfales R, Medina A, Otten W, Magan N & García-Cela E (2020) Three-dimensional study of F. graminearum colonisation of stored wheat: post-harvest growth patterns, dry matter losses and mycotoxin contamination, Microorganisms, 8 (8) Article No. 1170. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranfield.rd.12771347
- Abdelmohsen S, Verheecke-Vaessen C, Garcia-Cela E, Medina A & Magan N (2020) Solute and matric potential stress on Penicillium verrucosum: impact on growth, gene expression and ochratoxin A production, World Mycotoxin Journal, 13 (3) 345-353.
- Garcia-Cela E, Verheecke-Vaessen C, Gutierrez-Pozo M, Kiaitsi E, Marcon-Gasperini A, Magan N & Medina A (2020) Unveiling the effect of interacting forecasted abiotic factors on growth and Aflatoxin B1 production kinetics by Aspergillus flavus, Fungal Biology, Available online 30 May 2020.
- Isidro‐Sánchez J, Cusack KD, Verheecke‐Vaessen C, Kahla A, Bekele W, Doohan F, Magan N & Medina A (2020) Genome‐wide association mapping of Fusarium langsethiae infection and mycotoxin accumulation in oat (Avena sativa L.), Plant Genome, The, 13 (2) Article No. e20023.
- Prabhu AA, Thomas DJ, Ledesma-Amaro R, Leeke GA, Medina A, Verheecke-Vaessen C, Coulon F, Agrawal D & Kumar V (2020) Biovalorisation of crude glycerol and xylose into xylitol by oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica, Microbial Cell Factories, 19 (1) Article No. 121.
- Marcon Gasperini A, Rodrigues-Sixtos A, Verheecke-Vaessen C, Garcia-Cela E, Medina A & Magan N (2019) Resilience of biocontrol for aflatoxin minimisation strategies: climate change abiotic factors may affect control in non-GM and GM-maize cultivars, Frontiers in Microbiology, 10 (November) Article No. 2525.
- Verheecke-Vaessen C, Diez-Gutierrez L, Renaud J, Sumarah M, Medina A & Magan N (2019) Interacting climate change environmental factors effects on Fusarium langsethiae growth, expression of Tri genes and T-2/HT-2 mycotoxin production on oat-based media and in stored oats, Fungal Biology, 123 (8) 618-624. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranﬁeld.rd.8298053
- Cervini C, Verheecke-Vaessen C, Ferrara M, García-Celac E, Magistà D, Medina A, Gallo A, Magan N & Perrone G (2019) Interacting climate change factors (CO2 and temperature cycles) effects on growth, secondary metabolite gene expression and phenotypic ochratoxin A production by Aspergillus carbonarius strains on a grape-based matrix, Fungal Biology, Available online 12 November 2019.
- Garcia-Cela E, Verheecke-Vaessen C, Magan N & Medina A (2018) The``-omics’’contributions to the understanding of mycotoxin production under diverse environmental conditions, Current Opinion in Food Science, 23 (October) 97-104.
- Zebiri S, Mokrane S, Verheecke-Vaessen C, Choque E, Reghioui H, Sabaou N, Mathieu F & Riba A (2018) Occurrence of ochratoxin A in Algerian wheat and its milling derivatives, Toxin Reviews, In press (3).
- Lahoum A, Verheecke-Vaessen C, Bouras N, Sabaou N & Mathieu F (2017) Taxonomy of mycelial actinobacteria isolated from Saharan soils and their efficiency to reduce aflatoxin B1 content in a solid-based medium, Annals of Microbiology, 67 (3) 231-237.
- El Khour R, Atoui A, Verheecke C, Maroun R, El Khoury A & Mathieu F (2016) Essential oils modulate gene expression and ochratoxin a production in Aspergillus carbonarius, Toxins, 8 (8) Article No. 242.
- Lahoum A, Aouiche A, Bouras N, Verheecke C, Klenk H, Sabaou N & Mathieu F (2016) Antifungal activity of a Saharan strain of Actinomadura sp. ACD1 against toxigenic fungi and other pathogenic microorganisms, Journal de Mycologie Médicale, 26 (3) 193-200.
- Lahoum A, Bouras N, Verheecke C, Mathieu F, Schumann P, Spröer C, Klenk H & Sabaou N (2016) Actinomadura adrarensis sp. nov., an actinobacterium isolated from saharan soil, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 66 (7) 2724-2729.
- Verheecke C, Liboz T & Mathieu F (2016) Microbial degradation of aflatoxin B1: Current status and future advances, International Journal of Food Microbiology, 237 1-9.
- Mokrane S, Bouras N, Meklat A, Lahoum A, Zitouni A, Verheecke C, Mathieu F, Schumann P, Spröer C, Sabaou N & Klenk H (2016) Thermoactinomyces khenchelensis sp. nov., a filamentous bacterium isolated from soil sediment of a terrestrial hot spring, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, 109 (2) 311-317.
- Aït Mimoune N, Riba A, Verheecke C, Mathieu F & Sabaou N (2016) Fungal contamination and mycotoxin production by Aspergillus spp. isolated from dried fruits and sesame seeds, Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Food Sciences, 5 (4) 301-305.
- Yekkour A, Toumatia O, Meklat A, Verheecke C, Sabaou N, Zitouni A & Mathieu F (2015) Deoxynivalenol-producing ability of Fusarium culmorum strains and their impact on infecting barley in Algeria, World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, 31 (6) 875-881.
- Verheecke C, Liboz T, Anson P, Diaz R & Mathieu F (2015) Reduction of aflatoxin production by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus in interaction with streptomyces, Microbiology, 161 967-972.
- Verheecke C, Liboz T, Anson P, Zhu Y & Mathieu F (2015) Streptomyces–Aspergillus flavus interactions: impact on aflatoxin B accumulation, Food Additives and Contaminants: Part A: Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment, 32 (4) 572-576.
- Verheecke C, Liboz T, Darriet M, Sabaou N & Mathieu F (2014) In vitro interaction of actinomycetes isolates with Aspergillus flavus: Impact on aflatoxins B1 and B2 production, Letters in Applied Microbiology, 58 (6) 597-603.