Contact Dr Carol Verheecke-Vaessen

Areas of expertise

  • Agrifood Systems
  • Food Quality
  • Food Safety


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.

Current activities

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


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