Contact Dr Esther Garcia Cela

Areas of expertise

  • Food Safety
  • Food waste
  • Plants and microbes


Dr Garcia-Cela started working in the area of Applied Mycology research at Lleida University, Catalonia, Spain in 2010 who were a partner in a FP7 project MycoRed (KBBE-2007-2-5-05/222690). More recently, her work was supported by the Spanish Government (project AGL2010-22182-C04-04). 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 2012, during her PhD studies funded by Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaria i de Recerca (BE-DGR-2012), she had the opportunity to collaborate on a joint venture between Pioneer seeds and the Catholic University of Sacro Cuore of Piacenza, Italy, working in the group led by Prof. Paola Battilani. These studies were focused on the development of a biological control agent against Aspergillus flavus to minimise aflatoxin contamination of maize.

Subsequently, she also worked on another EU project, BASELINE, (Project 22738). There she gained significant experience in the management of risk issues applied to mycotoxin analyses, in particular in relation to the uncertainty of both sampling and analytical chemistry techniques. 

Current activities

At present, she involved in the development of real-time post-harvest environmental monitoring systems for post-harvest management of stored commodities under a Research Fellow in Applied Mycology. 

Dr Garcia-Cela has a strong background regarding ecophysiology of moulds and their management along the food chain as well as technical methods for mycotoxin detection and quantification.

She is currently developing work for the H2020 European project: MyToolBox: “Safe Food and Feed through an Integrated Toolbox for Mycotoxin Management”.

Her current key research/interest areas are:

  • Ecophysiology and molecular ecology approaches to better understand the functioning of mycotoxigenic fungi, with a current focus on fungal contaminants in cereals and peanuts
  • Understanding the role of CO2 production as an early indicator of fungal and pest spoilage on stored commodities as a potential tool for early detection and development of Decision Support Systems (DSS)
  • Dry matter losses due to fungal contamination in bulk stored commodities related to the EU legislative limits
  • Development of predictive microbiology models.

As part of the Applied Mycology Group, Dr. Garcia-Cela is also contributing to MSc and PhD student supervision and general laboratory management tasks.


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers