How do you contribute to SAFOSO? Describe your role at SAFOSO.
Performing risk assessments of plant protection products to public health is the center of my work. Plant protection products cannot be placed on the market without prior authorization and thus go through a rigorous examination first. This is where my role comes into play. I investigate the possible scenarios and potential risks in which a human can either actively come into contact or passively be exposed to plant protection products in everyday life. Alongside other team members of regulatory toxicologists at the Swiss Federal Office for Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs (FSVO), we ensure that these human health hazards are labelled as such and accounted for.
Besides my work in the field of plant protection products, I support various projects within SAFOSO. Due to my work on different projects, I gained exposure to a wide range of topics. My background as a plant biologist and my special interest in statistics and sustainability help me in my work. Until now, this included accomplishing statistical analyses for dairy cattle diseases or supporting my colleagues in gathering information to provide insights and recommendations for other businesses and organizations.
What are you currently working on?
When I am not conducting assessments for plant protection products, I dive into various SAFOSO projects. Here, I am currently working on the analysis for a project on the border risk management of the Western Balkans. Also, at present, I am helping with the statistical analysis of a study about Paratuberculosis in dairy cattle.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges in animal health?
Disease monitoring for animal health on a global scale presents multifaceted challenges, compounded by sustainability concerns. With varying resources and infrastructure across countries, coordinating surveillance efforts poses a great challenge. By quickly detecting and addressing disease outbreaks in animals, we could prevent the spread of diseases that jump to humans. This would not only safeguard public health but also reduce the need for resource-intensive interventions in the future.
What inspires you to come to work every day?
Knowing that I’m doing something relevant to every citizen’s daily life is my biggest inspiration. Plant protection residues permeate our surroundings. It is reassuring to be part of the effort to mitigate their impact and play a role in preserving the well-being of our world.
What skills are critical for success in your role?
Being able to grasp new concepts quickly and putting them in a larger context is one of the critical skills. It is crucial to be able to learn and grow very efficiently and effectively. I am a person who is very interested in diving right into the matter at hand. A second critical skill, of no lesser importance than the first one, is being a team player. This entails good communication skills and ensures that the work is getting done competently.
What has been a highlight in your work for SAFOSO?
The people and the wide range of projects. I enjoy challenges in interdisciplinary fields and directly applying what I’ve learned. I appreciate the great work atmosphere at both SAFOSO and the FSVO, where I not only receive excellent guidance but also can share my own expertise and knowledge that I bring with me.
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