Our People

Science Leadership Team

Craig Billington
Science Leader in the Food, Water and Biowaste Group, ESR (+)

Craig Billington is a Science Leader in the Food, Water and Biowaste Group at the Institute for Environmental Science and Research (ESR), Christchurch, New Zealand. He has more than 19-year’s research experience in food safety and quality. The focus of his research has been the use of biocontrol strategies, particularly bacteriophages, for the control of pathogenic and spoilage organisms in foods (meat, dairy, poultry, seafood), food processing environments and on livestock. He is a founder member of the International Phage Research Centre based in Nanjing and currently sits on the academic committee. Craig’s other interests include pathogen detection, metagenomics, antimicrobial resistance, active packaging and traceability/authenticity. He is a regular peer reviewer for international journals and overseas funding agencies. Craig has been collaborating with Chinese researchers for more than 8 years and is keen to foster NZ-China research relationships for the benefit of both countries.

Mr Graham Fletcher Leader, Food Safety and Preservation research team, Plant & Food Research (+)

Graham Fletcher leads the Food Safety and Preservation research team within Plant & Food Research. His team works on the safety of seafood and horticultural products as well as other aspects of post harvest seafood processing and preservation. The author of over 60 peer reviewed scientific publications, Graham’s current seafood research programmes include Listeria monocytogenes, pathogenic Vibrio species, non-thermal processing methods such as high pressure processing, modified atmosphere packaging, antimicrobial packaging and other aspects of seafood quality assessment and shelf life.

Dr Miranda Mirosa Director for the Consumer Food Science Programme and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Food Science, University of Otago (+)

Dr Mirosa is the Director for the Consumer Food Science Programme and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Food Science, University of Otago. In 2015, Dr Mirosa led a grant for developing NZ/China collaborations in food safety and security science. As Principle Investigator, she led a team of 13 NZ scientists from 7 different institutes to China to partake in a conference and industry visits. Dr Mirosa currently holds a NZ/China Postharvest Loss and Food Waste Research Fellowship, funded by the NZ Ministry for Primary Industries – a programme aiming to enhance business-research-government partnerships through commercially meaningful research, complement joint research programmes under the China-NZ Food Safety and Security Science Roadmap, and support the APEC Food Security and Free Trade Area Asia Pacific work. In addition to her work with the Centre in the area of consumers’ risk perceptions and risk communication, much of Dr Mirosa’s ‘consumer insights/marketing’ research focusses on food waste hotspots, aims to understand reasons for wasteful practices, and provides recommendations on minimisation. Dr Mirosa is regularly asked to provide policy advice and consultancies (and was the NZ delegate at the 2015 APEC Food Security Workshop, China). In 2016, Miranda was invited to join the APEC project ‘Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses’. Her research expertise has been sought by organisations in civil society who are committed to reducing food waste (for example she sits on the Technical Working Group for the NZ National Food Waste Prevention Project). In addition to food waste, she is a also currently a funded researcher in the NZ National Science Challenge - High Value Nutrition (Stage 2 Proposal, Funded 2016 to 2021–Consumer perceptions of functional foods).

Her research profile is built on publications in the world’s leading consumer food, sustainability and nutrition journals including: ‘Appetite’, ‘J of Food Quality Preference’, ‘J of Nutrition and Dietetics’, ‘J of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’, ‘J of Environmental Policy & Planning’ and ‘British Food J’. Dr Mirosa serves as an Editorial Board Member for ‘J of Food Ethics’ and ‘Beverages’. Funding from 22 separate competitive research grants and consultancies highlights recognition of her research.

Dr Mirosa is particularly interested in relationship building with researchers who have expertise in Asian consumer insights, in marketing, in food and beverage supply chain management and in running consumer data collection studies. Key areas of focus are food waste and food sustainability, food safety (consumers’ risk perceptions and risk communication), perceptions of health/wellness and functional foods

Dr Cushla McGoverin Lead Researcher, University of Auckland (+)

Dr Cushla McGoverin is a senior research fellow in the Department of Physics, University of Auckland. Dr McGoverin’s research focuses on using spectroscopy and chemometrics to solve analytical problems in the food industry. This includes using fluorescence spectroscopy to enumerate bacteria in near-real time, using vibrational spectroscopy to better quantify milk quality and dairy products, and using near-infrared hyperspectral imaging to analyse cereals. This work has been completed in collaboration with several industrial partners, including Fonterra Co-operative Ltd, Cadbury NZ, ANZCO. Dr McGoverin’s has conducted research in New Zealand, South Africa, USA and China.

Kate Parker Packaging Research Leader, Scion (+)

Kate Parker is the Packaging Research Leader at Scion where she is developing new packaging materials using biomaterials. Her particular field of interest is in biopolymer foams as alternatives to expanded polystyrene, a technology which is currently being commercialised by the Biopolymer Network Ltd. The packaging program she is leading is focused on predicting and measuring corrugated box performance, particularly in the chilled supply chain; developing biobased films; and packaging technologies which enable product traceability. The overall the objective of Scion’s packaging research is to maintain food safety and security in export markets such as China. From her involvement with the network, she wants to gain a better understanding of the consumer perceptions and regulatory requirements in China that could influence the introduction of new packaging innovations.

Brent Seale Researcher, AUT (+)

The presence of bacterial biofilms within food processing environments can be a serious threat to food safety of a product. Once established, a biofilm is difficult to remove and can be a reservoir for further contamination of a product. Therefore my research at AUT focuses on the development of novel methods to prevent or remove biofilms from processing plant surfaces. I also have a strong interest in the development of rapid identification and genotyping techniques in order to track and trace pathogenic or spoilage isolates within food processing environments. Currently AUT has a strong relationship with Shanghai Institute of Technology and Wuhan University.

Adrian Cookson Senior Scientist, AgResearch (+)

Adrian Cookson is a Senior Scientist at AgResearch Limited and is based at the Hopkirk Research Institute in Palmerston North. His main area of research interest (>20 years) is the molecular epidemiology of zoonotic pathogens, especially Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and their role in veterinary and public health. Dr Cookson also holds an Associate Professor adjunct position at Massey University and works closely with staff within the mEpiLab (School of Veterinary Sciences) on various research programmes to investigate the colonisation and transmission of STEC and antimicrobial resistant Enterobacteriaceae within the ruminant host, on-farm and the wider environment using whole genome sequence analysis of isolates and population analysis.

Professor Siew-Young Quek Director of the Food Science Programme, University of Auckland (+)

Professor Siew-Young Quek is the Director of the Food Science Programme at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She has over 20 years’ research experience and ~400 scientific publications in a form of international peer-review journals, book chapters and conference papers.  Professor Quek integrates her experience in biochemistry, food science and engineering into the research of bioactives and functional food ingredients. Current work includes microencapsulation of bioactive compounds, recovery of functional ingredients from food and waste by-products by investigating the chemical and processing aspects, bioactivities, product development and the associated food quality. Her interest in food safety includes the investigation of natural extracts as antimicrobial agent for preservation of food products, edible coating and packaging. Professor Quek is the editor of LWT-Food Science and Technology and the Oceania editor of Food Quality and Safety. She is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology.
Since early 2000, Professor Quek has established good research collaboration with China. Currently, she is the Guest Professor of Jiangnan University (ranked 1st in Food Science and Technology globally) and the Oil Crops Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science; a member of International Expert Committee of Jiangnan University’s “111 Project” sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Education and the State Bureau of Foreign Expert; and Visiting Fellow of Hubei Selenium Industry Technology Research Institute. She was the foreign expert in Food Science for the “100 Talent Programme” of Hunan Province (2017-18) and the Shanghai Overseas Scholar (2015).

Dr Karyne Rogers Senior Environmental Scientist, GNS Science (+)

Dr Karyne Rogers is a senior Environmental Scientist at the National Isotope Centre at GNS Science in New Zealand.  Her multidisciplinary research interests include applications of stable isotopes, environmental tracers and contaminant studies, isotope biogeochemistry, freshwater, marine and terrestrial ecosystem processes, geochemistry, AI and food traceability and origin studies. She has also worked extensively in science communication working with communities, industries, local authorities and schools to raise science literacy. She currently works part-time as an Honorary Professor based at Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Science (ZAAS) in Hangzhou, China and is part of the Key Laboratory of Information Traceability for Agricultural Products (MARA) team working on the geographical origin and authentication of high-value products in New Zealand and China, specifically to address food safety and fraud.
Dr Rogers runs nationally, and internationally funded research programs based around elemental and isotopic tracers in soils and groundwater, and their transfer into the food chain

Associate Professor Stephen On Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University (+)

Stephen has been involved with microbiological food safety research since undertaking his PhD in 1989 on diagnostic methods for Campylobacter and related bacteria. Now at Lincoln University, he has over 140 peer-reviewed papers, and leads under- and postgraduate courses, and PhD studies, in food safety and microbial biotechnology. Current projects include: Arcobacter: Molecular epidemiology of antibiotic resistance: Advanced photonic methods for characterising bacteria: Proteomics of winemaking yeast; Metagenomics of wild-fermented wines; Food safety of edible snails in Cameroon: Spectral analysis of fat-filled milk products. He has also been engaged as an expert witness and research consultant in the food safety area.

Dr Li Day Sector Manager, Food & Fibre, AgResearch (+)

PhD in Plant Protein Structural Biochemistry
BsC in Chemical Engineering
Research interests & activities
Science interests: structural and physical biochemistry of bio-macromolecules (dairy and cereal proteins, lipids and polysaccharides); emulsion interfacial colloid and surface chemistry and colloidal stability; molecular basis of ingredient functionality, effects of processing on the rheological and chemical properties of food materials; and food structures to control digestion and nutrient transport.
Working with Agri-food industry to bridge the gap between fundamental science discovery and commercial applications: linking on-farm dairy managment and animal nutrition with milk quality, off-farm processing effeciency and dairy product innovation; salt and sugar reduction in cereal based foods; plant cell wall particle size reduction to redcue waste and value adding to food products.
Career Highlights
Visiting Scholar, HIT China
EU Marie Curie Fellowship, UK
Walter Bushuk Award, AACCi, USA

Dr Sara Burgess Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Massey University / AgResearch (+)

Dr Sara Burgess is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Hopkirk Research Institute with Massey University and AgResearch. Her current research interests are in antimicrobial resistance spread between humans, animals and the environment. Other interests include Bacilli and Clostridia sporulation, germination and biofilm formation. In addition, she is a member of the NZ-China Milk Quality and Safety Steering Group. Previously she worked as a Research Scientist at the Fonterra Research and Development Centre, with a focus on biofilm formation in milk processing plants.

Dr. Denise M Conroy Senior Scientist, Plant and Food Consumer Team (+)

Dr. Denise M Conroy is a Senior Scientist with the Plant and Food Consumer Team, based at the Mt Albert campus.  Denise is a Consumer Behaviourist, specialising in understanding the attitudes, emotions, values and cognitions that motivate people to consume specific products, brands or experiences, or to reject these offerings.  As an interpretivist researcher Denise is a skilled methodologist, working largely with qualitative methods and data.  She is very experienced at leading complex teams, across different disciplines, and from diverse backgrounds to reach a common goal.  Much of Denise’s research is Asia focussed and, as part of the High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge, her Team are exploring how Chinese consumers construe the relationships between food and health. After working for 20 years at the University of Auckland’s Business School, Denise recently joined Plant and Food Research to better indulge her passion for applied research, with concrete deliverables, to support New Zealand SMEs advance, shape, and develop their businesses. Denise has recently been appointed to the High Value Nutrition Senior Leadership Team as the Consumer Insights specialist.  Denise retains an honorary position with the University which allows her to continue supervising her PhD students.

New Zealand Based Researchers

Professor Hugh Blair Researcher MU (+)

Professor Blair has developed three strong collaborations with Chinese colleagues over the last decade.  In 2005, Massey University signed a Tripartite agreement with Peking and Shihezi Universities.  Since 2007, Professor Blair has completed a number of joint sheep research projects funded by Chinese research agencies with Professors Jianfeng Gao and Zongsheng Zhao from Shihezi University.  During the establishment of this fruitful relationship, a further connection was made to Professor Runlin Ma at the Chinese Academy of Science who is an alumnus of Shihezi University.  In the last 5 years, Professor Ma has become the lead researcher for the Chinese Academy of Science for the rapidly growing intensive indoor sheep farming sector.  Professor Blair has visited several intensive indoor sheep operations with Professor Ma and a number of research projects have been planned.  At a joint Massey University – Chinese Academy of Science 2011 Workshop held in Beijing Professor Blair met Professor Mingjun Liu from the Xinjiang Academy of Animal Science.  Once again, several sheep research projects have eventuated, including a stocktake of local Xinjiang genetic resources.  Through these enduring relationships, Professor Blair and his collaborators are contributing to food security in China through increased animal productivity while being cognisant of environmental and sustainability matters.

Professor Phil Bremer Lead Researcher UoO (+)

Professor Phil Bremer, is in the Food Science Department at the University of Otago. He applies a multi-disciplinary approach involving microbiology, chemistry, sensory science and product development, to gain an understanding of how factors such as raw material selection, product formulation, processing steps, packaging design, storage conditions, sanitation regimes (particularly to control biofilms) and product form impact on a food’s safety, stability (shelf-life), quality (taste, appearance, texture), reputation (consumer perception) and ultimately it’s value in the market place.

Professor Bremer has worked with a wide range of companies on dairy, vegetable, seafood, meat, beer and wine related projects.  Phil lectures in the areas of food microbiology, risk assessment and regulation and has had extensive experience supervising students on industry-funded product development projects.  

Prior to joining the University of Otago, Phil worked for 10 years in the Seafood Research Unit (Plant & Food Research) in Nelson.  He has published over a 150 scientific articles and is active in the NZ Microbiological Society (Past President), the NZ Institute for Food Science and Technology (Fellow, Member of the Executive) and the New Zealand Association for Food Protection (President).

Dr Yi Chen Researcher Scion (+)

Dr. Yi Chen earned his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering (2011) from Inha University, S. Korea. From 2011 to 2015, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Western Ontario and University of Alberta. He joined Scion in 2015 and has been working as material scientist and project leader at packaging team. He has over 10 years research experience on design, fabrication and characterization of sensors and electronics based on nanomaterials. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal papers, more than 20 international conference papers/abstracts. He is also reviewer for several journals including Nanotechnology, Smart Materials and Structures, Coatings and International Journal of Nano and Biomaterials.

Dr Denise Conroy Researcher UoA (+)

Dr Denise M Conroy is a senior lecturer in the department of Marketing at the University of Auckland Business School.  Denise is a consumer behaviourist whose research focus is the consumption of food and beverages – with a particular focus on consumers in Asia.  Denise is a member of the National Science Challenge – High Value Nutrition – specifically sitting on the consumer insights panel, where the focus is on China and Chinese consumers’ preferences for New Zealand food and beverage products.  Denise is also on the management committee of the University’s Food and Health programme which encourages collaborations in the broad area of food and beverage research.  Seed funding from this programme has enabled research into the Chinese consumers’ appetite for lower alcohol NZ wines; whilst membership of the Asia Institute has resulted in research with consumers of organic produce in South Korea. Denise always takes a strong consumer-centric focus and works closely with colleagues within Asian countries to ensure that she captures the cultural values and drivers of attitudes, emotions and behaviours within the food consumption area.

Peter Cressey Researcher ESR (+)

Dr Li Day Researcher AgResearch (+)

Dr Li Day is Sector Manager – Food & Fibre at AgResearch. She has 23 years of experience in food science and research, in particular providing research and services to the global food companies. She completed her PhD at the University of Reading, UK and worked at Campden BRI, UK for 9 years. She joined AgR in Dec 2014. Prior to joining AgResearch, she was a group leader at CSIRO managing research activities in food material science in dairy, meat and cereal applications. She is specialised in food structure, rheology and unit processes on the material and product properties of manufactured foods. Her particular interest is to bridge the gap between science innovation and supporting industry applications.

She has published more than 80 research papers and book chapters. Currently she serves as the subject Editor for Elsevier Food Science Reference Module, adjunct Associate Professor within the ARC Future Grains Centre at Charles Sturt University, Australia and overseas PhD Supervisor for the Harbin Institute of Technology, China.

Russell Frew Researcher UoO (+)

Professor Ravi Gooneratne Researcher Lincoln (+)

Professor Ravi Gooneratne, Professor of Toxicology, Lincoln University, New Zealand

A veterinarian (BVSc) with a doctorate (PhD) in toxicopathology from Murdoch University, Australia, Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip. Tox.) in toxicology from University of Saskatchewan, Canada, a registered toxicologist in UK (British Toxicology Society),  a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in UK (FRCPath), a Fellow of the American Academy of Veterinary and Comparative Toxicology (FAAVCT) in USA. Been teaching and / or researching in a variety of aspects of toxicology for the past 30 years in Australia, Canada, USA, Thailand, Malaysia, Spain, South Africa, Philippines, China, Sri Lanka, India, Kenya, Uganda and New Zealand. Supervised over 60 PhD and MSc students. Has over 200 publications in scientific journals and conference presentations, many in high profile journals. Research interests include food safety and security, food toxicology, mycotoxins, nanotoxicology, heavy metal toxicology, pesticide toxicology, ecotoxicogenomics, and development of biomarkers and biosensors to monitor environmental pollution. Was the recipient of the Lincoln University Principal Award for Teaching Excellence in 2008, Excellence in Research Award in 1994, and Excellence in Teaching Innovation Award in 2003. Has been collaborating with Chinese scientists for the past 15 years. Currently, a Visiting Professor & Excellent Talent Chair Professor at Guangdong Ocean University (in Zhanjiang), Visiting Professor Jinan University (in Guangzhou). Also lectured at Wuhan Agricultural University (in Wuhan), Peking University (in Beijing), Northwestern Agriculture & Forestry University (in Yangling), National Institute for Food and Drug Control (in Beijing), and conducted over 10 workshops at these Chinese universities and institutes, mostly on food safety and security, mycotoxins, and environmental toxins.

Dr Tim Harwood Researcher Cawthron (+)

Dr Tim Harwood is an analytical chemist based at the Cawthron Institute in Nelson with specialised expertise in the field of marine biotoxin analysis and research. His current research focus is on methods of analysis for paralytic shellfish toxins, and fundamental research on the toxins responsible for ciguatera fish poisoning. Tim leads the MBIE-funded Safe New Zealand Seafood programme that has a research focus on micro-organism risks to seafood, including harmful algae, viruses and bacteria. The programme shares his vision for New Zealand to be a world leader in the safety of seafood exports and development of tools/systems for ensuring safety.

Dr Harvey Ho Researcher UoA (+)

Dr Harvey Ho is a Research Fellow in the Bioengineering Institute of The University of Auckland. His research interests include image computing, mathematical modelling and Internet of Things. He was the manager of the Silver Fern Farms lamb carcass modelling project (2013-2015), and was the consultant for Livestock Improvements Corp on Computer vision and 3D modelling (2016-2017). His specific interest in the food safety area is about Big Data and information system construction. His connections in China include meat quality and saftey experts in Nanjing Agricultural University (Prof Xinlian Xu) and Qingdao Agricultural University (Prof Jinxing Sun).

Dr Peter Jolly Researcher MU (+)

Dr Pete Jolly is the Leader of the International Development Group in the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences at Massey University in New Zealand. He is responsible for fostering strategic international relationships and for developing and delivering education and research programs with a particular emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches and One Health. Pete is a veterinarian and holds a PhD from James Cook University of North Queensland, Australia, a Bachelor of Philosophy in Virology and a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (with distinction) from Massey University.

Dr Rob Lake Researcher ESR (+)

Professor Cory Matthew Researcher MU (+)

Cory Matthew is a Professor in Agronomy in the Institute of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University.

Cory commenced employment at Masssey University in 1984 and has a wide ranging research and publication portfolio in various aspects of pasture husbandry, pasture management, plant improvement, forage plant physiology and farm systems configuration, and has supervised 15 PhD students in the last two decades. His food safety interests are in the area of ecotoxicology. Several publications on this topic have been co-authored with researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He is particularly interested in the potential for side effects from trace residues of agricultural chemicals reaching the environment, and in identifying cases of synergy where the presence of one residue exacerbates the environmental impacts of another.

Professor Indrawati Oey Lead Researcher UoO (+)

Professor Indrawati Oey is in the Food Science Department at the University of Otago. Her research expertise is postharvest and novel food processing technologies particularly advanced heating, high pressure and pulsed electric fields. She is interested in developing smart innovative approaches and technologies to produce clean label, safe, nutritious, fresh-like and flavoursome foods in a sustainable way. She has worked with a wide range of food companies on fruits and vegetables, beverage, seafood, meat and wine related projects and processing equipment companies. Prior to joining University of Otago, she worked for Research Foundation-Flanders (Belgium) for 8 years. She was the Chair of Training and Career Development for European Union-funded NovelQ project (Novel processing methods for the production and distribution of high-quality and safe foods). She is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (NZIFST) and a professional member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). She is currently the Principal Investigator of Riddet Institute Center of Research Excellence and the theme leader for Ag@Otago in the area of Adding Value. She has published more than 300 publications including international peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, oral and poster presentations and industry project reports.

Siew-Young Quek Lead Researcher UoA (+)

Assoc. Professor Siew-Young Quek is the Director of Food Science Programme at The University of Auckland, New Zealand. She graduated with a PhD degree from The School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham (UK) in 1999. Her research interests are in food science & technology with a focus on bioactives, functional food and fats & oils. Current work includes microencapsulation of bioactives components for delivery through functional foods, extraction & characterisation of bioactives/ functional ingredients from waste by-products, processing & food quality, and food product development. She has published more than 200 journals articles and conference proceedings, 4 book chapters and delivered 30 reports for industries. She has received numerous awards in recognition of her research and teaching activities including the 100-Talent Programme of Hunan Province (China), Shanghai Outstanding Overseas Scholar (China), Gold medal at the Geneva International Exhibition of Invention, New Technology & Products, University Invention & Research Competition in Malaysia, Top 100 NZ Food Technologists and The University of Auckland Excellence in Teaching Award. She is a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology.

David Robb Lead Researcher UoA (+)

David’s expertise is in supply chain and operations management. He has a particular interest in China, retail, and perishable items. He co-directs the Consortium for Operational Excellence in Retailing – Greater China, and is a Beachheads Advisor for NZTE.

Gavin Ross Researcher PFR (+)

Bridgette Sullivan-Taylor Researcher UoA (+)

Abraham Zhang Researcher AUT (+)

Abraham Zhang is a Senior Lecturer in Supply Chain Management at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) Business School. Prior to that, He was a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato Management School where he won the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Emerging Scholar in 2015. He was a principal investigator of a research project on building resilience in agribusiness supply chains funded by the University of Waikato’s Strategic Investment Fund. He has an active research agenda in the areas of food traceability and safety, agribusiness supply chain risk management, and agribusiness supply chain innovations. He has been actively publishing his research and consulting works in leading academic journals including Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, International Journal of Production Economics, and International Journal of Operations and Production Management.

Dr Lei Cong Researcher Lincoln University (+)

Dr Lei Cong is a lecturer working at Lincoln University. With a strong background in both consumer behaviour and food sciences (food processing and food safety), Dr. Lei Cong is an interdisciplinary scientist with particular interests in Agri-food Marketing. Her key focus includes consumer-led New Product Development (consumer insights research for new product development); perceptions of health/wellness and functional foods; agribusiness value chains (problem/impact analysis based on qualitative data); food safety (consumers’ risk perceptions and risk/benefit communication); utilisation of ‘food waste’ e.g. agricultural co- and by-products (consumers’ acceptance and market potential) and cross-culture differences (consumers’ perceptions between Western societies and the East, e.g. China).

Dr Quan Spring Zhou Researcher MU (+)

Dr Quan Spring Zhou is a lecturer in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Massey University. Her research interests include supply chain management, perishable inventory management, and retail operations. Spring is a strong proponent of practice-inspired research, and is passionate about combining her research interests with practical needs in food safety and protection.

Spring’s research involves managing inventory with a limited shelf life, which is important for the safety of food products. Operations like inventory, delivery, and replenishment need to be coordinated to ensure food safety, and these are the areas that Spring will explore.

China Based Researchers

SHI Xian-ming Shanghai Jiao Tong University (+)

Dr. Xianming Shi is a professor and Chair in Department of Food Science and Technology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He obtained his B. S. and M. S. degree in Microbiology in August 1982 and June 1988 at Huazhong Agricultural University, and his Ph. D. degree in Biotechnology in March 1998 at the University of Hong Kong. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Washington (Seattle) during October 1993-October 1994, a visiting professor at Cornell University during January-August 2003, a visiting professor in the Eastern Regional Research Center, USDA during July-August 2007, and a visiting professor at Rutgers University during January-August 2014.

Prof. Shi has or had the following academic titles: Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST) (2016-), Director of MOST-USDA Joint Research Center for Food Safety (2008-), Vice President of Chinese Association for Food Protection (2014-), Ambassador for China in Global Harmonization Initiative (2012-), Fellow of National Committee for Academic Degrees in Food Science and Technology (2003-2011), Fellow of National Committee for Teaching Supervision in Food Science and Technology (2003-), Fellow of Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology (2001-) and Vice President of Chinese Sub-Association for Food Safety and Standard Technology (2012-). Moreover, he is an editorial board member for 1 English and 5 Chinese journals.

The research interest of Prof. Shi is microbiological food safety. He conducts basic and applied research in molecular ecology and the development of rapid detection methods for foodborne bacterial pathogens. Work in progress focuses on the establishment of database for molecular targets mining and risk assessment of foodborne pathogens, development of molecular detection and genotyping methods for foodborne pathogens, functional analysis of some genes in foodborne pathogens, and characterization on the stress resistance mechanism on Salmonella. He has published 196 scientific journal articles since 1997 when he obtained a full professor position, including 103 articles in Chinese and 93 SCIE articles in English, of which he was as the first or corresponding author for 71 SCIE articles. One article published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology in 2011 was cited 198 times (2015) by others and was selected as Journal Highlights by American Society for Microbiology. Another was published in Trends in Food Science & Technology in 2009 with a citation time of 148 (2015). In addition, 13 patents have been approved as the first inventor.

As a result of his contributions, Prof. Shi has been awarded as: “Certified Food Scientist” by the International Food Science Certification Commission in 2013, the Cover Character of Journal of Scientific Chinese in 2011, “The Top Ten Best Supervisors” at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2010, “Advanced Scientist for Earthquake Relief Work” by China Association of Science and Technology in 2008, the leading scientist of Shanghai municipality in 2007, “Quarter Century Fellow” of the international workshop on rapid methods and automation in Microbiology in Kansas, USA in August 2003.

An Introduction to MOST-USDA Joint Research Center for Food Safety
On 12 May 2008, USDA-ARS and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), signed the collaboration agreement titled “Food Safety Cooperative Research Activities” supported under the Protocol on Cooperation in Agriculture Science and Technology between The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of The People’s Republic of China and The Department of Agriculture of the United States of America (USDA), and established “MOST-USDA Joint Research Center for Food Safety”, in which Prof. Xianming Shi was named the Director at China side. The collaboration agreement was renewed on 3 September 2015 to continue the activity under the China-US Joint Research Center for Food Safety between USDA-ARS and SJTU. This joint center includes many national and international leading scientists and engineers in food science solving problems facing the today and for tomorrow of USA and China with fundamental, applied, and developmental research on food safety. Previous collaborations have been focused on the development of molecular detection methods and control principals for foodborne pathogens, which are the most important issue in the international food trade. The joint efforts of the two sides were very productive and resulted in 22 peer-reviewed publications and several patents. Furthermore, the successfully developed multiplex qPCR assays for multiple pathogen detection have been adopted by the scientists in FDA on validating these methods in FDA-regulated foods, which will move toward the acceptance of the assays by US federal regulatory agencies. In addition, the two sides exchanged more than 30 scientists and graduate students, and jointly organized annual meetings and several international forums to improve food safety control and assurance systems in both of USA and China, particularly for World Expo 2010 Shanghai and Olympic Games 2008 Beijing. As a result, the USDA spoke highly of this joint research center and regarded it as a model for international collaborations on science and technology in USDA.

Associate Professor Eddy Fang International Business School Suzhou (+)

Eddy joined XJTLU in 2012 after spending four years as a doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge, where he conducted research in the field of International Political Economy. More specifically, Eddy worked on the diffusion of alternative financial practices in the United Kingdom – e.g. Islamic Finance. This led him to articulate his research within the frameworks of behavioural economics, economic sociology, and economic philosophy. In addition to his doctoral research, Eddy has previous teaching experience at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (Belgium), conducted research at the European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (2007-2008), and consulted for the World Bank. Eddy's research has been published in internationally renowned scientific journals such as the Journal of Business Ethics (SSCI, ABS 3*, FT45), Technological Forecasting and Social Change (SSCI, ABS 3*), the Review of International Political Economy (SSCI, ABS 3*) and Kyklos (SSCI, ABS 3*), and presented at international academic forums such as the IIPPE Annual Conferences.

Upon his arrival in China, Eddy started investigating additional questions specific to the Chinese economy such as (i) environmental behaviour - this project is funded by the Suzhou Science and Technology Association (ii) trust and food safety among Chinese consumers, and (iii) social networks in rural China.

Eddy is a Belgian-born Chinese and speaks French, English, and Mandarin Chinese fluently. He holds a BSc in Economics (Magna Cum Laude) from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), an MA in International Political Economy from the University of Warwick (Distinction) and a PhD degree in the same field from the University of Cambridge.

Professor Yao Jiangnan University (+)

Over the years, for the current impact on the basic research on food processing safety and critical control technology, Prof. Yao devotes to developing technologies to detect food safety with low-cost and high-throughput; relating to food packaging pollutants, banned food additives, food additives and other substances, Prof. Yao committed herself to building surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) detection technology, meanwhile, Prof. Yao dedicated her life to studying linkage detection technologies to combine multiple indicators such as sample pretreatment, detection methods, equipment, components and reagents with food safety. Besides, Prof. Yao studies the food safety control technologies combining biological control methods with chemical prevention and control methods which are based on food processing technologies which can applied toreduce the harm to human body resulted from biotoxin and food packaging pollutants. Futhermore, the current development of food safety SERS detection technologies are at the top of the world, and the biological toxin control techniques are characterized with Chinese tradition, obviously.
For her outstanding achievements, Prof. Yao was awards several times: 1) one the 2nd prize for the Science and Technology Progress; 2) three the 2nd provincial prizes; 3) two the 3rd provincial prizes and 11 invention patents (one for U.S. Patent). Prof. Yao has published more than 160 articles(SCI 60) in the international journals; completed presiding over 7 the national Science and technology support programs, 2 in research and 3 provincial projects, moreover, there were more than 10 scientific projects have achieved industrialization.

Professor Junyu Wang Fudan University, Shanghai (+)

Professor Junyu Wang at Fudan University, Shanghai. He has 12 years’ experience on Research and Development related to Auto-ID and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, including radio frequency identification (RFID) air interface, RFID security, coding scheme of IoT, etc.; Nearly 10 years’ experience on national and international standardization related to Auto-ID and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, including radio frequency identification (RFID) air interface, RFID security, coding scheme of IoT, etc.; TPC Chair of the 3rd International Conference on Internet of Things (IoT 2012). The IoT conference was initiated by MIT in US and ETH in Switzerland and is the first academic conference named Internet of Things (from 2008). Over 400 researchers attended the IoT 2012 conference, in which 1/3 are from abroad. Member of GS1 architecture Group. GS1 is an international NGO in charge of the GTIN barcodes all over the world and an international standardization body for Identification, capture and data sharing. GS1 architecture group is an advisory group for GS1 standards and is made of 20+ individual from industry and academia all over the world. Junyu Wang is the only representative in this group from the Mainland of China. Executive Manager of the National Project “Agriculture Internet of Things and Food Quality and Safety in China” (2011.1.1-2013.12.31), funded by Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) China. 20 research institutes and companies all over China participated in this project and the total funding is 130 Million RMB. Associate Director of Auto-ID Lab China since 2002, project manager of more than 20 projects from both home and abroad, including a sensor tag project supported by EU FP6 “BRIDGE”. 30+ publications, 10+ Chinese patents in the area of RFID and Internet of Things

Professor Hongbin Liu Tianjin University of Science & Technology (+)

Hongbin Liu, Ph.D, Professor, vice dean of College of Papermaking Science & Technology, Tianjin University of Science & Technology, China. He graduated in 2017 on Ph.D Degree of Pulping and Papermaking Engineering at Tianjin University of Science & Technology, China. He finished his Ph.D thesis at University of New Brunswick in Canada as a visiting student. His thesis was awarded Tianjin Excellent Ph.D Thesis in 2009. His research areas include papermaking technology, paper based packaging R&D, Nano-cellulose application in paper and packaging materials. He published 23 reviewed paper, 22 presentation in conference, 3 patents.

Associate Professor Yunfei Xie School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University (+)

Associate Professor Yunfei Xie's resreach of special interest are - Food safety & quality control, based on developing novel and rapid detection methods on food safety including food processing, food storage, food circulation and so on. The novel and rapid measurement methods include surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), fluorescence, IR, NIR and UV-Vis, etc. Besides, Dr. Xie studies the quality control technologies combining biological and chemical technique by extraction and utilization of active substances from vegetables and plants to do antibacterial agent and study the bacteriostasis mechanism.


Professor Nigel French BVSc MSc(Epid) DLSHTM DipECVPH PhD FRSNZ Director (+)

Nigel is Director of the New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre (www.nzfssrc.org.nz) and Professor of Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health at Massey University, New Zealand. He leads the New Zealand-China Food Protection Network; a New Zealand government-funded China Research Collaboration Centre. Nigel is also founder and Director of the Infectious Disease Research Centre (www.idrec.ac.nz) and the Executive Director of the Molecular Epidemiology and Public Health laboratory in the Hopkirk Research Institute, specializing in research and training in molecular epidemiology, food safety and the control of infectious diseases. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed journal articles, and 7 book chapters; many in the area of food safety and public health. Nigel is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, a Fellow of Food Standards Australia New Zealand, a member of the New Zealand Food Safety and Assurance Advisory Council. He holds honorary/visiting professorships at the Universities of Liverpool and Surrey in the UK and the University of Otago Medical School in New Zealand. He was the recipient of the Massey University Research Medal in 2012.

Prior to joining Massey University in 2004, Nigel held a number of academic positions at the University of Bristol and, between 1996 and 2004, at the University of Liverpool, where he was Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology. He graduated as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Bristol in 1987, and in 1993 he was awarded a PhD (Bristol) and a Masters degree in epidemiology (University of London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship in Clinical Epidemiology.

Dr Gale Brightwell Associate Director (+)

Dr Brightwell was appointed to the role of NZFSSRC Associate Director in October 2016. In addition to this role, Gale is the Science Theme Leader (Mitigation) for NZ Food Safety Science and Research Centre Science.

Ms Wendy Newport-Smith Manager (+)

Wendy joined the NZ-China Food Protection Network (NZCFPN) as Manager in July 2016. Wendy is responsible for managing operational activities and building relationships across the Network. She has extensive experience in managing virtual scientific networks having spent the previous six years managing the Allan Wilson Centre, one of New Zealand's seven Centres of Research Excellence. Wendy’s role as Manager of the NZCFPN aligns with her position as Manager of the New Zealand Food Safety Science & Research Centre, a position she has held since the Centre’s launch in May 2016. Prior to coming to Massey University in 2010, Wendy was Director of Adult Continuing Education at Queen Elizabeth College in Palmerston North. Wendy’s extensive experience in leadership and management across the education sector is supplemented by a Master of Management degree and a Master of Business Administration (Distinction) from Massey University.

Mrs Michal Dunn Administrator (+)

Michal comes to the NZ Food Safety Science & Research Centre from Massey University’s Institute of Veterinary, Animal & Biomedical Sciences where she gained significant experience in university systems and administration over several years. Michal has also provided Professor French with support since 2015 and brings a valuable institution-wide perspective to the Centre.

Liverpool Zhang Business Development (+)

I arrived in New Zealand in 2003 as an international student, and I completed Bachelor of Consumer and Applied Food Science at the University of Otago, it was a very interesting Degree to study as it was half Science and half commerce involved, such as Food culture, Food safety, Food Marketing, Food system, and Sensory science.


After completing the BCAPS degree, I found my first professional job as a Technical Compliance Officer in meat (both beef and lamb) processing industry, working for Silver Fern Farms (previously known as PPCS) at their largest plant Finegand in Balclutha for three years. I was responsible for internal auditing, implementing policies, procedures and non conformance investigation in order to ensure we meet animal health standards, food safety standards, all overseas market access requirement and customers’ requirement.


After three years with SFF, then I went to a small dairy export company working as a Product Manager for two and half years. We were exporting and marketing Infant formula and colostrums powder to China. My role was a lot more diversified as I was doing a bit of everything, finance, logistics, technical, forecasting and production arrangement with OEM.


I joined Plant and Food Research in Sep 2013 working as a Business Development Manager in commercial team and I am involved with research and business development / collaboration with our Chinese collaborators and I am also developing new commercial and research opportunity with new clients in China.