Associated members

Apart from our daily team, the SFERE group can count on many associated members. These members include seniors as well as junior experts, from both academics and outside academics. Some of them have worked within our team in the past.

They help us with their scientific expertise, creativity, networking, and we consider them as ambassadors of our team.

Mertijn Moeyersons

Als masterstudent Bio-economie en beleid probeer ik mij zo veel mogelijk te verdiepen in de economische en politieke kant van het landbouwgebeuren zonder de productie zelf te veel uit het oog te verliezen. Met mijn masterthesis tracht ik mijn bijdrage te leveren aan het SUFISA project, een voorbereiding op mijn toekomstige loopbaan als landbouweconoom

Isabeau Coopmans studied bioscience engineering at KU Leuven University. She accomplished her master’s degree in agriculture, with sub-specialization nutrition and health. Currently, she worked on her MSc thesis, under supervision of Professor Erik Mathijs and Tjitske Anna Zwart. In this thesis, she investigated the role of retailers in the communication process of healthy and sustainable food products. Do supermarkets communicate about healthy and sustainable food towards their customers? Are they concerned about public health and the environment? Do they attempt to raising awareness about these issues along their shoppers? If so, how do they stimulate or nudge consumers to make more sustainable and healthy food choices?

Sara Zambon studied Agricultural Technology in Bologna and spent a period in Lisbon where she focused on agricultural engineering. She is currently attending a MSc in Agri-food Production and Agroecosystem Management at University of Pisa. At KU Leuven she is spending six months researching on food policies related to food and nutrition security in the European context, as part of the TRANSMANGO project. She is also working on her MSc thesis, under the supervision on Natalia Brzezina.

Sander Van Schepdael studied biosystems engineering with a minor in bioeconomics at KU Leuven university. He wrote a master thesis under supervision of Erik Mathijs concerning the changes in the Belgian sugar sector in the postquotum era.
The sugar sector has traditionally been one of the most highly regulated agricultural sectors. When the quota for sugar and isoglucosis end in 2017 there will be a level playing field for all sugar products. Threats to the European union sugar beet market include sugar cane and starch derivatives. Sugar cane has a lower cost structure than sugar beet and the starch derivatives, such as high fructose corn syrup, offer various technical advantages that make them preferential in industrial food processes to common white sugar. On the other hand, the world has seen a rise in bioethanol production from starch as well as sugar cane and beet. Is there still a future for sugar beet in Belgium and the European union?