New Director NZFSSRC Announcement

Following an extensive search and recruitment process, we are delighted to advise that Dr Catherine McLeod  will be commencing in the role of Director, New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre as of 23 September. She will take up the role on a full-time basis and will be based in Nelson.

Catherine (Cath) has led interdisciplinary food safety research programmes combining molecular biology, microbiology, chemistry, statistics and risk assessment in New Zealand, Australia, France and the UK. She has produced a number of peer reviewed publications and book chapters, mainly focused on the safety of seafood and fresh produce, as well as delivering over 80 authoritative presentations on food safety over the last decade.

Cath is currently a member of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre’s (SAIC) Independent Science Panel and has held the roles of Chair of SafeFish (Australia), Chair of the Australian Quality Assurance Advisory Committee, Chair of the International Molluscan Shellfish Safety Conference (ICMSS), member of the Australian delegation to the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene and theme leader for food safety and market access at the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre (ASCRC). She is also an Honorary Associate of the University of Tasmania.

Cath has held diverse roles within the regulatory, scientific and food industry sectors giving her insight into the key drivers and challenges faced by each group in this critical tri-partite relationship. She is particularly skilled at working with industry and regulatory groups to identify food safety and market access challenges and developing multi-agency research programmes to address key issues.

Cath’s most recent positions include Director of the consultancy company Seafood Safety Assessment Ltd., where she focused on providing food safety and market access advice to primary producing industries, retailers and government. Cath was also the Leader of the Seafood Safety and Market Access Group within the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) from 2008 to 2013 and was a senior science advisor within the Ministry for Primary Industries from 2000 to 2007.

Cath’s qualifications include an MSc (hons) on marine biotoxins in shellfish and a PhD on foodborne viruses from Victoria University of Wellington (funded by an ESR post-graduate scholarship), giving her an overarching perspective on two major human food safety issues.

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