Team | Team

Principal Investigator

Sarah Zanon Agapito Tenfen

Sarah Agapito completed a PhD (2011-2014) in plant genetics with the CropScience Department at the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil. She undertook a Master of Plant Genetics at the Federal University of Santa Catarina and Bachelor Degree in Agronomy from that same university in 2008. Sarah has been appointed to the UN Roster of Biosafety Experts in 2013 by the Brazilian Government. She has been actively participating in the Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of Living Modified Organisms that is hosted by the Biosafety Clearing House Portal as part of the Clearing-House Mechanism of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. In addition, Sarah has been a consultant to multiple government and non-governmental agencies in Brazil and Norway, and has organized two international biosafety courses, the Holistic Foundations for Assessment and Regulation of Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Organisms, in collaboration to NORCE – Norwegian Research Centre, TWN and the Federal University of Santa Catarina (2010 and 2013). In 2014, Sarah has also contributed to the organization and lecture of a UNEP/GEF Biosafety course in Swaziland, Africa.

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Project Adminstrator

Inger Ottesen

Inger Ottensen is the senior finance manager at NORCE – Norwegian Research Centre.

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Project Researchers

Anne Ingeborg Myhr

Anne Ingeborg Myhr is Director at NORCE – Norwegian Research Centre. She holds a Master’s degree (civil engineer) in Biotechnology from NTNU, Trondheim, and a PhD from the Institute of Medical Biology at the University of Tromsø. Her main research experience is within risk governance of GMOs and on ethical, social and legal aspects (ELSA) related to genetic engineering. During the past years new research has been extended to include responsible research and innovation of emerging biotechnologies including genome-editing and synthetic biology. She is chair of the Research Council of Norway´s portfolio board on land-based food, the environment and Bioresources, she is a member of the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board, the Norwegian Board of Technology, and the National Commission for the Investigation of Scientific Misconduct. Internationally she has been involved in various issues related to GMOs including an EU expert-working group on GMO monitoring and socio-economic issues under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

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Jennifer Ann Lillebo Nunn

Dr. Jennifer A. L. Nunn holds is a Civil Engineer (Siv.Ing.) in Biotechnology with a background from molecular biology. Dr. Nunn completed her PhD in 2014 at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway under the supervision of Professor Terje Johansen, Institute of Medical Biology. The title of the PhD project was “Functional characterization and regulation of the selective autophagy receptor NBR1”. Following her PhD, Dr. Nunn worked as an administrative coordinator for BioStruct – A National PhD graduate school in structural biology. Dr. Nunn worked as a Post-doctoral fellow with Professor Ole Morten Seternes, Institute of Pharmacy at UiT from 2016 until 2019. At NORCE, Dr. Nunn does research on biosafety concerning gene editing.

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Philomena Chu

Philomena Chu is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at NORCE – Norwegian Research Centre

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Trine Antonsen

Trine Antonsen holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas at the University of Oslo. Her dissertation “Agrarianism and our dependence on nature” (2017) is a virtue theoretical defense of agricultural values and ideals for our thinking about the human/nature-relation and the climatic and environmental crisis. Antonsen holds a MA in philosophy of language and a BA in Gender Studies from the University of Oslo. She has been an exchange student at Birkbeck College, University of London, and at Rutgers University, in New Jersey, USA.

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Post-doctoral Fellows

Saminathan Subburaj

Saminathan received MS in Plant Biotechnology (2006-2008) and M.Phil in Plant Science (2009-2010) at Bharathidasan University-India. He completed his PhD (2011–2014) in Crop Genetics at the Capital Normal University-Beijing, China. He was a researcher in National Wheat Improvement Centre at Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Beijing during 2014–2015. Prior to NORCE, Saminathan spent 5 years as a Post-Doc researcher in the Department of Horticulture at Chungnam National University, South Korea (2015-2020) where he has been working in the field of plant molecular breeding of various agronomically important plant species including Camelina, Lilium, Watermelon and Cabbages. He has experience in NGS (whole genome re-seq and transcriptome) approaches and also in CRISPR mediated genome engineering. This includes the successful application of CRISPR-CAS9 to produce transgene-free mutants (flower color, allergen free, virus resistance, and post-harvest) for Solanaceae and Brassicaceae family plants including Petunia, Tomato and Cabbage.

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PhD Candidates

Caroline Bedin Zanatta

Agronomist at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (2018), master (2020) and currently a doctoral student in the Postgraduate Program in Plant Genetic Resources at the same university. Develops activities at the Laboratory of Development Physiology and Plant Genetics (LFDGV), since 2014. There, she dedicated to research involving the effects of transgenics in the reduction of agrobiodiversity by the contamination of landraces. In Carol master’s degree, she worked on the investigation of the potential response to stress by transgenic plants under herbicide application.

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Undergrad interns

Aline Martins Hoepers

Aline is an undergraduated intern and student at the Federal University of Santa Catarina.

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Project Partners

Dr. Frank Narandja

Dr. Narendja is a microbiologist and biochemist by training and works in the field of detection and monitoring of GMOs since 2004. He is a member of the steering committee of the European Network of GMO laboratories (ENGL). He has carried out several training courses and workshops on GMO detection and laboratory quality assurance mainly in Asia and Accession Countries to the European Union. Other responsibilities include scientific support to the competent authorities of Austria.

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Michael Eckerstorfer

Michael Eckerstorfer holds a PhD in molecular genetics from the University of Vienna and works as a scientific officer in the Landuse & Biosafety Unit at Environment Agency Austria (Umweltbundesamt). His work focuses on issues relevant for risk management of GMOs released to the environmental, specifically environmental risk assessment (ERA) and monitoring. He is a member of the Austrian Gentechnikkommission (National Advisory Body on Genetic Engineering) and head of the Austrian delegation to the OECD Working Group on Harmonisation of Regulatory Oversight in Biotechnology.

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Dr. Gretta Abou-Sleymane

Gretta Abou-Sleymane established the Lebanese  GMOs testing laboratory at the American University of Science and Technology (AUST) in 2007. The laboratory acquired its ISO 17025 accreditation in 2011 and was  granted an official permission from the Lebanese authorities to conduct GMOs analyses. Dr. Abou-Sleymane is also a principal investigator of GMOs research projects that are also conducted at AUST and that aim at optimizing and developing new GMOs analytical methods as well as assessing GMOs in the country. She is also an active member in the Lebanese National Committee for Biotechnology and Biosafety at the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture whose missions include proposing legislations and regulations dealing with handling and release of GMOs as well as providing guidance for decision makers and key players.

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MSc. Hege Rivedal Ødegaard

Experienced Quality Assurance Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the food production industry. Skilled in Food Processing, Food Science, and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). Strong quality assurance professional with a Master’s degree focused in Food Science from UMB.

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Dr. Muath Alsheikh

Head of Research and Development / breeder at Graminor AS | FOU LEDER & FOREDLER, POTET OG JORDBÆR

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Prof. Rubens Nodari

Rubens Nodari holds a Ph.D. in Genetics – University Of California at Davis (1992). He is currently a full professor at the Federal University of Santa Catarina. For the Agronomy course, he teaches subjects in the area of ​​plant improvement and biotechnology. In the Postgraduate Course in Plant Genetic Resources, he teaches courses related to the characterization of diversity and genetic and population genetic conservation. Related to plant genetics, he develops and directs studies related to plant phylogeny and phylogeography. Since the 1990s, he has been working in the area of ​​GMO biosafety. Since 2008, based on the Memorandum of Understanding between UFSC and NORCE – Norwegian Research Centre, he has been developing and guiding studies in the area of ​​direct and indirect biohazards arising from the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms into the environment. He was Plant Genetic Resources Manager at the Ministry of the Environment from 2003 to 2008. He is an advisor and currently Coordinator of the Postgraduate Program in Plant Genetic Resources.

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Project Advisors

Alexandra Ribarits

Senior Expert at Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES)

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Audrun Utskarpen

Senior environmental consultant in Ecolabelling Norway – Nordic Ecolabelled

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Kaare Magne Nielsen

Ph.D (1997) Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. Postdoctoral studies at the Research Institute for Plant Protection, DLO, Wageningen, The Netherlands (2 years), and the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA (3 years). Sabbatical stay at the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary biology, Yale University, New Haven, in 2011. Tenured faculty in the Department of Pharmacy, the University of Tromsø, and full professor since 2005. Appointed leader of the research group on microbiology, molecular- and pharmacoepidemiology 2009 -2014. Head of dept Life science and health, Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet) 2014- 2021. Vice-dean Innovation, Faculty of health sciences, OsloMet, 2021 –

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Yves Bertheau

Yves Bertheau is a French biologist and phytopathologist, Honorary Senior Researcher at Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, and a specialist in particular in GMOs.

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Alumni

Francieli Marian

Francieli was an undergraduated intern and student at the Federal University of Santa Catarina.

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Laís Cintra Magnavita

Laís was an undergraduated intern and student at the Federal University of Santa Catarina.

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Rafael Fonseca Benevenuto

Rafael was an Post-Doctoral Fellow and student at the Federal University of Santa Catarina.

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Rodrigo Schifini Blos

Rodrigo was an undergraduated intern and student at the Federal University of Santa Catarina.

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Contact | Kontakt

Scientific enquiries – saag@norceresearch.no

Administrative and press enquiries – jenu@norceresearch.no