Science Slam

Science Slam

2023 GFFA Science Slam

The 2023 Science Slam Winner is

Lia Orr


Five slammers gave entertaining 10 minute presentations in English on the main topic of “Transforming global food systems” – live on stage again in Berlin this year!

Following the slams, the international audience decided who would be awarded the GFFA Science Slam – Trophy 2023. The award ceremony was held by our Federal Minister Cem Özdemir.


Aktivierung erforderlich

Wir möchten Sie darauf hinweisen, dass nach der Aktivierung Ihre Daten an Youtube übermittelt werden.

Science Slam candidates

We are most delighted to note that the 2023 GFFA Science Slam has been met with such keen interest and we are grateful for the applications we received from all around the world. We have selected the following five candidates out of a large pool of applicants:

Lorenzo Fruscella

Aquaponics is an innovative food production method that involves the farming of fish and plants: the waste from the fish is converted by bacteria in the water into nutrients for the plants, which absorb them and grow. Although aquaponics is considered to be a sustainable way of producing food, the produce cannot be certified as organic in the EU, because of the lack of soil in the system, and the forbidden use of fish effluents as fertilisers. With the goal of having aquaponics achieve organic status, nine experiments were performed, testing the inclusion of soil in aquaponics, and the use of fish effluents as fertilisers for growing crops. The use of fish effluents on inert substrates to simulate growing conditions on Mars was also tested, as communities will be able to live in permanent settlements on Mars only if fresh food can be produced in situ.
  • 2019-2023
    PhD in Aquaponics – University of Greenwich (London, UK)
  • 2018-2019
    Worked in aquaculture companies in New Zealand, Netherlands and Ireland
  • 2017-2018
    MSc in Sustainable Aquaculture – University of Stirling (Scotland, UK)
  • 2015-2017
    Worked in aquaculture research facility in Charleston, South Carolina, USA
  • 2011-2015
    BSc in Aquatic Biology – University of California Santa Barbara (California, USA)

Lia Orr

In times of major crises affecting our supply chains and threatening the life of thousands we need to use the resources we have as efficiently as possible while at the same time having as little impact on the environment as possible. Creating a crises-proof food system shows the need for more sustainable supply chains and reducing food losses and waste will play a major role towards this. But before we know where and also how to effectively reduce food waste, we need a realistic baseline. Together we will dive into the food waste amounts on retail level in Germany and see how these amounts can be measured in practice and how food waste can be effectively reduced.

  • 2019-now
    Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut – Researcher in the area of food waste monitoring and prevention with a focus on wholesale, retail and food service.
  • 2017-2019
    Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen – M.Sc. Food Economics
  • 2014-2017
    Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn – B.Sc. Food Science
  • Jobs during studies: SIRPLUS GmbH (2019) – Building up a catering with “saved food”; Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen (2017-2019) – Tutoring B.Sc. students in economics; HARIBO Deutschland (2017) – working in food retail; BurritoRico (2015-2016) – working in food service

Anjani Nayak

We are all aware that several agricultural by-products like fruit peel, oil seed press cakes, and slaughterhouse wastes are either burned or dumped in landfills. Utilizing these not only reduces the waste but the corresponding pollution. Besides, we have a huge demand for animal products. Hence, it is important to find alternative sources of protein, not just for humans but also for animals.

As part of my research, I am in the process of understanding the performance of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae fed on agricultural side-streams. The ability of the larvae in converting organic wastes into valuable protein and fat gave them huge popularity. In my slam, I would explain the challenges and the methodologies used to solve unanswered questions in this emerging field of insects as food and feed.

  • 2017-2019
    Masters in Crop Sciences
  • 2017-2018
    University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany
  • 2018-2019
    Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands
  • 2020
    Hessen Ideen Stipendium, Germany
  • October 2020-present
    PhD student at Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany (2020- present)
    In collaboration with Fraunhofer IME-BR and Hermetia GmbH

Bassel Daher

We’ll go on a trip down the supermarket aisle to explore some of the key interconnected challenges that face our food system and the many resources on which it depends. We will then fly across the world to discover the root causes to food insecurity and the compound shocks that face food supply chains, highlighting the need for cross-sectoral and international cooperation. Making our food systems more sustainable and resilient will look different in various contexts; therefore, co-creating contextualized responses to food system transformation, need to be done with stakeholder holders representing the different interconnected sectors, including our farmers, who are at the forefront of responding to many of these challenges and shocks.

Assistant Research Scientist, Texas A&M Energy Institute
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Research Fellow, Institute for Science Technology and Public Policy
Texas A&M University

  • Sustainability expert with >10 years of experience in conducting policy-oriented research focused on developing quantitative assessment tools to support evidence-based decision-making to improve food-water-energy systems sustainability, as demonstrated by case studies in the US (Texas, Indiana), Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar, Turkey, Morocco, and Bangladesh
  • Specialist in the analysis of cross-sectoral databases with expertise in the quantification of the trade-offs and synergies associated with policy and technological interventions related to addressing interconnected resource challenges; resulting in >45 publications and multiple research excellence awards
  • Expert facilitator of multi-stakeholder engagement workshops and capacity-building activities related to identifying opportunities for policy convergence and addressing institutional barriers to cross-sectoral cooperation
  • Since 2010: held various research (Purdue University, Qatar Foundation, Texas A&M) , consulting (UN FAO, GIZ, IRENA, Waterlution, IWRA, UfM), program evaluation (Penn State University) and leadership (IWRA, Sustainable Development Solutions Network) positions with multiple national and international organizations.

Metron Ziga

Is it possible that food- something which gives so much joy and comfort in different setups is actually contributing to the death of many people in the world? We will explore how unhealthy diets are contributing to the rising prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the world by drawing lessons from South Africa. Unhealthy diets and malnutrition are among the key drivers of NCDs and are directly related to food system inequities which restrict the ability of some people to access healthy food and make unhealthy foods the cheaper, easier option, and thus making them more susceptible to NCDs. I highlight the food system inequities in South Africa, their root causes and the opportunities and challenges of transitioning to more equitable food systems. I conclude that equitably transforming how food is produced, processed, marketed, and consumed is key in tackling NCDs especially in South Africa where there is a double burden of malnutrition.

  • January 2022 – present
    Research Assistant at the University of the Western Cape
  • February 2020 – present
    PhD in International Development Studies at the University of the Western Cape.
    Topic: Food choices, healthy diets and the food security synergy in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe: A food systems analysis Approach
  • 2019
    Part-time Lecturer at Lupane State University in Zimbabwe.
  • 2016 – 2018
    Master of Arts in Development Studies at the University of the Western Cape University of the Western Cape, South Africa: Master of Arts in Development Studies
    Topic: Home-based agricultural production as a food security coping strategy for urban households: A case of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Science Slam Facilitator

Photo: Stormy Mildner

Drew Portnoy

Drew Portnoy worked as a foreign correspondent in Berlin for many years and has lived in the capital for more than 20 years. As a comedian and facilitator, he draws on his deep knowledge of German culture and politics to have a dig at Berliners, his family and above all himself with a large slice of self-irony. He has enthusiastically hosted numerous Science Slams all over Germany and in the US.

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