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Nicola King


BSc(tech) (Waikato University), MSc (Lincoln University)


Nicola (Nikki) has been with ESR for 19 years, working in the areas of food safety and risk assessment. She works on a range of projects for New Zealand Food Safety (a business unit of the Ministry for Primary Industries) and food industry members of the New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre (NZFSSRC). Most of this work is focussed on the risk of foodborne hazards to human health and is used to help organisations to understand a problem and identify where they need to focus their attention. Nikki enjoys supporting organisations to develop research concepts into impactful projects. While most of her work is focused on microbiological hazards, Nikki’s work canvasses a range of topics including chemical risks, climate change, burden of disease, risk modelling, machine learning/AI, environmental health and developing science-based guidance for the food industry. Nikki also leads a system focused on identifying emerging food safety risks and the scientific research needed to address these risks. This work involves evaluating intelligence from a range of sources, including an international network, and communicating findings to different audiences. Nikki is a member of the NZFSSRC’s Science Leadership Team, where she contributes to the Centre’s science programme and developing research projects.