Meet our researcher: Emmanuelle Apper, Research Manager and Manager of the Lallemand Centers of Excellence
- Based in France
- Ph.D. in animal physiology, postdoc in epidemiology
- Areas of expertise: biology, animal physiology and nutrition, microbiota, research
Tell us a bit about yourself, your passions, why did you choose to be a researcher?
My personal life is driven by two main things: my family and my horses — animal nutrition and health. Animals, in general, are not only my everyday job but also my passion. I own pets and horses. I have a stable at my place, and I train my horses. My specialty is dressage. Most of the time, I start my day by cleaning stables and riding horses before going to work!
Ever since I was little, I have always been passionate about animals, nature, research, and biology. I am driven to understand how the living organism works and the different mechanisms behind it. Throughout my studies, biology remained one of my main focuses. After high school, I studied at the Rennes Biology University and then at the Agricultural School of Rennes. I conducted my Ph.D. in animal physiology at the INRAe in Rennes, followed by a postdoc in epidemiology at the Veterinary School of Nantes.
I started my career as an academic in 2009. In 2012, I decided to work in the industry. I joined a starch/sugar/prebiotic producer company and a petfood company before working at Lallemand Animal Nutrition. What I really enjoyed in the industry is the link between science and business and being able to create value through research. That’s why I think that what I’m doing today, managing the Lallemand Centers of Excellence, suits me.
My different job experiences allowed me to develop different skills apart from those required to be a researcher: innovation and project/program management, business development, customer support, and more. I learned different aspects of animal nutrition working for a raw materials and prebiotic producers, at a petfood producer, and now in a company producing mainly additives and ingredients derived from microbes. All those opportunities enriched my career!
What is exciting about your job at the Lallemand Center of Excellence?
I have a dream job! One part of my job that I really enjoy is the human aspect. As I’m moving forward in my career, management — especially in research — is something that is really appealing to me. Highlighting people, allowing them to evolve in their job, but also as a person, is one of the things that makes me passionate about my job. The people in my team are autonomous and located in different sites. Part of my activities is to help give my team vision, to create a team spirit, and to encourage cross-functional learning among groups to help share our different experiences. We share the same passions: biology, understanding the living, research on microbiota, and more. That makes teamwork exciting!
Understanding the living is also an objective of my job. To go deeper into the understanding of our products, of the microbiota, its relationship with the health of the host — and then sharing those results internally and externally is something I love! We are working in a very dynamic field of research, microbiota is everywhere but research on microbiota faces different challenges. We always have something new to do.
Finally, what I also find exciting is to bring strategy and business into our work and to transform our science into value. That’s something that I feel very gratifying!
The job I have today, as the Manager of the Centers of Excellence, links those three parts and this is why I’m so passionate about what I’m doing.
What makes the Lallemand Centers of Excellence different?
The main difference is that those Centers are not within the company: they are in different places of the world and inside research centers! This allows my colleagues to be in a 100% research atmosphere and to benefit from many technologies available there to go deeper into the applied research on our products. To me, this is really what makes the difference.
What is also interesting about the Centers of Excellence is that they are organized by species, and one of my tasks is to make sure we have a relationship between those centers. Researchers have different skills and can be very specialized. We must create the link between those different research centers. We have a monogastric center, with two sub-categories: pet and aquaculture on one side, and swine and poultry on the other (based in France and in Spain), as well as a ruminant center (based in France) and a silage center (based in North America). As you can see, we can cover large research topics, but we have to keep in mind why we are working on each topic!