Miriam van Straten

Tell us about yourself.
Miriam_04-10-2014_(LinkedIn)My name is Miriam van Straten and I grew up in Weesp, a small town near Amsterdam. I studied Animal Breeding and Genetics at Wageningen University and additionally did a minor in Communication and Innovation Studies and it is this combination of ABG and communication I bring to practice in my job as Project Manager at the European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders. I am not a researcher, but I bring research results to the industry and ensuring industry participation in RuminOmics and other EU funded projects through communication, dissemination and technology transfer activities.

What is your role in RuminOmics?
My role in RuminOmics is to ensure industry participation in the project and to facilitate technology transfer from the project to the industry.

What interested you most about the project?
Finding solutions for global issues such as the emission of greenhouse gasses is very important and I think RuminOmics can really contribute to this. I am also very interested in systems thinking and therefore I am enthusiastic about the -omics technologies.

What and/or who inspired you to make a career in science?
Since I am not a researcher, my career has not been in science really… However, I have worked for the Dutch Farmers’ Association and learned there how important it is to translate research results to the daily practice of the farmers. That’s where the changes have to be made in the end. This inspired me to work on translating research to the industry and farmers and to advocate the importance of communicating about what is happening in research projects and how the results can be put to use.

What do you enjoy most about the work?
I love interacting with all sorts of people within EU projects, the different nationalities and different fields of expertise can lead to surprising and inspiring conversations. The challenge for me is to try and get researchers to think about what their work will mean for industry and farmers.

Did you have any other career aspirations?
I have studied Human Resource Management for a couple of years and worked as a self-employed job coach for a while before returning to my animal breeding and genetics roots at EFFAB. I learnt a lot from coaching other people and really enjoyed helping them move forward in their careers, an experience that I would not have wanted to miss.