Markus Schuppler

Senior Scientist Food Microbiology
ETH Zurich

Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health
Namibia University of Science and Technology

March 3 - March 22, 2018

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Cooperation with university staff

The emphasis of my assignment as a B360 expert at the Namibia University of Science and Technology in Windhoek in March 2019 was on teaching molecular aspects of the pathogenicity of bacterial pathogens relevant for food and drinking water to third year students of the Medical Laboratory Sciences Program. The assignment consisted of a mixture of interactive lectures, practical experiments and field trips to demonstrate real applications of the acquired knowledge. This task was strongly supported by staff members of the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences who provided a valuable contribution to the success of this assignment.


Cooperation with students

In particular, the practical experiments and field trips provided a valuable opportunity to establish a closer relationship with the students. Detection and identification of Listeria monocytogenes in food samples was of great interest for the students, because this dangerous foodborne pathogen was the cause for the 2018 food poisoning outbreak in South Africa, with more than 200 death cases after the consumption of contaminated polony sausages. Furthermore, the isolation of Staphylococcus aureus from their own throats and the subsequent molecular characterization of the isolates for their potential to produce enterotoxins was strongly appreciated by the students.

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Impact and win-win

Sharing my knowledge and experience as a lecturer and expert in food microbiology with students, who are eager to learn and supporting them in their education is a very motivating and rewarding experience. This is in particular true because of the impression that students and staff from Biomedical Sciences appreciate the effort and impact made to the education of students in a very special field. On the other hand it is an enriching experience to teach in foreign countries and cultures, which certainly helps to improve own teaching and presentation skills. Thus, teaching at NUST is always a fruitful and large win-win situation.