Lallemand Animal Nutrition
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Feb 05, 2021

Frédérique Chaucheyras-Durand, Ruminant Center of Excellence: “What I like about working in research is that we are always questioning things and ourselves”

Feb 05, 2021

Meet our researcher: Frédérique Chaucheyras-Durand, Research Manager, Ruminant Center of Excellence

Meet our researcher: Frédérique Chaucheyras-Durand, Research Manager, Ruminant Center of Excellence

  • Based in Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • Ph.D. in Microbiology
  • Areas of expertise: research, microbiology, ruminants

 

Frédérique, tell us a bit about yourself, your passions, why did you choose to be a researcher?

To start off, let’s say that I’ve been working at Lallemand for a long time, more than 20 years. I was here even before the Animal Nutrition business unit was created! I started working with Lallemand when I was still a student, writing my thesis at the INRAe in 1992. I have always been passionate about research and with an interest in the vast world of microbes. Probiotics were still a new subject at that time, with not much research, so I was excited to participate in pioneering discoveries within this field.

The fact that I have been working with Lallemand ever since I was a Ph.D. student allowed me to witness and participate in all the big R&D breakthroughs — for instance, the launch of our well-known LEVUCELL SC! — and the development of the Animal Nutrition business unit. That’s what I like about my background, there’s a real story! Looking back 25 years ago, I can tell that I am very impressed by all that has been achieved at Lallemand Animal Nutrition, and I am very proud to have contributed, at my small level, to this success.

When I was a child, I wanted to become a farmer. I liked being close to animals, particularly farm animals. I enjoyed working with ruminants and still do today.

On a personal note, I live in the countryside in the Auvergne, a 10-minute drive from my workplace. I’m surrounded by nature, grass cows, and, of course, the famous Auvergne volcanos. I’m very grateful to have been able to stay in my homeland without having to move for work purposes. While being able to stay in Auvergne, I can travel the world thanks to my job, and this is something I really appreciate as well. I like to discover new cultures. I’m very open to people, and I enjoy discussing and debating with others!

Since I’m living in the countryside and surrounded by nature, I practice outdoor sports and do a lot of running and that gives me the inspiration to write poems. I also participate in my village’s activities. I’m part of the city council.

What is exciting about your job at the Lallemand Center of Excellence?

Well, we could say that after 20 years of working at Lallemand, I still absolutely love my job and what I’m doing. As knowledge on microbiota is increasing, I still enjoy working on how microbial additives can improve digestive microbial function in ruminantsThis is actually a nice concept of microbial ecology — I’m never bored!

To me, Lallemand is a great company to work with, there are so many positive aspects! First of all, one could think that, because the Lallemand Centers of Excellence are scattered around the world, we could feel isolated, but absolutely not. We really feel like we are a part of a family, even though we don’t see our colleagues that much.

What I like about working in research is that we are always questioning things and ourselves. We must challenge ourselves, there’s no routine! There are so many thematic, methodological approaches, that help to keep fresh. What’s also important is that I am sometimes in the field and can be close to the animals. As I said, since animals are one of my passions, this is something important to me.

I also really enjoy writing publications even though it takes time, and it’s not that easy!

One other aspect that I like is that I manage a team of 3 people. I enjoy discussing and exchanging with people. I always try to motivate them, to highlight them, because I simply think they are doing a great job!

As we are working at the INRAe, it’s always interesting to exchange with academic researchers, we get new insights and new visions that make interesting conversations!

What makes Lallemand Centers of Excellence different?

One thing that is really differentiating for me is our strong team spirit, even more so since Emmanuelle Apper’s arrival as the Manager of Lallemand Centers of Excellence. We really feel like we are one structure and a big family. We share a lot between us, and I’m always glad when we welcome a new colleague or have new ideas!

The fact that we work in collaboration with academic entities, such as INRAe or the Miner Institute, is also a big advantage for us. We are aware of the new technologies, we share knowledge. Since we know that Lallemand is really driven by science, this is an important plus for us, to be able to work hand-in-hand with such well-known partners.