Research Assistant

Valentina Caldart


I am the Agri-Environmental Data Lead on the HESTIA Farm Sustainability Toolkit Project, but my background is in human nutrition. When I was a teenager, some personal health challenges led me to become curious about the role of food in health and diseases. I earned a Master’s Degree in Science of Nutrition at University of Pisa and, after that, I decided to also explore other aspects of the food system. I worked as a food scientist intern for a start-up that was helping ex dairy farmers switch to oat milk production and then volunteered for a project aimed at raising awareness about food sustainability. In 2021, I was hired by WorldFish, which is part of CGIAR, to upload data on crop production and aquaculture to HESTIA and during the first months of 2022 I contributed to a project of the Beijer Insitute of Ecological Economics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, mapping recirculating aquaculture systems around the world and uploading related life cycle inventory data to HESTIA. I am now responsible for growing the data volume on the HESTIA platform and keeping the glossary and schema up-to-date.

Research Interests


I’m interested in building a solid knowledge base for developing efficient sustainability policies and improving the food sector. I’ve studied nutrition at university for 5 years, as I wanted to learn as much as possible about the relationship between food and human health. After reading the EAT-Lancet report “Food in the Anthropocene”, I started thinking in terms of planetary health: I was fascinated by the concept of “win-win diets”, which are both healthy and environmentally sustainable, and I started to realize that in most cases the food patterns that are the healthiest for us are also the healthiest for the planet.

By developing the HESTIA platform, I want to consolidate agri-environmental data and facilitate knowledge exchange in the food and agriculture sector, as I think this is the first step to build a food system which promotes the health and wellbeing of the Earth and all its inhabitants.


Current Research

I’m currently working on the HESTIA Farm Sustainability Toolkit Project. In particular, I am contributing to the development of HESTIA, an open-access platform that allows researchers and producers to store data on the productivity and sustainability of agricultural products in a structured and standardized way. My main responsibilities include growing the data volume on the platform (by uploading published and unpublished datasets and supporting other researchers during the upload process), keeping the glossary and schema up-to-date, and integrating existing impact assessment methods (such as ReCiPe and LC-Impact) into HESTIA.


As a personal project, I am working on a global review of the environmental impacts of nuts, to help identify the ones with the most favorable environmental profile. 

Brief CV

Professional experience:



University of Oxford,

Research Assistant – Agri-Environmental Data Lead



Beijer Insitute of Ecological Economics,

Consultant for the FORMAS SeaWin project




LCA Consultant




Food scientist intern





Master’s degree in Human Nutrition, University of Pisa



Bachelor’s degree in Science of Nutrition, University of Urbino

Links to groups/projects/related sites