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How a Passion for Bacteria is Preventing Food Waste, Igniting Women in Science

At Sealed Air, we are fortunate to have many women dedicated to science, driving our business forward and leaving our world better than we find it, including Bernice Karlton-Senaye, Ph.D., Principal Scientist in Innovation & Development.

In her five years at SEE, Bernice has used her passion for bacteria to support our growth in product innovations that keep our food safe. She is pivotal in supporting our sustainability goals through material innovations in our consumer-ready proteins segment. Bernice also supports SEE’s medical team with her unique expertise.  

About Bernice

Bernice grew up in Ghana, West Africa, where the communities around her were consistently stricken by illness. Initially, Bernice considered becoming a medical doctor but soon realized that she could make an impact by focusing on food safety instead. With an undergraduate degree and work as a junior researcher at the Food Research Institute in Accra, Ghana, Bernice was one of seven finalists (out of hundreds of applicants) to receive a full scholarship that would bring her to the United States to pursue her graduate studies in Microbiology at Purdue University. She would go on to complete her doctorate degree at N.C. Agriculture & Technology (A&T) State University, ultimately bringing her to the Charlotte, N.C., area where she joined SEE in 2018.

Giving Back

Bernice is an ambassador for science and the future of women and people of color in this space. She is an adjunct professor at N.C. A&T State University, mentors Ph.D. students, and finds opportunities to inspire younger generations by enthusiastically sharing her journey and showing her work. 

Bernice is driven by her personal mantra, “to be your best you must put in your best.” Hard work, determination and resilience are the values that drive her every day, and she is proud to instill this in her three children and the students she mentors.

She is also involved with Project Scientist and plans to present to their “Superstar” 4th and 5th grade girls on the exciting field of science and the opportunities in their future.

Did You Know?

According to, women in the United States made up only a third (34%) of those employed in STEM occupations in 2019, with even fewer (11.9%) women of color in this field.


Interested in joining us to help innovate packaging solutions that keep food safe? Check out our careers page for open roles. 

Sonja Kurcz

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Sonja Kurcz
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Executive Director of Culture & Change Management

Sonja Kurcz is the Executive Director of Culture & Change Management at SEE. In her role she collaborates across the business and has the opportunity to meet and lift up many of SEE’s people through Council leadership, employee resource initiatives, and written content about our people and company culture.