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ABOUT ME

Traditional problem-solving approaches that are rooted in singular disciplines are no longer adequate for addressing the world’s most pressing food challenges. These challenges are more complex and multi-faceted than ever, and require new scientific approaches that can integrate data and methods from multiple disciplines into a common problem-solving framework that is scalable from the community-level to the population-level.

Unhealthy diets are now the leading risk factor for death in the US and worldwide, and mounting evidence shows that healthy diets are financially out of reach for the majority of the US and global populations, which has contributed to worsening social and economic disparities. Food systems are also a primary contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts that threaten our ability to meet the food demands of a growing global population.

To address these challenges, I bridge the divide between nutritional epidemiology, food systems science, data science, and agricultural science to develop new analytical methods that can inform decision-making at local and national levels. 

Current positions

Assistant Professor – Human Nutrition

Department of Health Sciences

William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA

Faculty Affiliate

Global Research Institute

William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA

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Education and training

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Human Nutrition Research Center, Grand Forks, ND

US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service

Nutritional Epidemiology and Behavioral Sciences

Postdoctoral Scholar

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Tufts University, Boston, MA

Nutritional Epidemiology

PhD – Nutrition

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Tufts University, Boston, MA

Master of Science – Food Systems and Public Health

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Tufts University, Boston, MA

Master of Public Health – Nutrition

School of Medicine

Tufts University, Boston, MA

Bachelor of Arts – Biology and Anthropology (Honors)

Food Systems and Human Health

Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Scholarship

I have published nearly 60 scientific peer-reviewed studies that have been cited over 1,700 times, and have secured $1.5 million in funding to support integrated research and teaching. My research has been featured or cited by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization; National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine; US Environmental Protection Agency; and dozens of major media outlets.

Computer Programming
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Research-teaching integration

With competitive funding to support research-teaching integration, I have incorporated my research into classroom instruction; established interdisciplinary research assistantships, fellowships, independent studies, and internships for students to apply their training; and created a new Human Nutrition Concentration at William & Mary that prepares students for interdisciplinary problem-solving.

Teaching

I teach four undergraduate courses per year that serve over 400 students: Sustainable Food Systems; Population Nutrition, Policy, and Programs; Science of Nutrition; and Nutrition in Health and Disease. I was named Most Influential to the Education of a Member of the Class of 2020, 2021, and 2023. In 2023 I was a state finalist in Virginia for the Outstanding Faculty Award in the Rising Star Category, and I am under consideration again in 2024. Also, in 2024, I received the the Rising Star Award by the Alumni Association at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University

Conference
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Professional service

I a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Nutrition Journal. In 2021 I received the Outstanding Reviewer Recognition Award from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, based on review quality, timeliness, number of reviews, and ability to mentor researchers in their scientific writing.

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Committee membership

I am currently on the Advisory Board of the USDA-funded project Soil to Society: Optimizing Human Health and Nutrition. Formerly, I was a member of the measures and metrics team on the joint project by NIH and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics titled Agriculture and Diet: Value Added to Nutrition Translation and Adaptation in a Global Economy (ADVANTAGE). I was also on the Executive Board of the Climate, Health, and Improved Nutrition (CHAIN) section at the American Society for Nutrition, as well as the History of Nutrition Committee at the American Society for Nutrition.

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