Brittany graduated with a double major in Food Consumer Science and Human Nutrition (BAppSci). She is currently working on her master's, supervised by Associate Professor Rachael Taylor.
Her work is on the BLISS study, a randomized control trial looking at an alternative approach to complementary feeding called Baby-Led Weaning (BLW).
In this study infants are encouraged to self-feed using family foods from the start of the introduction to solids, rather than being spoon-fed purees by their caregivers.
"I really enjoy the public health and preventive side of nutrition. I think nutrition is a large, fast growing area and will have a huge impact on health outcomes."
Maternal and paediatric nutrition: a long-term interest
Brittany says she has always been interested in working in maternal and paediatric nutrition throughout her study, and feels very lucky to have had this project come up at the end of her undergraduate year.
"The particular area that I am focusing on for my master's is the nutrient intake, food preference and overall food variety offered, when the infants are 12 months of age. I am hoping to discover a difference between the two groups (BLISS intervention and controls). This will help identify further research needed, as there is very little published."
Research with human subjects
"I love the interaction with the public the research offers, as everyday is different. You do need to have flexibility around working in research with humans subjects. Following protocols and communicating with other team members is also an essential research discipline."
"For someone in school aspiring to research I would say 'good on you' for knowing what you want to do! Research is fantastic, there are so many pathways that you can go down and I am discovering something new everyday. Don’t be afraid to give something that you're passionate about, a go."
Passion for science
Brittany spent her childhood growing up on a farm, south of Palmerston North. Her family moved to the Waikato when she was 12.
"I was always interested and fascinated by animals as a child and wanted to work in a zoo. At school I always enjoyed the science subjects especially biology, although I also loved my art subjects. Hated English. I had a few awesome teachers at high school that drove my passion for science"
Brittany did her undergraduate study here at the University of Otago.
She's a fan of the great outdoors: "In the winter I love getting up the mountain when I get a chance"