Dr Lisa Daniels completed her PhD study investigating the impact of a modified version of baby-led weaning in 2017. Within the BLISS study (baby-led introduction to solids) she looked at iron and zinc intake, and status, of 12 month old toddlers.
"Baby-led weaning is a new and exciting area of infant and toddler nutrition and even within parenting communities it is a hot topic."
Elite sport sparked interest
Lisa was born and bred in Dunedin.
She says: "Surprisingly I was not a fan of science at school. I spent many years as an elite athlete and after receiving varied nutrition advice from many individuals while training in Canada, I began to gain an interest in nutrition and decided to pursue this as a career."
Lisa studied at the University of Otago gaining a Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in human nutrition and minor in food service management in 2011. She went on to complete a Master of Dietetics (MDiet) with Distinction in 2013.
Paediatrics experience led to focus
"During my training to become a dietitian I really enjoyed gaining experience in the area of paediatrics, this inspired me to continue research in the area."
Lisa enjoys teaching and research. Her ideal career would involve part-time lecturing and part-time work as a private practice dietitian.
Her advice to aspiring researchers is to: "Follow your dreams, passion and motivation can take you a long way."
Coaching, clinical skills and nutrition in the mix
Lisa enjoys coaching children from six to 15 years in synchronised swimming here in Dunedin. She has progressed young athletes to gain medals at New Zealand National Championships. In 2014 she has had her first athlete qualify to represent New Zealand at the Oceania Swimming Championships.
Lisa has also started a small private practice (Core Health – wellness and sports nutrition coaching) alongside her PhD study to maintain her clinical dietetic skills and pursue her interests in sports nutrition.