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Yakun Hou

PhD Candidate
Food Science

Yakun (Nicole) Hou


Ext (470)5753
Location AppSci 108

Utilization of shells and spines of kina (Evechinus chloroticus)

Supervisors: Dr Aladin Bekhit, Dr Alan Carne, Dr Michelle McConnell


Yakun is from the North part of China, where she completed her undergraduate degree at Hebei Agriculture University and master’s degree at the Beijing Forestry University. 

After completing her studies, Yakun worked as an overseas study consultant for a year and then worked as an English tutor. New Zealand’s prosperous food industry has brought her to study and research her PhD at the University of Otago.

Yakun is interested in researching bioactive compounds which could be applied in the health care industry or functional food industry.

In her spare time, Yakun likes cooking and watching films, especially American TV series. She likes to keep fit and enjoys playing badminton for fun.

Project Outline

  • Establishing and optimizing methods for the separation, and purification of Bioactive compounds extracted from the shells and spines of kina.
  • Exploring the structure of new compounds with multiple bioactivities.
  • Investigating the biological functions of the compounds extracted from Kina including Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory and Anti-cancer activity.