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MSc(Guelph) PhD (Tor)

Lisa Houghton Photo 2017


Lisa Houghton is a Emeritus Professor in the Department of Human Nutrition with research interest in community and international nutrition.

Professor Lisa Houghton joined the Department of Human Nutrition in 2008. Lisa completed her undergraduate and MSc training at the University of Guelph, Canada, her clinical dietetic training at McMaster Health Sciences, and her PhD in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. Prior to arriving in New Zealand, Lisa was an Assistant Professor at Acadia University, and was a Research Associate at The Hospital for Sick Children, Canada, and the Premature Infant Nutrition group at Abbott Laboratories, USA. She is a member of American Society of Nutrition and the International Society for Research on Human Milk and Lactation.

Lisa Houghton's research is focused on the assessment and health consequences of micronutrient deficiencies in “at risk” population groups, with particular expertise in maternal and young child undernutrition. Current topics of investigation include nutritional assessment of infants, young children and mothers in Indonesia, Kenya and India; investigation of the influence of infant and young child feeding practices on diet quality, gut microbiota, growth and morbidity; assessment of the impact of a complementary feeding home-fortification strategy using a desiccated beef powder on the growth and development of young children; and, development of a field friendly exclusive breastfeeding biomarker tool.


Current postgraduate students


  • Aly Diana. Adequacy of micronutrient intakes and status of breastfed Indonesian infants fed traditional complementary foods.
  • Rosemary Stamm. Folate and one-carbon metabolism in human milk fed infants and their mothers.
  • Ben Wheeler. Intermittent maternal vitamin D supplementation to prevent vitamin D deficiency in the breastfed infant and lactating mother.
  • Carla Thomson. Teaching and learning reflective practice in dietetic education
  • Maria Polak. Vitamin D and emotional well-being in the general population.

Master of Science

  • Deborah McIntosh. Adequacy of complementary diets and nutritional status of disadvantaged Indian children

Master of Dietetics

  • Briar McKenzie. Retrospective study on the growth trajectories and nutritional support of preterm infants at Dunedin Hospital

Recent graduates


  • Sue MacDonell. Optimising the nutritional status, health and well-being of older New Zealand adults in residential care.
  • Rebecca Lander. Nutritional status of disadvantaged preschool children attending daycares in Salvador, Northeast Brazil: a cross-sectional study. 2012.

Master of Science

  • Aimee Richardson. The effect of selenium and iron status on well-being of young adults. 2014
  • Sarah Beaumont. Compliance of rural mothers in Emali, Kenya to WHO guiding principles for complementary feeding practices and behaviours. 2013
  • Simonette Mallard. Prevalence of awareness and use of supplemental folic acid before and during pregnancy, Does long-term folic acid supplementation have an impact on 1-carbon metabolism? 2012.
  • Rose Stamm. An evaluation of the accuracy of the folate microbiologic assay and comparison with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. 2011
  • Nicola Hursthouse. Validation of a food frequency questionnaire to assess folate intake of NZ reproductive-aged children. 20111
  • Victoria Logan. Predictors of vitamin D status in New Zealand adults and the effect of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplementation on 25-hydroxyvitamin D and parathyroid hormone concentrations. 2011


Baby, J., Kaestel, P., Preston, T., Duffull, S. B., Liu, Z., Diana, A., Houghton, L., … Thomas, T. (2023). Effects of variations in atmospheric temperature and humidity on the estimation of exclusive breastfeeding status using the deuterium oxide dose-to-mother technique. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 1188811. Advance online publication. doi: 10.3389/fped.2023.1188811 Journal - Research Article

Wang, A., Diana, A., Rahmannia, S., Gibson, R. S., Houghton, L. A., & Slupsky, C. (2023). Impact of milk secretor status on the fecal metabolome and microbiota of breastfed infants. Gut Microbes, 15(2), 2257273. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2023.2257273 Journal - Research Article

Peddie, M. C., Gale, J. T., Haszard, J. J., Scott, T., Ranasinghe, C., Heath, A.-L. M., Gibson, R. S., & Houghton, L. A. (2023). Micronutrient status of New Zealand adolescent women consuming vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 32(4), 434-443. doi: 10.6133/apjcn.202312_32(4).0008 Journal - Research Article

Diana, A., Rahmannia, S., Suhadi, Y. Z., Luftimas, D. E., Rizqi, H., Purnamasari, A. D., … Haszard, J. J., Houghton, L. A., Gibson, R. S., & Fahmida, U. (2022). Chicken liver and eggshell crackers as a safe and affordable animal source food for overcoming micronutrient deficits during pregnancy and lactation in Indonesia: A double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial (SSTIK Growth Study) [version1; peer review: 2 approved]. Wellcome Open Research, 7, 167. doi: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.17879.1 Journal - Research Other

Peddie, M., Scott, T., Ranasinghe, C., Fleming, E., Webster, K., Brown, R., Houghton, L., & Haszard, J. (2022). A sample of female adolescent self-identified vegetarians in New Zealand consume less protein and saturated fat, but more fiber than their omnivorous peers. Nutrients, 14, 711. doi: 10.3390/nu14030711 Journal - Research Article

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