Science in Practice
Meet your Mad Scientist - Dr Tamara Bucher
- What is your current position, and what do you do?
My official position title is: Senior Lecturer in Food Science and Human Nutrition.
I am a Nutrition and Consumer Behaviour research and I am investigating how we can make healthier food products and also get people to eat them. In practice this means that I do a lot studies and experiments with people. We make new food products and invite consumers to taste them and ask them about their opinion and what they like or dislike about them. We also look into how we can change food environments, for example the information on food products, to promote healthier choices.
- What interests did you have growing up?
I was always very interested in biology and how human body works! We are what we eat and the food we eat is directly influencing our body and our health and well being. I still find this really fascinating! I feel lucky that I have found my dream job!
- Would you recommend pursuing a career in the sciences?
Oh yes! It’s the best job in the world! Actually, it hardly ever feels like a job, because I get to do what I love every day and it is never boring! I learn something every day and get to do cool projects with people who are just as much into the same things!
- What advice would you give to kids who are interested in the sciences?
Go for it and never be shy to ask! If you want to know more about what different scientists do, why not ask them? We really love to chat about what we do and once you get us started its hard to stop us.
Dr Tamara Bucher started her professional research career as a biochemist – she has a BSc, and MSc and a Nature publication under her belt to prove it. But her interest in the way that chemicals interact with human bodies began to evolve when she made an important realisation.
“At one point, I figured that the food we eat had the biggest impact on your system and your health. So I became more and more interested in nutrition rather than medication.”
Tamara took this fascination with her back to ETH (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – or Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) to study for a Master of Advanced Studies in Human Nutrition and Health.
Tamara came to the University of Newcastle after meeting Professor Clare Collins at the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity Conference in Belgium. After presenting the results of her PhD project, Tamara got talking to Clare and became intrigued by her ‘healthy eating’ research.
Tamara successfully applied for a Swiss National Science Foundation grant to study the impact of nutrition knowledge on food choice, and she was able to relocate from Zurich to Newcastle.
The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.