Dr Kate Howell is a Senior Lecturer in Food Chemistry in the School of Agriculture and Food at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She is the Director of Research Training and has leadership roles within the school and faculty. Kate coordinates and teaches undergraduate subjects in Food and Nutrition and in the Master of Food Science. Her research group investigates how complex microbial communities’ function through interspecies communication and interaction with food components. Her research topics consider how microbes move in food and agricultural ecosystems, bread microbiology, health impacts from fermented foods, and Indigenous Australian foodways. Originally focussed on yeast genetics and applications in wine and viticultural systems, Kate’s research agenda expanded to encompass bread and other fermented foods during a sabbatical in France supported by the EU-Agreenskills program. Prior to her role at the University of Melbourne, Kate was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. She completed her PhD at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and the Australian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide, Australia. Kate’s research has generated 60 articles in scientific journals and attracted more than 1000 citations (hindex 17). She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Microbiology and Frontiers in Microbiology.
About her talk:
Kate will speak about yeast and bacterial diversity in sourdough ecosystems and how these microbes interact to make delicious and nutritious bread.