Professor visits Bunbury to discuss research possibilities with farmers

Edith Cowan University’s nutrition expert Professor Amanda Devine will visit Bunbury on February 2 for the Introducing Health Science Sundowner.
Edith Cowan University’s nutrition expert Professor Amanda Devine will visit Bunbury on February 2 for the Introducing Health Science Sundowner.

Opportunities for nutrition researchers to link with South West farmers to better the health of the community will be explored throughout 2018 thanks to the introduction of new courses at Edith Cowan University. 

Nutrition expert Professor Amanda Devine will be presenting at a free sundowner on February 2 hosted by ECU to celebrate the launch of the Bachelor of Health Science course at the South West campus.

Professor Devine will outline how the soil in which food is grown plays a big part in the nutritional value of the produce, which can influence the diversity of the gut microbiome and ultimately people’s health.

“We are exploring this new area of research and are interested in engaging with producers, industry and students who want to research how nurturing of healthy soils can impact the production of nutritious food, to improve health and wellbeing,” she said.  

“There are already a number of farmers in the South West that are practicing regenerative farming which not only results in produce with higher nutritional value but also has environmental and health benefits as well.

“We are keen to research with farmers how their produce can benefit gut health specifically.”

In her presentation Diet, the gut microbiome, its metabolites and human health, Professor Devine will also address how connecting farmers with consumers is a way to improve healthier food choice.

“Farmers would be more than welcome to the ECU Sundowner and we can connect and generate some ideas of what types of research we could undertake,” she said. 

“We are also interested in how our built food environment can foster, support and connect people through food, such as markets and community gardens.

“New students, food producers and industry who are interested in this concept too could talk to researchers at the sundowner and find out more.

“The more connected the consumer is with how their food is grown and produced the more likely they are to eat a balanced healthy diet.”

South West students will be able to study for a Bachelor of Health Science course majoring in Nutrition, Health Promotion or Occupational Safety and Health, in a blended delivery model.

As part of the new offerings, a new Health Science Hub will be established on the South West Campus.

The Hub will be coordinated by lecturer Dr Stephanie Godrich giving students space to study, connect with peers and engage with guest speakers.

For more information contact 6304 6304.