I am the manager of the Food & Drink Business Development Centre and the Course Director for the MSc Food Design and Innovation at Ulster University Business School. My role within the centre seeks to engage with local and international food businesses in research and innovation as well as develop teaching programmes to support the needs of the food & drink industry. In 2005, I gained a First Class Honours degree in BSc Consumer Studies which focused on various aspects of food marketing (e.g. nutrition, food choice and product development). During my degree I was awarded the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) scholarship to study food marketing at the prestigious Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia and work for leading retailer Wawa in their food marketing department. In 2009, I completed my PhD in food marketing. Since then, I have worked as a Research Fellow in the Global Institute of Food Security at Queens University Belfast before taking up a lectureship post at Ulster University in Consumer Management and Food Innovation. I currently supervise seven PhD students all completing projects in the area of food marketing/shopping behaviour, food tourism, food poverty and food innovation. I am extremely passionate about supporting our local food industry and in 2016 started a blog with my husband (Robert Ainley) and in 2018 we won the award for the Best Food and Drink Blog at the Digital Awards Northern Ireland. I am also a columnist for a local paper called Farm Week within which I write articles focusing on food trends and innovations.
Food marketing Food choice/consumer behaviour Food tends/innovations Cooking skills
Senior Lecturer - academic writing (journals) Farm Week - monthly columnist (unpaid)
Ulster University (2020) Civic Ambassador Award Ulster University (2019) Distinguished Research Fellow UUBS Ulster University (2016) Inspirational Lecturer of the Year CCEA Subject Advisory Group for Home Economics Member of the All-Ireland Plant Innovation Steering Group NI Agri-Food Sectoral Partnership - working group Belfast Food Network - Food Poverty - working group Member of safefood knowledge network
My priority is to learn from the network and be more informed about developments in the UK food and drink industry. However, some possible commercial opportunities for myself include: * collaboration in university based research and/or consultancy projects related to food and drink; * speaking engagements; and * food writing opportunities.