Our inspiring teachers in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics

Meet our staff and find out how they are preparing our students for the workforce.

Professor Matthew Cooke

Dr Matthew Cooke, Professor of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics (pictured), strives to deliver an engaging and enjoyable experience for all students.

“As an educator, my role is to provide a future-relevant, contemporary and evidence-based education in the discipline of food and nutrition. My goal is to build a supportive and engaging learning environment, where students from all backgrounds and abilities have the opportunity to succeed,” he says.

Dr Cooke is also a senior researcher, and his work is grounded in real world situations, to provide evidence-based information for the recommendation of food and nutrition to improve health, performance and well-being in a variety of populations. His recent work has moved into an exciting area of the gut microbiome.

“I am currently leading two large multidisciplinary projects in the gut microbiome research area in collaboration with Defence Science and Technology Group and a new ‘Food and Health’ research theme within La Trobe University.”

For Dr Cooke, the highlight of his work is the opportunity to connect with staff and students.

“I really enjoy my day-to-day interactions with students and colleagues. I am very fortunate to work with a very motivated, collaborative, and supportive team.”

Susan McLeod

Susan McLeod, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics, inspires her students to think differently about food and nutrition career options.

Susan teaches undergraduate students about nutrition career pathways, the principles of food science and delivers practical classes in our commercial teaching kitchens.

“My students learn the many facets of food, including the science, cooking, enjoyment, cultural connections, and nutritional value,” she says.

“In the first year, we expose students to a wide range of foods with the goal of developing their food and nutrient knowledge one step at a time. In later years we build on this knowledge with more advanced concepts such as organoleptic impacts, food modification, food product development, and nutritional value.”

Susan encourages each of her students to find a career path they are passionate about.

“It’s a privilege to share my passion for food with students and to be able to tell them that being a nutritionist is an amazing career, because I speak from experience.”

“There are so many nutrition pathways out there for graduates and I encourage my students to experience as much as possible.”