Tauranga Public Lecture Series - La dolce vita: Sugar Chemistry Research by Professor Merilyn Manley-Harris

Professor Merilyn Manley-Harris
Date Monday 2 March 2020
Time 6pm - 7pm
Where Lecture Theatre, Level 2, University of Waikato Tauranga Campus, Durham Street
Presenter Professor Merilyn Manley-Harris, Professor in Chemistry at the University of Waikato
Contact Joanna Kearney
Contact email
Series Tauranga Public Lectures
Admission Cost Free - please register here and present your ticket at the door

If we are what we eat - what are we eating?

Chemistry and chemicals are often regarded as antithetical to food and to be avoided in the diet at all costs. From a research career in carbohydrate (sugar) chemistry, Merilyn will offer examples of how in fact the chemicals that comprise food can be both beneficial to human health and a selling point for the food industry. A lifetime of teaching in five countries and four continents, and all ages from seven to seventy, enables Merilyn to unpack a conceptually difficult subject and make it accessible and fun for non-scientists.

About the Presenter

Merilyn’s career in teaching commenced in England and then moved to Malta GC, where she taught biology to the children of service personnel and SCUBA diving to Royal Marines. After relocating to Australia, Merilyn completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours in chemistry at James Cook University specialising in carbohydrate chemistry, and then taught senior chemistry at the Townsville Grammar School. At the age of 45 she completed her doctorate at the University of Montana (USA) specialising in carbohydrate chemistry while also working as an Assistant Professor (Research and Teaching).

Upon relocating to New Zealand, Merilyn took up a joint appointment at the University of Waikato and Forest Research (now SCION) in Rotorua, before becoming full time at this university. Merilyn’s research interests are not restricted to carbohydrate chemistry. Her extensive research collaborations within the University and with New Zealand and international CRIs and businesses have resulted in research papers on subjects as diverse as determining the geographical origin of possums from their dental enamel, the toxic components of karaka berries, the fundamental structure of biochar, production of biodegradable polymers, seagrass restoration and retention of antibiotics in soils.

Members of the public are invited to attend this free public lecture being held in the Lecture Theatre, Level 2 of the University of Waikato Tauranga Campus, Durham Street on Monday 2 March 2020.

Complimentary drinks and nibbles will be served from 5.15pm. The lecture will begin at 6.00pm and conclude at 7.00pm. The Spring Street parking building is open 24 hours and is free from 5.00pm.