Sharon is a founding member of the Dietetics and Human Nutrition team at La Trobe University. She has been instrumental in the design and development of the combined Bachelor of Health/Applied Science/Master of Dietetic Practice and post-graduate Master of Dietetic Practice. She lead the development of the hugely successful Bachelor of Food and Nutrition, a joint project with Open Universities Australia, with roll out due for completion in 2018. She leads La Trobe's partnership with the Chinese University of Hong Kong School of Continuing and Professional Studies for an articulation Bachelor of Human Nutrition. She has been Discipline Lead for Dietetics and Human Nutrition since 2015 which in 2018 has 14 ongoing and contractual members with additional support from more than 15 casual team members. Sharon has developed team members from casual academic to successful course coordinator, from curriculum development to course management.
Sharon has more than 25 years experience in fields related to food and nutrition, working in food service, community and clinical dietetics in Australia, the United Kingdom and Turkey. Prior to returning to Australian in 2008 Sharon spent time working between King's College University in London and Istanbul where she opened and ran a cooking school dedicated to teaching Ottoman and Turkish cuisine. Sharon has written widely about Ottoman and Turkish cuisine and has published Flavours of Istanbul - a selection from original 19th century Ottoman recipes with food historian Ozge Samanci as well as books on 'Turkish Cheeses' and 'Preserving Foods'. Sharon was contributing author and lead editor for the textbook Food and Nutrition throughout Life and coauthor of the textbook Understand the Science of Food - from molecules to mouthfeel.
Sharon is currently Academic Program Director and course coordinator for the Bachelor of Human Nutrition Hong Kong, after having coordinated the Bachelor of Health/Applied Science/Master of Dietetic Practice and Bachelor of Food and Nutrition. She coordinates a number of subjects and teaches into subjects within the food and food services domain.
Sharon's research interests include:
Local food production and cooking habits amongst Turkish people, changes with time and migration from rural areas to cities and overseas, especially to Australia;
Loss of Ottoman cooking practices or changes in cooking practices, including ingredients and methods, within modern-day Turkish cuisine;
Dietary acculturation (and its measurement) and its impact on health in a range of migrants groups.