Accelerating changes in dietary patterns are seen to varying extent across the Pacific region. Countries such as Samoa and Kiribati have seen a shift away from traditional diets towards a westernised diet high in imported and ultra-processed foods and low in dietary diversity. Collection of dietary data is needed to provide a baseline understanding of dietary intake. This project will further examine the nutritional value of traditional foods, such as seaweed, and their contribution to diets in Samoa and Kiribati.
In this project you will be part of a research team analysing dietary intake data and evaluating the use of an innovative online dietary assessment tool (PAC24) designed for Pacific Island countries.
This project is linked to a current ACIAR project.
This study will be starting during the ACPIR SRS period.
There is flexibility in the days/times that the student can work, and this will be negotiated at the start of the ACPIR SRS.
Primary supervisor: Dr Libby Swanepoel
Dr Swanepoel is Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Nutrition, and a Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics at USC. Libby’s work focuses on nutrition-sensitive agriculture for food and nutrition security, capacity building and improved livelihoods across the Indo-Pacific region. Libby is currently leading externally funded projects in this area.
HDR student mentor: Ms Courtney Anderson
Ms Anderson is a PhD Candidate and has a Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics (Honours). Courtney has several years professional research experience in stakeholder engagement, partnerships and collaboration, and dietary assessment in Australian and international projects.
External collaborators: Ms Ulusapeti Tiitii (MAF Samoa), Ms Taati Eria (MFMRD Kiribati), Ms Cherie Stanley (USC), illustrators and graphic designers (Australian based), and other stakeholders across the Pacific Islands region.
External collaborating organisations:
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Samoa
Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Development, Kiribati
Dani Lunn Design Studio
Please contact Dr Libby Swanepoel via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Students will be asked to assist the workings of this project in several ways, with tasks such as:
- Consulting with stakeholders
- Assisting with the development of an evaluation plan for the PAC24 dietary assessment tool
- Contributing to dietary data analysis
- Developing dissemination materials for dietary analysis findings
- Developing culturally appropriate nutrition promotion materials to encourage seaweed intake in communities/families
Deliverables will include
- A draft PAC24 evaluation plan
- Infographic for dietary analysis findings
- Seaweed nutritional promotion materials
- Contribution to a draft manuscript
- A final presentation of the work undertaken
This project would suit a student with background understanding of, and an interest in food systems, nutrition/health, food production and education.
Undergraduate students need to have successfully completed at least the requirements of first year for the Bachelor of Nutrition or Bachelor of Dietetics programs. Students who have completed either the Bachelor of Nutrition, or Bachelor of Dietetics and are enrolled in an Honours program are also welcome to apply.
In addition to the general ACPIR-SRS selection criteria, personal attributes of collegiality, integrity, teamwork and reliability, attention to detail, critical thinking and initiative are required for this project.
Applicants are required to submit a resume and a brief statement outlining their interest in the project and how this fits with their career/research aspirations. Please note that applicants may be invited to take part in an interview as part of the selection process.