Meet the Science & Food blog team! We are a fun group of scientists and engineers who share a fascination with the science hidden in our food.
Amy Rowat is faculty in the Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology at UCLA. She received her Ph.D. in physics at the University of Southern Denmark and was a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, where she co-developed the first annual Science & Cooking class. Amy began experimenting with food as a toddler and continues to enjoy research with soft biological matter in the lab and kitchen.
Liz Roth-Johnson received her B.A. degrees in Molecular and Cell Biology and Music from UC Berkeley and her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from UCLA. When she’s not in the lab studying the biochemistry of the cytoskeleton, Liz enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, playing the piano, and writing about food science.
Ashton Yoon received her B.S. in Environmental Science at UCLA and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in food science. Her favorite pastime is experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes and cooking techniques. In her future career, she would like to combine her passion for food and sustainability, repurposing food waste into commodities that benefit human health and aid in disease prevention.
Alice Phung once had her sights set on an English degree, but eventually switched to chemistry and hasn’t looked back since. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry at UCLA. Upon realizing the kitchen could be a makeshift lab, her interest in the sciences solidified, and she has since proven to be a rather unconventional cook. Writing about food chemistry grants her the perfect excuse to combine her three favorite things.
Vince Reyes earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at UCLA and his B.S. in Genetics from UC Irvine. Vince’s love of food experimentation began in college when he realized that if he wanted to trick his friends and family into eating vegetables and the less desirable cuts of meat, he needed to find clever methods for cooking.
Elsbeth Sites received her B.S. in Biology at UCLA. She enjoys writing for UCLA’s Total Wellness Magazine and teaching nutrition at local elementary schools. Her addiction to the Food Network has developed into a love of learning and writing about the science behind food, though to date she has not made one un-burnt batch of cookies.
Eunice Liu is pursuing an M.A. in Linguistics at UCLA. While her obsession with watching bread rise in the oven has often resulted in a few burnt fingers, it has also ignited her passion for food science. When she isn’t conducting science experiments in her tiny kitchen, she enjoys learning new languages and studying how language is processed in the brain.
Anthony Martin earned his B.S. in Biochemistry at Loyola Marymount University and recently received his Ph.D. in Genetic, Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Southern California. He took to the culinary arts to help develop a deeper connection to his personal heritage and is currently self-publishing a cookbook of his favorite Filipino dishes.
Catherine Hu received her B.S. in Psychobiology at UCLA. Her passion for food science began with an interest in learning how different cooking methods could alter the nutritional makeup of food. When she is not writing about food science, she enjoys exploring the city and can often be found enduring long wait times to try new mouthwatering dishes.
Mai Nguyen is an aspiring food scientist who received her B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Virginia. Although she spends her days toiling away in a cancer research lab, she hopes to soon escape the bench in pursuit of a more creative and fulfilling career. She is currently based in Boston, where she is also involved with Harvard’s Science & Cooking class.
Nessa Riazi earned her B.S. in Ethnomusicology at UCLA, putting aside medical school in order to pursue her dream of opening a restaurant. She loves experimenting in the kitchen, eating donuts, cooking for others, and exploring the city for new eateries. With incredibly talented female cooks in her family, she is currently working on a cookbook that will explore her Iranian heritage through food, incorporating her knowledge of the scientific processes she has learned about while writing for Science and Food.
Earlene Mulyawan is currently finishing her undergrad degree in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at UCLA. Outside analyzing scientific papers and running experiments in the lab, she enjoys sipping extra hot lattes in a cafe early in the morning, wandering off to a hiking trail to be with nature and getting lost in a new city. She also enjoys working out, meal prepping and experimenting with new varieties of produce to create a new menu. In the future, she would like to start her own food industry that makes healthy food and beverage products!