Kirsty Pourshahidi


  • Cromore Road, Coleraine Campus

    BT52 1SA Coleraine

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile


Kirsty graduated from Ulster University with a BSc Hons (first class) Human Nutrition, followed by a PhD in Nutrition.  She worked as a Research Associate within the Nutrition team at Ulster on a range of externally funded research projects (2011-2014), before being promoted to Research Fellow in July 2014 and taking up her current Lecturer role in 2019.  Kirsty is a Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) with the Association for Nutrition.

Kirsty is author on more than 65 peer-reviewed publications investigating various aspects of agri-food nutrition and consumer innovation, food choice, vitamin D and health, and has a strong track record in PhD supervision across these research areas.  

In 2014, Kirsty was the inaugural recipient of the Julie Wallace Medal Lecture awarded by the Nutrition Society in recognition of early stage scientific excellence in the field of nutrition.  More recently, Kirsty was awarded the Distinguished Researcher Overall Champion at the 2023 Research Excellence Awards.

As well her teaching and research commitments at Ulster, Kirsty is also invovled in the following civic, institutional and professional contributions:

  • Coordinator, ‘Digital Engagement, Communications & Impact’ team at NICHE
  • Treasurer, Nutrition Society Irish Section
  • Senior Member, ‘NNEdPro’s Collaborators Network’
  • Member, 'Institute of Food Science & Technology'
  • Member, ‘European Nutrition Leadership Platform’
  • Academic member of Senate at Ulster University

Research Interests

Lead: Agri-Food & Consumer Innovation research, sub-group within the Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE).

Other research interests: vitamin D requirements for health; consumer food choice; polyphenols & gut health; nutrition & health in ileostomates; food safety; aquaponics; sustainable food systems.  

PhD research: “Indices of body composition as predictors of immune and inflammatory responses: implications for health”.

Teaching Interests

Course Director, BSc (Hons) Food & Nutrition

Module Coordinator: Food Science (NUT303); Practical Application of Nutrition in the Food Industry (NUT321); Global-led Innovation & Entrepreneurship (BIO385); Food Science & Microbiology (NUT813); Associate module coordinator: MSc Nutrition Research Project (NUT815)

Teaching areas: Food Science; Food Industry; Food Innovation & trends; Food & Nutrition Labelling; New Product Development; Food Sustainability; Research Methods; Nutritional Biochemistry

Other academic responsibilities:

  • Research project supervisor and mentor at BSc (Level 6) and MSc (Level 7)
  • Subject Expert, HKU Space: BSc (Hons) Food & Nutrition (Ulster-validated provision)
  • Experienced Educator (First Steps to Teaching)
  • Year Tutor (Food, Nutrition & Dietetics Subject Team)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Nutrition

Oct 2007Oct 2010

Award Date: 1 Feb 2011

Bachelor, Human Nutrition, School of Biomedical Sciences

Sept 2003Jul 2007

Award Date: 1 Jul 2007


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