After a short career as a professional ballet dancer with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Naomi was driven towards better understanding human nutrition and mental health.
Her undergraduate degree in Human Nutrition and Biological Sciences introduced Naomi to microbiology and molecular biology, which led to an Honours dissertation investigating the evolution of the ribosomal DNA of bakers yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Naomi then worked for several years on genetic modification of Clostridium species for biofuel production with LanzaTech Ltd – both in Auckland and then following the company and its research team to Skokie, Illinois. After moving back to New Zealand, Naomi attained a PhD in the Department of Medicine at The University of Auckland, where she investigated the gut hormone and bacteria changes follow bariatric surgery.
Naomi’s broad research skills include molecular biology and biofuel production, and her current research passions include nutrition and gut health, probiotics, the gut microbiome, and stress and wellbeing.