Olivia is an iraoho/intern for Matū, responsible for helping with research for Matū’s market intelligence activities and due diligence operations.
She has an Honours degree in Biochemistry from The University of Canterbury and has recently completed a PhD from The University of Auckland. Her thesis explored how food processing alters the structure and digestion of gluten, focussing on the peptides that are involved in celiac disease. This involved making bread using different food processing techniques then digesting it in the lab, where she tracked the release of allergenic celiac peptides using mass spec.
Outside of her thesis, she is interested in the future of food, cellular agriculture and harnessing the power of proteins. Recently, she managed and led a team of nine undergraduate students to compete in iGEM (a synthetic biology competition in Boston) where they completed a project on producing low-allergenicity milk protein using microbes. She is also currently a committee member with Canterbury Momentum. She was previously CEO of Chiasma Christchurch, an organisation that aims to help STEM students thrive outside of academia.