Associate professor in psychology at Karolinska Institutet
Membership period 2021–2026
Human food consumption threatens both global public health and ecological sustainability, but a permanent change towards healthier or more sustainable options remains challenging for many. The high intrinsic reward value of taste, especially sugar and salt, is generally blamed for the resistance to changing ones eating habits. There is, however, a fundamental lack of knowledge about the perceptual and emotional mechanisms that link these reward experiences during consumption to the evaluation of food items in the outside world, which ultimately drive our appetite and our dietary decisions. My research studies the perceptual experiences associated with eating, focusing on odor and taste perception during anticipation and consumption of food, and their effects on memory and motivation. The goal of this research is to fill the knowledge gap that currently exists between the mechanisms driving perceptual experiences during food consumption and the subsequent evaluation of food in the outside world, and inspire the development of novel interventions to facilitate dietary changes over the life course.
Click for high resolution press portrait. Photo: Erik Thor/YAS
Interests: I like to be out in nature with my family and friends, and to travel and learn new things about other countries and cultures. Although my time for this has been limited in recent years, I really love playing music with others in choir and orchestra, and my plan is to invest more in it again in the future.
Other: My German-Brazilian family is multilingual, at home we speak German, Portuguese, Swedish and English. It's not as crazy as it sounds, and gives us access to a lot of great literature and music to choose from, and many football teams to cheer on!
“Since I moved to Sweden seven years ago, I have followed the activities of the Young Academy of Sweden closely. A forum for young researchers who work to promote change, not only in the conditions under which we conduct research, but also in how our work is seen by the public, is something absolutely fantastic to be able to contribute to! To be part of a motivated group of young researchers, I think is both a huge opportunity for personal development and learning, and a unique opportunity to create synergies for interdisciplinary collaboration and the impact of research policy. A key issue that I am passionate about is diversity within the academy. Research environments that lack interdisciplinarity, cross-cultural perspectives and that promote success for a more or less homogeneous group of people, are still quite common. I strongly believe that it is by taking advantage of our differences in experiencing the world, whether through our different areas of scientific expertise, culture or upbringing, that we can come up with the best research ideas.”