Dr Amy S. Van Wey Lovatt obtained her PhD from Massey University in 2013, as one of the first recipients of the Earle Food Research Fellowships. Upon completion, Amy was honoured as being named on Massey University’s Dean’s List of Exceptional PhD Theses. Amy’s research has focused on mechanistic, mathematical modelling of human digestion, liquid absorption in foods, transport of molecules in bacterial biofilms, and complex interactions between the commensal intestinal bacteria and food components that escape digestion in the small intestinal tract.
In order to develop mathematical models to describe and predict dynamical systems relevant to human health and nutrition, Amy has relied upon the use of a variety of mathematical tools, such as Monte Carlo simulations, ordinary and partial differential equations and probability theory, and has incorporated interdisciplinary knowledge including chemical kinetics, colloid theory, and diffusion in porous materials.
In 2016, Amy was the recipient of the Zonta Club of Wellington Science Award and was included in the list of Inspiring Women by the New Zealand Ministry of Women. Currently, Amy is a Postdoctoral Fellow at AgResearch, based in Hamilton. In addition to Amy’s research career, she seeks opportunities to share her research and love of science and mathematics with secondary students and local communities within New Zealand.