Dietitian and researcher Dr Rachael Taylor loves food and cooking, but her main career motivation is helping others to live healthier lives.
As well as being an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), Dr Taylor is an early career researcher at the University of Newcastle.
“My research specialty during my PhD involved exploring what mechanisms could be involved to explain why infants that are exclusively breastfed achieve better cognitive outcomes,” she said.
“I found it fascinating how food and nutrients that women consume before, during and after pregnancy impact on the development of their baby.
“Since completing my PhD, I have been involved in research projects related to the prevention of heart disease in women that have experienced hypertensive disorders during their pregnancy.”
Dr Taylor’s career highlights to date have included contributing to the publication of 19 journal articles and two book chapters, and starting to co-supervise honours and PhD students.
She gains inspiration from other women in research, particularly those who manage to balance caring for children and family with a successful research career.
Outside of work, Dr Taylor finds her own balance through her love of cooking, and watching food shows and dance productions.
“I watch a lot of cooking channels on YouTube such as Marion’s Kitchen and Everyday Gourmet,” she said.
“I did ballet dancing growing up but have since stopped practising. I still enjoy watching ballet, such as performances from the Australian Ballet Company.”
Her top tip for students considering a career in research is to ensure they can maintain the long-term commitment. “It takes 3-4 years to complete a PhD, so make sure you are really interested in your research topic,” she said.
“It’s also important to feel well supported by your supervising team…I had an amazing career mentor who encouraged me to embark on my PhD.”
Dr Taylor is also Recruitment Co-Lead of the Australian Health in Preconception, Pregnancy, and Postpartum Early- and Mid-Career Researcher Collective (HiPPP EMR-C). This network helps her to connect and build collaboration with a wide range of researchers and mentors from around the world.
This combination of support, networks and balance has allowed Dr Taylor to find what brings her the most satisfaction in her career: “Being able to work with a team of researchers to find solutions that help individuals live happy and healthy lives for as long as possible.”Back