Food and Nutrition Sciences Graduate Faculty

Dr. Beth Calder

Associate Professor of Food Science & 
CalderCooperative Extension Food Science Specialist

Degree: Ph.D. 2003, University of Maine
Phone: 207.581.2791
Location: 349 Hitchner Hall

Professional Interests:  I assist the food industry with research, food testing and educational programs in areas of food safety and technology.  As the outreach liaison for the SFA and Cooperative Extension and Director of the Process and Product Review Testing Services, I work closely with regulatory agencies (Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry, FDA) and agricultural organizations (MOFGA, Maine Cheese Guild) to further assist farmers and Maine food business growth. I provide assistance to start-up food businesses in understanding licensing, regulations and food safety considerations (Recipe to Market workshops), and also teach sanitation and HACCP workshops.


  • Applied research and food testing to support Maine’s food industry
  • Focus on food safety, food quality and Maine value-added products
  • Fermented foods

Dr. Mary Ellen Camire

Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Degree: Ph.D. 1989, Texas Woman’s UnCamireiversity
Phone: 207.581.1627
Location: 105 Hitchner Hall


Professional Interests: Development, evaluation, and consumer acceptance of healthful foods; nutrition education and behavior; dietary fiber; satiety; sensory evaluation

Teaching: FSN 230 Nutritional and Medical Terminology, FSN 508 Nutrition and Aging,  FSN 524 Responsible Design, Conduct, and Analysis of Research, FSN 530 Functional and Integrative Nutrition, FSN 585/586 Sensory Evaluation  I/II, FSN 603 Nutrients and Food Processing

Research: My research spans the fields of food technology and human nutrition, including how processing changes nutrients and antioxidants in foods; ingredients and processing techniques to make foods more healthful and satisfying; and assessing consumer reactions to new crops and aquaculture products. I am engaged in promoting consumption of healthful food products and development of sustainable food production. As the director of the University of Maine Sensory Evaluation Center, I study consumer attitudes to many Maine commodities such as aquacultured foods including seaweed, potatoes, berries, grains and beverages. I have a strong interest in improving the nutritional status of older adults and disadvantaged individuals. My labgroup is also a participant in the validation of international dietary fiber and antioxidant analytical methods.

Dr. Dorothy Klimis-Zacas

Professor of Clinical NutritionZacas

Degree: Ph.D. 1982, Pennsylvania State University
Phone: 207.581.3124
Location: 232 Hitchner Hall

Website: Klimis-Zacas Laboratory

Professional Interests: Nutritional Physiology and Biochemistry, Nutrition and Vascular Function and Metabolism, Berry bioactives and their role on chronic disease (Cardiovascular, Hypertension, Metabolic Syndrome)

Teaching: FSN 101 Introduction to Food Science and Nutrition (on-line, Summer), FSN 420 Medical Nutrition Therapy II, FSN 510 Trace Mineral Nutrition and Metabolism, FSN 584 Lipids, Diet, and Cardiovascular Disease

Research: Recent research in my laboratory targets the areas below, in an attempt to unravel mechanisms of bioactive compounds in berries in attenuating oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction and inflammation, the cause of several chronic diseases.

Dr. Robson A. M. Machado

Assistant Extension Professor and Food Science SpecialistMachado

Degree: Ph.D. 2016, The Pennsylvania State University
Phone: 207.581.3144
Location: 103 Nutting Hall

Professional Interests: Food Microbiology, Food Safety, Extension, Experimental Design

Teaching: FSN 512 – Current Food Safety Systems

Research: I am a Food Science Specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and School of Food & Agriculture. I assist the farms and the food industry with research, food testing, and educational programs in areas of food science and food safety. I am especially involved with training regarding the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). I am the only lead trainer for the FSMA Produce Safety Rule in the state. I have statewide responsibilities in helping Maine farmers and food entrepreneurs develop safe foods, while assisting processors to address changing regulations when commercializing local food and beverage products.

Dr. Angela Myracle

Assistant Professor of Human NutritionMyracle

Degree: Ph. D. 2010, Purdue University
Phone: 207.581.1617
Location: 108 Rogers Hall

Professional Interests: Phytochemicals and health, bio-availability of plant bioactives, phytochemical composition differences between organic and conventional foods impact of phytochemicals on chronic disease and oxidative stress

Teaching: FSN 265 Functional Concepts in Nutrition, FSN 410 Human Nutrition and Metabolism, FSN 565 Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, and Food, FSN 571 Technical Presentations

Research: The focus of my lab is to better understand the health benefits from whole foods, especially those health benefits resulting from phytochemicals contained in fresh fruits and vegetables. Plant bioactives and their relationship to health and/or their beneficial impact on chronic diseases. Identifying functional food components that decrease oxidative stress, in vitro and in vivo. Bioavailability of phytochemicals. Nutrient quality of sustainable food systems.  Quantitative and qualitative phytochemical profiling of whole foods.  Phytochemical composition differences between organic foods and conventional foods. Phytonutrient content and product development with Elderberry, Aronia. Phytonutrient content of cold hardy plums.   Zebrafish model and nutrient interaction.

Dr. Balunkeswar (Balu) Nayak

Associate Professor of Food ProcessingNayak

Degree: Ph.D. 2011, Washington State University
Phone: 207.581.1687
Location: 109 Hitchner Hall

Professional Interests: Thermal and non-thermal food processing, effect of processing on food bioactives, food allergens, and toxins

Teaching: FSN 330 Introduction to Food Science, FSN 340 Food Processing Laboratory, FSN 485 Introduction to Food Engineering Principles 

Research: Effects of food processing on chemical hazards in foods including food allergens, mycotoxins and bacterial toxins, their detection and methods to reduce the potential risks/hazards in processed foods. Developing novel food processing technologies using thermal and non-thermal (high pressure, PEF, ultrasound) techniques for detection and inactivation of high risk microbial contamination in perishable fruits and vegetables to improve food safety. Developing processing methods, extraction techniques and bioprocessing to develop value-added products with enriched bioactive compound.

Dr. L. Brian Perkins

Research Assistant Professor of Food Science

Degree: Ph.D. 2002, University of MainePerkins
Phone: 207.581.1367
Location: 103 Hitchner Hall

Professional Interests: Analytical method development for bioactive compounds, naturally occurring toxins and pesticide residues in food and environmental matrices

Teaching: FSN 101 Introduction to Food and Nutrition, FSN 121 Brewing With Food Science, FSN 587 Food Analysis

Research: Analytical (chromatographic) method development: (LC/MS/MS, LC/PDA/FLD/RI, UPLC/DAD/FLD/ELSD, GC/MS). Novel bioactive compounds in foods (capsinoids, anthocyanins, carotenoids, flavanoids).Naturally-occurring toxins in foods (mycotoxins, glycoalkaloids). Brewing chemistry, including organics, carbohydrates and compounds derived from hops.

Dr. Jennifer J. Perry

Assistant Professor of Food Microbiology

Degree: Ph.D. 2010,The Ohio State
Phone: 207.581.2940 
Location: 115 Hitchner Hall

Professional Interests:

Teaching: FSN 238 Applied Food Microbiology and Sanitation, FSN 438/439 Food Microbiology and Laboratory

Research: Advancing understanding of specific causes of microbial food spoilage, sources of contamination within the production chain, treatments and intervention strategies to mitigate product loss. Enhancing the safety of raw foods with minimal quality degradation through application of non-thermal technologies, biocontrol and biopreservation. Furthering delivery of effective probiotic doses in food products by exploration of economical strategies for incorporation of cultures at high counts and elucidating product design parameters with significant effect on survival during storage. Investigation of the effect of probiotic supplementation and dietary modulation on the composition of the bacterial and fungal communities in the GI tract, evaluation of differences in genomic and transcriptomic profiles.

Dr. Denise Skonberg

Professor of Food ScienceSkonberg

Degree: Ph.D. 1997, University of Washington
Phone: 207.581.1639
Location: 104 Hitchner Hall

Professional Interests: Seafood by-product utilization; processing effects on seafood quality; value added product development; aquaculture products.

Teaching: FSN 396 Field Experience, FSN 425 Contemporary Issues in the Food Industry, FSN 440 Utilization of Aquatic Food Products, FSN 450 Food Biotechnology, FSN 482/483 Food Chemistry and Laboratory, FSN 520 Food Product Development

Research: The overall goal of my research program is to apply food science principles to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the seafood sector. Fundamentally, it is about reducing waste, optimizing the use of valuable aquatic resources, and developing high quality & healthful seafood products. Current research projects include: 1) isolating functional products and/or bioactive compounds from the invasive green crab and from crustacean processing waste, 2) assessing the potential for minimal processing methods (sous vide & high pressure processing) to produce refrigeration-stable, safe, high quality seafood, and 3) developing value-added food products from farm-raised seaweed.

Dr. Mona Therrien

Director of the Internship Program Therrien and Lecturer in the School of Food and Agriculture

Degree: DCN 2013, Rutgers University
Phone: 207.581.3130
Location: 120 Hitchner Hall

Professional Interests: Nutrition in chronic kidney disease and diabetes

Teaching: FSN 101 Introduction to Food and Nutrition, FSN 270 World Food and Nutrition, FSN 506 Nutritional Assessment, FSN 540 Advanced Clinical Topics,  FSN 650 Dietetic Internship Orientation and Application I, FSN 651 Dietetic Internship Orientation and Application II, FSN 652 Dietetic Internship Evaluation, FSN 681 Dietetic Supervised Practice