Originally from Germany, I came to the U.S. in 2004 to complete my BA in Computer Science in Economics and Marketing. After a few years of work in the banking industry, I decided to pursue a doctoral degree at the Shidler College of Business, University of Hawaii at Mānoa and was awarded my PhD in 2014.
I stumbled into a meatless diet by complete accident without having pondered any moral reasons or health benefits beforehand. Perhaps because I was clueless, I was so intrigued by other people’s unexpectedly strong reactions to my dietary situation. I tried to make sense out of the complex social dynamics and conversations that would revolve around meals taken together with omnivorous friends or family. Given this fascination, my research interests during my PhD studies in consumer behavior focused on food marketing, social identities, and the cultural meanings of food. As an added benefit I acquired the diplomatic skills to negotiate Holiday dinners with friends and family. Only my cooking skills have not improved significantly.
Studying the social dynamics involved in food consumption has become my passion. I have devoted many years to learn as much about the topic from a variety of disciplinary angles. I keep striving to add to the big picture and use my knowledge to foster healthier consumption behaviors.