The Olive Wellness Institute is a science repository on the nutrition,
health and wellness benefits of olives and olive products, which is
all subject to extensive peer review.

The institute is guided by scientific experts that specialize in the nutrition, health and wellness benefits related to olive products.

The Olive Wellness Institute is a science repository on the nutrition, health and wellness benefits of olives and olive products, which is all subject to extensive peer review.

This website is intended to be the go to source of credible information relating to the nutrition, health and wellness benefits of olives and olive products, such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil and products derived from the olive tree.

Our Mission:

To increase awareness of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and other olive products by gathering, sharing and promoting expert, credible and evidence-based information on their nutrition, health and wellness benefits.

Key People – Our Advisory Panel

The Olive Wellness Institute has an expert Advisory Panel, to provide insight and guidance, and to ensure a high level of scientific direction. The functions of the Advisory Panel members are to provide evidence-based guidance to the Olive Wellness Institute, to ensure:

The Olive Wellness Institute is viewed as a highly credible, evidence-based source of olive nutrition, health and wellness information.

All information that is prepared and released by the Olive Wellness Institute is credible, non-biased and scientifically sound.

Professor Catherine Itsiopoulos Advisory Panel Member, Expert Contributor

Qualifications: BSc BSc (Hons) Grad Dip Diet MPH PhD APD AN

About: Professor Catherine Itsiopoulos
Pro Vice Chancellor College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education

Catherine has more than 25 years of clinical, academic and project management experience. Recent positions Catherine has held include Associate Professor and Head of Discipline Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Canberra, Accreditation, Recognition and Education Services Manager with the Dietitians Association of Australia and Fellow of the Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Clinical Science in Diabetes at the University of Melbourne.

Catherine has extensive experience and a strong research interest in dietetic training, dietetic competency evaluation and implementation, and international benchmarking of dietetic examination systems. In her role at the Dietitians Association of Australia Catherine led projects in international benchmarking of dietetic systems and was instrumental in establishing the formal mutual recognition agreement with the New Zealand Dietitians Board. In this role she also championed the review of the examination systems for dietetic skills recognition and credentialing and led the development of an enhanced model of examination utilizing an on-line multiple choice questionnaire format.

Catherine’s major research interests include randomised controlled clinical intervention studies in diabetes, cardiovascular disease and the metabolic syndrome utilizing the Mediterranean diet as a model of intervention. Catherine is also investigating the positive health and mortality profile of Greek born migrants to Australia who have retained their positive CVD mortality profile despite more than 50 years since migration.

Research/Areas of Interests: Mediterranean diet in the prevention and management of cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.


Email: Not available

Dr. Simon Poole Advisory Panel Member, Expert Contributor

Qualifications: MBBS DRCOG

About: Dr Simon Poole MBBS DRCOG is a Cambridge based medical doctor, author, broadcaster and commentator and is an internationally renowned authority on the science and application of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, explaining and celebrating the combination of wonderful ingredients in this beautiful cuisine which can add years to life. He is an expert scientific consultant on extra virgin olive oil.

He is a member of Council of the highly influential US based True Health Initiative. He is a member of the Public Health Medicine Committee and General Practitioners Committee of the British Medical Association as well as a Council member of the Royal College of General Practitioners and a founding member of the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine and the European Lifestyle Medicine Organisation

Simon has regularly published on the subject of nutrition and lifestyle and public health in scientific journals including Nutrition and Food Science and the International Journal of Clinical Practice in addition to articles in the Guardian, for magazines such as Cook Vegetarian and Body Language and local, as well as international, radio and television appearances.

His new book The Olive Oil Diet takes a fresh and exciting look at diet, foods, cooking and health, on a gastronomic journey which tells the story of ingredients from around the Mediterranean – from different olive oils, mountain herbs and near eastern spices to regional vegetables and fruits, cheeses and wine. Unlocking the secrets of this most healthy of diets. The book has just been awarded the accolade of national 2017 winner in the international Gourmand Prize for food and cookery writing, and shortlisted for the “Best of the World” which is described as the food writing equivalent of the “Oscars”.

Conference addresses in recent years have included institutions such as;

The National Association of Primary Care, The Royal College of General Practitioners and the International Congress of the European Society of Cardiology, The Food and Drink Network, The Italian Trade Commission, the Fine Food Fair at OIympia as well as the Institute of Health Sciences of the USA , The Boston Common Ground Convention, Food Matters Live, London 2016.

Simon was co-organiser and chair, in association with the University of Florence, of the Food Values 2017 conference at the Academy of Pontifical Sciences, privileged to be hosted at the Vatican.

Research/Areas of Interest: Mediterranean Diet, Lifestyle Medicine


Email: Not available

DR. Tassos C. Kyriakides Advisory Panel Member, Expert Contributor

Qualifications: PhD Yale University

About: Dr. Kyriakides, biostatistician/epidemiologist, provides methodological and statistical consulting in the design, execution and analysis of multiple collaboratory clinical research projects. He is a statistical reviewer for high-impact medical journals (Lancet Infectious Diseases, Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Public Health and American Journal of Public Health) and has served as an abstract mentor for young researchers at the International AIDS Conferences since 2012. In addition, he leads the internship program at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Cooperative Studies Program (VACSPCC-West Haven) where he has been appointed Director. As a Senior Biostatistician he has worked on pivotal clinical trials (The OPTIMA Trial, a multi-national HIV/AIDS treatment clinical trial; a surgical clinical trial (The OVER Trial); and a PTSD clinical trial (The VIP-STAR Trial).

Research/Areas of Interest: Even though his primary research focus is in the area of infectious diseases with particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS and its treatment, he has an interest in the history of medicine, social determinants of health and the socio-cultural dimension of the benefits of Greek/Mediterranean nutrition. He is a certified Olive Oil Sommelier (International Culinary Center and the Olive Oil Education Lab in New York) and leads the efforts to establish the Yale Olive Institute.


Email: Not available

Dr. Flavia Fayet-Moore Advisory Panel Member, Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Registered Nutritionist and Accredited Practising Dietitian

About: Flavia is a registered nutritionist and accredited practising dietitian. Her research focuses on the assessment of diet and nutritional status in large population studies and in the field of nutrigenomics. She graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Science (Nutritional Sciences Specialist) obtained her Master of Nutrition and Dietetics and a PhD in nutrition from the University of Sydney. Currently, she is the director of Nutrition Research Australia and the director of operations of Nutrigenomix Australia. She is an active member of the Nutrition Society of Australia, the Dietitian’s Association of Australia, and a founding board member of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine.

Research/Areas of Interest: Assessment of diet and nutritional status in large population studies, Nutrigenomics


Email: Not available

Dr. Michael Kingsley Advisory Panel Member, Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Lead academic for the discipline of Exercise Science and Exercise Physiology at La Trobe University.

About: Michael has held academic positions for over 20 years in the United Kingdom and Australia. As an Accredited Sport & Exercise Scientist and Chartered Scientist from 2006 to 2016, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine his academic skills and experience have been broadly recognised.

In addition to his passion for sports nutrition and high-performance sport, Michael has extensive experience in exercise testing and prescription for participants with pre-existing conditions, including cardiac disease, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, renal disease and transplant recipients. Michael serves as an editorial board member of three international journals ‘Nutrition’, ‘Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity’ and ‘Research Quarterly in Exercise and Sport’ and he reviews regularly for various national and international funding agencies.

As an expert in the measurement and evaluation of cardiovascular responses to stress and oxidative stress, his research in the areas of lifestyle interventions and health, heart rate variability analysis, applied nutritional supplementation has culminated in the publishing more than 100 peer-reviewed publications in leading international medical, nutrition and sports medicine journals. His research group strives to understand the mechanisms responsible for disease and disorders and to develop evidence-based interventions for patients with a range of chronic disease (e.g., cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease) and elite performers with the aim to enable more people to be more active and to live longer and stronger.

Research/Areas of Interest: Sport’s Nutrition, High-Performance Sport


Email: Not available

Our Expert Library

Matthew Leach

Qualifications: RN, ND, BN, BN(Hons), DipClinNutr, PhD.

About:  Associate Professor Matthew Leach is Deputy Director: Education at the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM), Southern Cross University. A/Prof Leach has built an international reputation in health services research, where he has established a program of research referred to as BEACON (Building Excellence and Advancing understanding of Consumer Outcomes and Needs). This research program is underpinned by three pillars:

  • Health consumers (i.e. the health care needs, preferences and behaviours of individuals and communities),
  • Health care provision (i.e. health workforce and services planning, and evidence-based practice), and
  • Health care impact (i.e. the safety and effectiveness of health care interventions and services).

A/Prof Leach has made an original and significant contribution to each of these areas, and to the field of health services research more broadly. A/Prof Leach’s work is truly multidisciplinary. A/Prof Leach has collaborated with more than 27 distinct disciplines, spanning 48 agencies and academic institutions, across 10 countries. He has published over 162 refereed journal articles, 13 book chapters and a sole-authored textbook, and has attracted more than 4,431 citations for his work. A/Prof Leach is also a member of several journal editorial boards, steering committees and government committees, and has been awarded competitive research funding totaling more than $2.39 million.

Research/Areas of interest: Health services research; Evidence-based practice; Integrative health care; Implementation science; Translation science; Rural health; Nutritional medicine; Herbal medicine; Determinants of health





Karen Purcell Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Qualified chef who holds Double Diplomas in Training and Assessment, Food Safety Specialist and Auditor. Currently completing Graduate Certificate in Culinary Nutrition Science

About: With over 25 years’ experience in the culinary world, Karen began her career as an apprentice chef at the Hyatt Kingsgate. For the following 10 years she held head chef and leadership roles before moving into teaching commercial cookery and management at TAFE NSW.  On returning to Sydney, she worked as a Head Chef at the Sydney Opera House. A key highlight was hosting over 8,000 guests for the New Year’s Eve millennium celebration. Karen then went onto opening Radisson Plaza Hotel during the Sydney Olympics and ran her own successful café/catering business for many years.

Currently Karen is a regulations and Accreditation Manager, providing leadership, support and specialist advice in food safety.

Research/Areas of Interest: Throughout Karen’s career, she has continued to be an advocate for women in non-traditional industries through lecturing, training and mentoring to support and show women the benefits of working in trades. Another strong interest of Karen’s is the reduction of food waste.

Website: Not available

Email: Not available

Sian Armstrong Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics

About: Sian Armstrong graduated as an Accredited Practising Dietitian from Monash University and worked at the National Heart Foundation of Australia as a Food and Nutrition advisor for over 6 years. Sian joined Cobram Estate Olives in December 2021, where her role involves educating health care professionals on the health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and olive products. Sian is a regular contributor to the Olive Wellness Institute

Research/Areas of Interest: Nutrition and heart health, the Mediterranean Diet and the Dietary Patterns approach to nutrition, and the health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil



Zoe Bingley-Pullin Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Diploma of Nutrition and internationally trained chef (Le Cordon Bleu School, London)

About: Zoe is a Nutritionist, Mother, Chef And Founder Of Nutritional Edge, A Nutritional Consultancy Company Based In Sydney. She is passionate about food and has a self acclaimed love affair with food. Her passion for food has empowered her to help many people embrace the benefits of food through education. By improving people’s knowledge and understanding of food, she believes they’re able to create and sustain a healthier and more delicious life and their very own love affair with food.



Sarah Haworth Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Bachelor of Health Sciences & Master of Dietetic Practice

About: Sarah Haworth graduated as a dietitian from La Trobe University and after experience within the pharmaceutical industry, has worked with Cobram Estate Olives since 2020. Her role involves educating consumers and health care professionals on the health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and olive products. She is also a regular contributor to the Olive Wellness Institute.

Research/Areas of Interest: Enhancing consumer understanding of the Mediterranean Diet & continually evolving the research base of health benefits associated with extra virgin olive oil.



Associate Professor Mary Flynn Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Bachelors, masters, and doctorate in nutrition; registered dietitian and licensed in Rhode Island, USA

About:  Mary is a research dietitian at The Miriam Hospital and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Brown University.

Mary M. Flynn, PhD, RD, LDN is an Associate Professor of Medicine (Clinical) at Brown University and a research dietitian at The Miriam Hospital, where she has worked since 1984. She is the outpatient dietitian at TMH for oncology, Men’s Health, Kidney Stone Center, and the medical clinic. Her main research interest is how food can be used as medicine and her main food of interest is extra virgin olive oil, which she has been researching since 1998. In 2013, she founded The Olive Oil Health Initiative of The Miriam Hospital at Brown University that has a mission of educating the public and medical community on the health benefits of olive oil. She has developed a plant-based, olive oil diet that she has tested for weight loss in women diagnosed with invasive breast; in men with prostate cancer for weight loss and improvement in components of the metabolic syndrome; and to decrease food insecurity in food pantry clients. She has been on the board of the RI Community Food Bank since 2005. She collaborated with the RICFB in a study that provided a cooking program of her plant-based, olive oil recipes to food pantry clients. The study showed that use of the recipes for 2-3 main meals per week decreased food insecurity, body weight, and money spent on groceries. She received a strategy grant from the RI Foundation to develop the cooking program for type 2 diabetes. The results of the pilot study showed significant decreases in fasting blood glucose and body weight after three months of follow-up.

She is co-author of the books LOW-FAT LIES, high fat frauds and the healthiest diet in the world (Lifeline Press, 1999) and A Pink Ribbon Diet (Da Capo Press, October 2010) which is a weight loss program and cookbook for women who have had breast cancer based on her research of the plant based, olive oil diet that she has developed. Her website is:

Research/Areas of Interest:  Health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, including improvement in body weight; how food can be used as medicine; improving food security in low-income populations


Email: Not available

Dr. Jose A Amerigo Expert

Qualifications: License in Medicine and Surgery 1969 (MD)- Doctor in Medicine and Surgery 1974 (PhD) Specialist in Dietetic and Nutrition, Journalist

About: Work, Tenacity and Good. We must remember: Without food, life is not possible. Science is based on evidence, not in legends.

Research/Areas of Interest: Oleocanthal Clinical Research and Gastronomic Clinic Essays



Dr. Chloe Goldsmith Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Bachelor (Food Science & Nutrition) (Hon), PhD (Food Science)

About: In recent years, Chloe has been researching the utilization of olive waste products for its biophenol content. Additionally, Chloe is interested in investigating the potential applications of olive biophenols in health, medicine and food.

Research/Areas of Interest: Food Science, Waste Utilization, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biophenols, Molecular Biology, Pancreatic Cancer

Website: Not available


Francesca Van Soest Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a self-designed major in olive oil, focusing on organic chemistry, nutrition and Greek and Roman Classics studies. worked as a technical officer in both Australia and USA olive groves and laboratories.

About: I love everything olive. From the tree, to the fruit, to the oil, and especially all its various health benefits. I have also done extensive studies in Greek and Roman mythology, archaeology of the Mediterranean basin, and even a bit of ancient Greek.

Research/Areas of Interest: My research interests fall into the nutrition category focusing on food as medicine and how we can learn from ancient tradition and use them alongside modern medicine.

Website: N/A


Kathleen Alleaume Expert Contributor

Qualifications: BAppSc (ExSc) M. Human Nutrition (MSc)

About: Kathleen Alleaume is an Exercise Physiologist and Nutritionist, Author, founder of The Right Balance Consultancy Ltd. Having dedicated almost 20 years to running her company, Kathleen has established herself as a leading figure among health and fitness professionals in Australia where she continues to develop and deliver fresh, cutting edge health content to millions via her publications and as a spokesperson across print, broadcast and online media.

Research/Areas of Interests: Integrative health and wellness, gut health, dietary patterns, exercise physiology


Email: not available

Stefanie Valakas Expert Contributor

Qualifications: BSci (Adv) (Nutr & Metab), MNutrDiet, Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD)

About: Stefanie is an Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist and founder of The Dietologist. Stefanie and her virtual practice are dedicated to excellence in nutrition for reproductive health concerns, fertility & pregnancy. Her passion for nutrition in this space has truly grown from her experience helping her clients online from around the world and also through her own personal experiences of navigating a diagnosis of endometriosis. Stefanie has been recognised for her contributions in the fertility nutrition arena as a finalist for the Dietitian of the Year Awards for 2020-21.

Stefanie truly believes every hopeful parent should have access to scientifically-backed nutrition information to prepare their body prior to conception, support them through fertility treatments, pregnancy and ultimately bringing home a healthy and happy baby.

Research/Areas of Interests: pregnancy nutrition, fertility & pre-conception nutrition, paediatric nutrition and the Mediterranean diet across the lifespan




Ian Breakspear Expert contributor

Qualifications: MHerbMed (USyd) DipNat DipBotMed CertPhyto FNHAA

About: Ian is a naturopath, herbalist, educator and researcher, with 30 years of experience. Currently a Senior Learning Facilitator at Torrens University, Ian is also in private clinical practice in Sydney, focusing on helping patients with cardiovascular disease and chronic inflammatory conditions.

Ian is a committed leader within the naturopathic profession, having served 8 years on the Board of the Naturopaths & Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA), where amongst other projects he redeveloped the educational standards for herbalists and naturopaths. In 2006 he was honoured with a Fellowship of the NHAA for “meritorious work in the profession of herbalism”, and in 2021 received the Bioceuticals Integrative Medicine Award for Contribution to Research and Education.

In addition to various journal publications, Ian recently co-authored a chapter on heart disease for a major Australian naturopathic textbook, is a member of the Cobram Estate Olives Expert Scientific Advisory Committee, Chair of the NHAA’s Board Member Advisory Committee, and Chair of the Naturopathic Editorial Committee for the Natural Health Science Foundation.

Research/Areas of Interest: Herbal quality and safety; olive leaf and oil chemistry and pharmacology; cardiovascular disease.


Linkedin Profile:

Gerald Quigley Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Pharmacist & Master Herbalist

About: I practise as an integrative pharmacist in a clinical situation whereby I monitor nutritional insufficiencies caused by medications, and other issues related to adverse effects. I’m currently privileged to be in a media role, both on radio and television across Australia, joining others to encourage Australians to be proud of being well

Research/Areas of Interest: Staying well, becoming empowered in your own health & wellness, integration of herbal & nutritional medicine into prescribed therapies, media health.

Website: and with the “ask” tab

Email: or

Melanie McGrice Expert Contributor

Qualifications: BSc(Nutr) Hons(Nutr) MNutrDiet AdvAPD

About: Melanie McGrice is a fertility and prenatal dietitian.  She runs online programs on prenatal nutrition for mothers-to-be, the ‘Nourish with Melanie’ YouTube channel, is the founder of Nutrition Plus Women’s Nutrition Clinics which provide specialist fertility and prenatal nutrition support around Australia and is an ambassador for Compassion’s ‘Mum’s and Bub’s Nutrition Clinics’, with the Nutrition Plus team sponsoring one in Tanzania.

Research/Areas of Interest: Reproductive conditions, Fertility and Prenatal Nutrition



Lauren Atkins Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), Accredited Nutritionist (AN)

Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics | Graduate Certificate in Paediatric Nutrition and Dietetics

About: Lauren Atkins is an APD and AN with expertise in oncology and haematology. She has worked in cancer care and survivorship for close to 10 years, spending much of her career working as a Senior Dietitian at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, The Royal Children’s Hospital Cancer Centre, Epworth Freemasons, as well as providing education for Deakin, Monash, LaTrobe, Victoria and Melbourne Universities. She has vast experience in using good nutrition to help prevent, manage and overcome cancer, from diagnosis through to survivorship and palliation and has published and been invited to present much of her research at national and international conferences.

Lauren has undertaken advanced training in natural and integrative medicine to better advise individuals and groups on the safe and appropriate use of complementary therapies. Lauren now combines hospital work with her co-founded private Oncology and Preventative Nutrition business OnCore Nutrition, where she operates out of clinics in Windsor, Brighton and Caulfield in Melbourne, as well as via telehealth consultation worldwide.

Research/Areas of Interests: Oncology and preventative nutrition



Rachel Kreider Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Registered Dietitian and Master of Public Health (MPH)

About: After studying human nutrition and behavior change in her undergraduate and graduate studies, Rachel spent time working with patients to incorporate healthy behaviours on an individual level as well as through corporate wellness initiatives. For the past 10 years, she has been working in the dietary supplement industry in new product development as well as regulatory capacities, advising companies on scientific affairs and matters of FDA and FTC compliance.

Website:  n/a

Email: not available

Joel Feren Expert Contributor

Qualifications: BBNSc (Hons) Grad Cert Nut MSc (Diet) APD AN

About: Joel is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist. He regularly consults to the food industry and in private practice, helping clients to achieve improved health with good nutrition.

Joel believes that dietitians working in the food industry can play a fundamental role in improving the nutritional quality of our food. He also considers nutrition to be too important to be an afterthought for food brands and businesses.

He has a passion for working in the food industry and enjoys the challenge of debunking commonly-held nutrition myths in the media. He is a media spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia and is a regular TV presenter.

Research/Areas of Interest: Men’s health and nutrition in the senior years



Simone Austin Expert Contributor

Qualifications: BSc, MND (Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics)

About: Simone has a passion for enabling all people to enjoy food whilst maximising their health and performance! This led her to write her first book published last year, ‘Eat Like An Athlete’.

She has a proven track record of success as an Advanced Sports Dietitian working the last 11 years with Hawthorn AFL Football Club (experiencing 3 premiership wins) and previously with The Australian Men’s Cricket Team, Melbourne Storm Rugby league club, Western Bulldogs, Melbourne City and with individual athlete’s and the general population in private practice for 25 years.

She enjoys presenting whether it be at conferences, workplaces, schools or to sporting clubs to inspire people to use nutrition for performance and is regularly in the media on radio (3AW regular), print and television being a media spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia. She has presented at many events including with chef George Calombaris on numerous occasions.

​Simone has worked in the corporate world with Swisse Wellness part time for 12 years in a range of areas of the business, currently in the marketing team writing health blogs and learning about the world of SEO ranking! She also enjoys working with food brands and is the consultant to Rokeby and this year presenting at invited lunches with Barilla pasta at the Australian Open.She is president of Sports Dietitians Australia and has been for 5 years. It is important to Simone to help further and led the profession hence her latest adventures to run engaging events, with Careers seminars and workshops for the dietetic profession.

Research/Areas of Interest: Sports Nutrition



Katrina Pace Expert

Qualifications: Bsc Hons (Dietetics), MSc (Human Nutrition), New Zealand Registered Dietitian

About: Katrina is a freelance writer. She specialises in creating copy and content for the health, wellness and nutrition niche.

Research/Areas of Interest: ating complex health topics into easy-to-understand articles promoting health and wellness.


Email: Not available

Associate Professor Francesco Cacciola Expert

Current Role: Associate Professor of Food Chemistry, University of Messina, Italy

About: Francesco graduated in Pharmacy at the University of Messina in 2004. After graduating, from February 2005 to August 2006, he worked at the Department of Analytical Chemistry in the Faculty of Chemical Technology at the University of Pardubice (Czech Republic) for a period sponsored by an international project called “Training Young Researchers in Miniaturized Comprehensive Liquid Chromatography” under the supervision of Prof. Ing. Pavel Jandera. He developed innovative analytical methods for the two-dimensional separation of polyphenols in beverages and plant extracts. Francesco received his PhD in “Food and Safety Chemistry” at the University of Messina in 2009, defending a thesis entitled “Employment of High Resolution HPLC Techniques for the Analysis of Complex Matrices”. In 2009 he was awarded a scholarship to work for one year as visiting scientist at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), Food and Drug Administration in College Park, Maryland, USA, under the supervision of Dr. Jeanne Rader. During his research stay, he worked on the characterisation of bioactive compounds contained in Stevia rebaudiana extracts, by two-dimensional liquid chromatography.

Francesco currently teaches at the University of Messina for the Bachelor Degree in  “Gastronomic Sciences” and “Nutraceutical Sciences and Functional Foods”. He is an author and co-author of 127 peer reviewed articles, 9 book chapters published by international editors, 5 abstracts “in extenso” and also author and co-author of over 250 congress contributions, including 13 invited speaker lectures at international symposia, in the field of separation science and food chemistry. He is also referee of 25 international journals in the field of analytical chemistry and food science.

Research/Area of interest: Characterisation of food bioactive molecules e.g. polyphenols by liquid chromatography, “comprehensive” multidimensional liquid chromatography and hyphenation to mass spectrometry.



Ana Florencia De Alzaa Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Chemical Engineer

About: Florencia came to Australia and joined to Modern olives team in September 2016 where she is working as a R&D scientist. She finished her degree in Chemical Engineering in 2015 at Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina.

Research/Areas of Interest:  Recent research in the food industry has included: Chemical and physical changes to fried chicken and Preliminary Results of Chemical and physical changes in oils during heating



Claudia Guillaume Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Food Scientist, Olive Oil Specialist, Approved Chemist of the AOCS

About: Claudia came to Australia in 2006 to head up Modern Olives Laboratory. She has had over 15 years’ experience in olive oil testing. She finished her studies in Argentina as Food Scientist and olive oil specialist. After working for several years in the area of quality, authenticity and sensory testing in a commercial food laboratory, Claudia completed a Post Graduate Course in the Fats & Oils Institute in Seville, Spain; where extensive experience in olive oil analysis was gained.  Claudia is an approved chemist of the AOCS, participate as technical members for the Australian Standard for Olive Oil (AS 5264-2011) committee and is a NATA technical assessor. She has extensive experience in sensory evaluation of olive oil carrying out many training and judging in this matter. Claudia has been invited to many national and international conferences as speaker and she has published numerous scientific papers in national and international journals.

Research/Areas of Interest: Olive Oil Sensory Analysis, Olive Oil Chemistry



Joanna Baker Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Accredited Practising Dietitian, Accredited Nutritionist, Registered Nurse
Master of Dietetics | Grad Cert Nutrition | Bachelor of Health Science

About: Joanna Baker is an accredited practising dietitian and a registered nurse who is passionate about helping people achieve their best health, whatever that is for them.

Research/Areas of Interest: IBS, Low FODMAP diets


Email: Not available

Leandro Ravetti Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Agricultural Engineer; Olive and Olive Oil Post Graduate Specialist

About: Leandro Ravetti graduated as an Agricultural Engineer in Argentina achieving the second highest academic score in the country. He worked for the National Institute of Agricultural Technology in olive production research and advised many of the country’s largest olive developments from 1995 until he moved to Australia in 2001.

Leandro has also studied and worked as an invited researcher at the Olive Growing Research Institute of Perugia, Italy and at different Governmental Olive Institutes in Andalusia, Spain where he completed a postgraduate degree on olive growing.

In Australia, Leandro leads the Modern Olives technical team, which provides horticultural and olive specific technical advice to most of the largest olive groves and olive oil processing plants in the country. These companies represent more than 70% of the Australian olive industry by production. Leandro has also been involved as adviser, researcher and invited speaker in most other new olive industries such as New Zealand, Japan, Peru, South Africa, Chile and USA.

Leandro was an alternate director of the Australian Olive Association between 2009 and 2012. During that period, Leandro covered the position of Drafting Leader for the new Australian Standard for Olive Oil (AS 5264-2011) receiving the 2011 Standards Award for outstanding contribution to standardisation in Australia.

Leandro has been Executive Director of Cobram Estate Olives Limited, Australia’s leading fully integrated olive company since 2005, and was appointed as joint-CEO in 2021. As part of his role with Cobram Estate Olives, Leandro has overseen the production of multi award winning oils for the company’s flagship brand, Cobram Estate, including a large number of gold medals, best in class and best in show trophies in national and international competitions such as New York, Los Angeles, Olive Japan, Australian Olive Association, etc.

Research/Areas of Interest: Olive growing, olive physiology, mechanisation, olive oil quality



Dr Roy J Hardman Expert Contributor

Qualifications: BSc, MAppSc (Pharmacy), MWellness (Dist) ,Grad Dip Business Admin/Marketing, Cert Sales Mgt, Cert 4 WTA, TESOL, Phd

University Association: Centre for Human Psychopharmacology Faculty of Health, Arts and Design School of Health Sciences Swinburne University Hawthorn Campus

About: Roy gained his PhD within the faculty of Health, Arts & Design at Swinburne University of Technology working within the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology. The focus of Roy’s research “Effects of adherence to a Mediterranean style diet and healthy lifestyle on cognitive functioning in independently living older individuals” The PhD project is the” LIILAC” study,(Life Style Intervention, Independently living Aged Care) a study based on site within independent aged care facilities around Melbourne. The focus of Roy’s work is the assessment of a Mediterranean diet intervention assessing cognitive outcomes. The protocol for this study has been published, together with a substantial systematic review on the Adherence to a Mediterranean-Style Diet and effects on Cognition in Adults: A Qualitative evaluation and Systematic Review of Longitudinal and Prospective Trials. The Association between adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet and cognition in older people: The Impact of medications is a world first. .Roy has a research background in Biochemistry and Drug Metabolism with the combination of Wellness Research together over 30 years of working within the health care industry experience is a unique combination of interests.

Research/Areas of Interest: Mediterranean Diet and Cognition, Mind Body Medicine



Sarah Gray Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Bachelor of Pharmacy, Master of Human Nutrition

About: Sarah is a passionate health and wellness professional, with experience in primary care settings, medical writing and food and drug industries.

Research/Areas of Interest: Integrative health and wellness, pharmacy, nutrition, food-drug interactions, nutrient-drug interactions

Website: Not available

Email: Not available

Dr. Syed Haris Omar Expert contributor

Qualifications: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pharmacology

About: Dr. Syed Haris Omar working as Senior Lecture and researcher in pharmacology at Rural Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Wagga Campus, Australia. He has started his career as Clinical Research Investigator and Lecturer at Pharmacy School. Dr. Haris has investigated the benefit of Olive phenolic compound (Biophenols) in the Alzheimer’s disease in vitro (SH-SY5Y cells) and in vivo (APPswe Mice) models, through the enzymes inhibition (AChE, BChE, BACE-1, HDAC, and Tyrosinase) and protected the cell lines and transgenic mice against the free radicals and amyloid-beta toxicity. He has demonstrated the experiences of membership  in Human Research Ethics Committee along with the teaching and research. As an author, Dr. Haris has published several peer-reviewed journal articles including research and reviews along with the book chapters and conference proceedings. Currently Dr. Haris is serving as reviewer and Editorial Board Member in several Journals of repute, and associated with various domestic and international scientific societies as member. His research interest falls in the field of Neuroscience especially in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease but not limited. Interested to extend the molecular and clinical research through in vitro techniques [(antioxidant assay, enzymes assays, HPLC, Spectroscopy, Cell line (SH-SY5Y cells), Amyloid beta assay, Tau assay, Natural Products (Olive biophenols)], in vivo techniques [(animal handling: APPswe Mice, behavioral assay)], and Clinical studies (dementia, obesity and ageing). His sustained academic efforts and contributions to advancement in the field of biomedical science research has been recognized nationally and internationally, and received awards from several organisations.

Research/Areas of Interest: Oxidative stress, Alzheimer’s disease, Neuroscience, Ageing, Olive biophenols, Neuroblastoma Cell Line, Transgenic mice.

Website: Not available


Dr. Tim Crowe Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Bachelor of Science, Monash University, 1991; Doctor of Philosophy, Monash University, 1995; Master of Nutrition & Dietetics, University of Sydney, 2000

About: Dr Tim Crowe is a career research scientists and educator.

Research/Areas of Interest: Medical writing

Website: Not available

Email: Not available

Dr. Tom Karagiannis Expert Contributor

Qualifications: BSc (Hons), PhD (Pathology)

About: Dr Tom Karagiannis is head of the Epigenomic Medicine Laboratory and Principal Investigator of the McCord Research Group in Melbourne, Australia.  He has a long history of teaching in the Department of Pathology at the University of Melbourne and more recently in the Human Pathology courses at Monash University.

Research/Areas of Interest: Epigenetics, Chromatin Biology, Dietary antioxidants and chromatin modifying compounds

Website: Not available

Email: Not available

Professor Russell Keast Expert Contributor

Qualifications: PhD in flavour science at University of Otago (NZ)

About:Professor Russell Keast leads the Food Innovation Discipline in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University, Melbourne Australia.  Prior to this Russell trained as a Chef in the Royal New Zealand Airforce, then completed a PhD in flavour science at University of Otago (NZ) , and spent five years at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia (USA).

Russell is involved with a number of local and international Boards including Chair of the Standards Australia Food Technology committee FT022 and The International Food Science Certification Commission.  He also has roles on international journals including Editorial Board of Chemical Senses, Chemosensory Perception and the Journal of Food Science.

Research/Areas of Interest: Russell leads the Centre for Advanced Sensory Science (CASS) at Deakin University.  The majority of Russell’s published research has focused on the relationship between taste and diet and his group have been key in identifying both fat and carbohydrate as new taste modalities.  Russell co-discovered the natural non-steroidal anti-inflammatory compound in virgin olive oil named oleocanthal.


Email: Not available

Abby Dolphin Expert Contributor

Qualifications: BHSc Naturopathy (ECNH) – Registered ANPA member

About: Abby Dolphin is a practising naturopath with particular interest in gut, women’s and skin health. Combining evidence based knowledge and naturopathic principles in her practice with the main focus on nutrition as medicine to establish the best health outcomes for her patients.

Research/Areas of Interest: Gut health, women’s health and skin health, nutrition as medicine, olive leaf extract and the human microbiome

Website: Not available


Associate Professor Antigone Kouris Expert

Qualifications: Associate Professor, School of Allied Health in the Department of Rehabilitation, Nutrition and Sport at La Trobe University, Accredited Practising Dietitian

About: Antigone Kouris is an Associate Professor, School of Allied Health in the Department of Rehabilitation, Nutrition and Sport at La Trobe University.  She is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with over 30 years experience and with over 50 papers (mainly on Mediterranean diet) in peer-reviewed journals (>1300 citations, h-index of 16).  Her pioneering PhD put the Mediterranean diet pattern (MDP) on the map in the 1990s.  It was the first study to show that adherence to a MDP in old age conferred longevity, resulting in a landmark paper in the British Medical Journal in 1995.
Her research team at the time was also the first to develop a validated MDP score, enabling many researchers  around the world to study the health benefits of the MDP contributing to the huge body of evidence surrounding this diet.   At La Trobe she has supervised 2 PhD students who have studied the MDP and cuisine in older Greek Australians with respect to hydration, depression, successful aging and CVD risk factors.

She has also co-authored 7 university text books and 3 of her own books (including a cook book of ‘Mediterrasian’ dishes).

Recently she has turned her expertise to the development of Mediterranean inspired functional foods based on a legume (lupin), extra virgin olive oil, herbs and spices.

Research/Areas of Interest: Mediterranean Diet


Email: Not available

Jacqui Plozza Expert Contributor

Qualifications: Bachelor of Science, Masters of Nutrition & Dietetics

About: Jacqui is a well esteemed industry and primary care dietitian with a specific interest in the health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Research/Areas of Interest: Mediterranean Diet, Olive Oil

Website: Not available

Email: Not available

Dr. Amal Kaddoumi Expert

Qualifications: Professor of Biopharmaceutics, Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University

About:Dr. Kaddoumi received her B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Kuwait University in 1985 and her M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Nagasaki University in 2001. Kaddoumi went on to complete her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Nagasaki University in 2004.

Upon graduation, Kaddoumi took a positions as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy (2004-05) and the University of Washington School of Pharmacy (2005-06). In 2007, she joined the faculty at the University of Louisiana at Monroe School of Pharmacy (2007-17) in the Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Kaddoumi is an active member of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), Society of Neuroscience (SfN), and the Oleocanthal International Society (OIS).

Research/Areas of Interest: Amal’s laboratory has extensive experience in drug development, preclinical research and bioanalysis in the fields of biopharmaceutics, neuropharmacology and brain research. The goal of Amal’s research is to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the contribution of vascular factors to neurological diseases, with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), in order to minimize the risk and to develop treatments that specifically target brain vasculature function.



DR. Elena George Expert

Qualifications: BFSc&N (Hons), MDiet, PhD

About: Elena is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) carrying out research assessing the effect of the Mediterranean diet and management and reversal of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Her interests are in translatable research, in particular looking at whole of diet to prevent and manage chronic diseases.

Research/Areas of Interest: Mediterranean diet, dietary patterns, biophenols, clinical trials, metabolic health, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Website: Not available


Sue Radd (Sue Radd-Vagenas) Expert

Qualifications: Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, (BSc, GDD, PhD Candidate 2015-2019, The University of Sydney)

About: Sue Radd is one of Australia’s leading nutritionists and health communicators and Director of the Nutrition and Wellbeing Clinic in Sydney, Australia. She is frequently sought out for comment by the media and has conducted thousands of print, radio and TV interviews worldwide. An internationally published author and speaker, her latest work is Food as Medicine: Cooking for Your Best Health, which was awarded Best Health & Nutrition Cookbook in the World for 2016 by Gourmand, France.

Research/Areas of Interest: Traditional plant based dietary patterns, Mediterranean diet, cognition, brain function, dementia prevention, chronic disease management through lifestyle medicine

Website: www.sueradd.com

Email: Not available

Dr. Selina Wang Expert

Qualifications: Ph.D., Department of Chemistry, University of California, Davis, 2008B.A., Chemistry with Honors, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2003

About: Selina Wang is the research director of the UC Davis Olive Center and an adjunct faculty at the Department of Food Science and Technology.

Research/Areas of Interest: Dr. Wang is interested in many aspects of food science and chemistry using olives and olive oil as study cases.


Email: Not available

Dr. Wolfgang Marx Expert

Qualifications: Bachelor of Health Sciences, Master of Dietetic Studies, PhD

About: Dr Wolfgang Marx is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who completed his PhD at Bond University where he investigated the use of polyphenol interventions on chemotherapy-induced nausea and fatigue.

Wolfgang currently holds an Alfred-Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with the Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University where he is investigating the use of novel nutraceutical and polyphenol compounds on cognition, fatigue, and mental health.

Research/Areas of Interests: Polyphenol and bioactive food compounds for cardiovascular, microbiome, and cognitive outcomes

Website: Not available


Joe Leech Expert

Qualifications: Dietitian and Nutritionist

About:  Joe Leech is a qualified dietitian who believes that conventional medicine and natural medicine do not have to be mutually exclusive. He draws from the best of both areas when giving nutrition advice.

Research/Areas of Interest: Main interest areas are food intolerance and gut health.



DR. Joanna McMillan Expert

Qualifications: PhD qualified dietitian, nutritionist, author and health presenter. Adjunct senior research fellow, La Trobe Univesity

About: Scottish-born Dr Joanna McMillan has become one of Australia’s favourite and best-known nutrition and lifestyle specialists. She is a PhD qualified nutrition scientist, dietitian and former fitness instructor, giving her the sound credentials to help us make sense of the increasingly confusing and conflicting health messages we hear in the media.

Research/Areas of Interest: Health and nutrition


Email: not available

Professor Vicki Flood Expert

Qualifications: Professor of Allied Health, BAppSc, GradDipNutr&Diet, MPH, PhD, APD

About: Professor Flood holds a conjoint appointment as Professor of Allied Health with Western Sydney Local Health District and Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney. Vicki has a background in nutrition and dietetics, epidemiology and public health, and research areas include population-based cohort studies and intervention studies to reduce chronic disease.

Research/Areas of Interest: Nutrition and ageing, nutrition and eye disease, food security of vulnerable population groups, micronutrient research (e.g. folate, Vitamin B12, sodium, carotenoids), nutrition and neurological diseases, improving food environments to increase the availability of healthy foods and supporting aboriginal health research.



Rachelle Opie Expert

Qualifications: Bachelor Science, bachelor nutrition and dietetics, bachelor nutrition dietetics honours, PhD

About: Since graduating as a Dietitian in 2005, Rachelle has worked as a research and clinical dietitian. The majority of Rachelle’s work has been in the outpatient setting working with individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and those with mental health issues. Over the past few years Rachelle has been involved in designing and delivering dietary intervention studies to obese pregnant women and to individuals with major depression.

Research/Areas of interest: Mediterranean dietary patterns, mental health, intervention studies


Email: Not available

Karen Murphy Expert

Qualifications: Bachelor of Applied Science – Deakin University, Bachelor of Food Science and Nutrition (Honours) – Deakin University, Doctor of Philosophy – RMIT University, Masters of Dietetics – University of South Australia

About: Accredited Practising Dietitian and Senior Research Fellow at the University of South Australia. Karen has extensive experience in clinical trials, particularly assessment of dietary intake, body composition, cardiovascular health, biochemical analyses and cognitive performance and psychological wellbeing. She is currently leading the Mediterranean dietary patterns research group at the Alliance for Research in Exercise and Nutrition and Activity which explores the effect of a Mediterranean dietary pattern on cognitive performance and cardiovascular function in Australians.

Karen is a recipient of 25 research and travel awards one of which is the prestigious South Australian Young Tall Poppy Science Award (2009) which recognises future leaders in science.

Karen practices privately as a dietitian with clinical interests in healthy ageing, weight loss and weight maintenance, improving cardiovascular health, managing type 2 diabetes and cancer care.

Research/Areas of interest: As a Research Fellow, her research goal is to understand and scientifically substantiate the impact of dietary patterns including the Mediterranean diet, as well as healthy foods and bioactive nutrients on cardiometabolic health and cognitive performance through dietary intervention trials. She has consolidated her research into studying the Mediterranean diet which contains a range of healthy foods and bioactive nutrients on cardiovascular risk and cognitive performance.

Website: Facebook

Email: Not available

Dr Hannah Mayr Expert

Qualifications: BHsc (Nutrition and Dietetics) with Honours, APD/AN, PhD

About: Dr Hannah Mayr is an APD and completed her PhD at La Trobe University in 2018 which investigated the effect of a Mediterranean diet on inflammation and adiposity in patients with coronary heart disease. She is currently employed as a research dietitian at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane where she is leading a project focused on implementation of the Mediterranean diet into routine care for chronic disease patients. In this role Hannah collaborates on a variety of research projects with other dietitians as well as medical specialists and exercise physiologists focused on lifestyle therapies for improving metabolic health outcomes in people with complex chronic conditions. She is also involved in research capacity building for clinical dietitians. Hannah is a Lecturer in the Bond University Master of Nutrition and Dietetic Practice and is passionate about teaching Dietetics students research skills. .

Research Interests: Dietary patterns, Mediterranean diet, Cardiovascular disease, inflammation, body composition, research translation



Dr. Natalie Parletta Expert

Qualifications: PhD, BPsych(Hons), MDiet

About: Dr Parletta is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of South Australia. Her research has included mental and heart health benefits of a Mediterranean Diet. Her team recently completed one of the first randomised controlled trials worldwide of the Mediterranean-style diet in people with depression (results to be published soon).

Research/Areas of Interests: nutrition, mental health, children’s diets, Mediterranean diet


Email: Not available

Peter McFarlane Expert Contributor

Qualifications: BAgrSc.(Hons) University of Melbourne,  DipEd, LaTrobe University

About:Peter McFarlane is currently a  Director and Company Secretary of Australian Food Integrity Certification Services Pty Ltd trading as au-thentic services, a market development, B2B and B2C export facilitation, quality-provenance-authenticity certification company.

Peter has responsibility for risk management, product quality, provenance & authenticity certification, information and technology transfer, and research and development project management, his current roles include:

Au-thentic Export and OliveCare® Code Administrator
AOA Agri-Chemicals Committee Co-ordinator
AOA Biosecurity Representative
AOA National Table Olive Committee Convenor
AOA Tastebook™ Co-ordinator
Strategic consultant to the Australian Olive Association Ltd

Peter has over 25 years of experience servicing government agencies, national, state and regional industry associations and business entities in the olive, citrus, mango, stone fruit, herb & spice, potato, dried fruits and other agricultural industries.

Research/Areas of Interest: Olive production best practice extension & training, olive product testing and certification

Website: (Aust):  (China):