On Wednesday 2 December HVN Science Leadership Team member Professor Clare Wall gave her inaugural lecture at the University of Auckland titled ‘The accidental academic’. Clare shared with the audience her career journey, where she started as a clinical dietician in the UK and then, unexpectedly, found herself part of the academic world as a result of her love for travel and from meeting many people along the way who would go on to have a huge, supportive, influence on her career. A particular highlight for Clare was her time in Brisbane at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, where she enjoyed the work she was doing, the sunshine and beautiful beaches and where she not only obtained a PhD…she also met her husband.

Clare’s research looks into the effect that nutrition has on early life, particularly in terms of health, physical development and cognitive development. Key words that emerged from Clare’s lecture were ‘calm’, ‘collaborative’ and ‘faecal matter’, the latter of which Clare has seen a lot of during the course of her academic career.

Professor Wall said that she particularly enjoyed working on the HVN National Science Challenge as she “gets to collaborate with a lot of people across the country”. Clare has many passions in her work, two of which are being able to support the many public organisations that have an interest in nutrition, and her joy of teaching, which is the role she said that she enjoys the most.

Promotion to professor at the University of Auckland is a significant mark of distinction. Clare’s lecture attracted a large number of her academic colleagues, friends, and many members of her family. Her lecture was insightful, fascinating and entertaining. The audience was so captivated by Clare’s story that at the conclusion of her inaugural lecture she received a well-deserved standing ovation! Watch Professor Clare Wall’s inaugural lecture.

We are pleased and privileged to have Professor Clare Wall on our HVN SLT Challenge team. Watch Professor Wall talk about her work with the Challenge.