Dr Sarah Burkhart

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Dr Sarah Burkhart


Teaching areas

  • Food Studies
  • Food in Society
  • Introduction to Nutrition
  • Food Service Systems
  • Complementary Approaches to Food and Nutrition

Research areas

  • the food system, food safety and food choice in the Pacific Islands
  • food provision, food choice, nutrition support and dietary intake at major international competition
  • incorporation and teaching of sustainability and sustainable food systems in Nutrition and Dietetics curricula
  • the use of blended learning strategies to engage Nutrition and Dietetic students

Program coordinator


Dr Sarah Burkhart is a Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics, and Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Nutrition. Sarah completed a Master of Science (Human Nutrition) and Bachelor of Science (Human Nutrition and Physiology) through Massey University (New Zealand), before completing her PhD at USC where she evaluated the nutrition support provided to athletes competing at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. Sarah is a Registered Nutritionist with the Nutrition Society of Australia.

Sarah’s primary research interests include the food system, food safety and food choice in the Pacific Islands; and food provision and nutrition support at major international competition (further details can be found at Food provision and nutrition support at major athletic competition).

Sarah coordinates and teaches several courses across both the Bachelor of Nutrition and the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics, and is passionate about improving the student learning experience through experiential learning, the use of technology, and effective curriculum design. Sarah’s learning and teaching research interests include the integration of sustainability within Nutrition and Dietetic curricula and the use of blended learning strategies, including the flipped classroom and e-portfolios.

Teaching awards

Advance Teaching Award: ABLE Award for Advancing the Blended Learning Experience, University of the Sunshine Coast, 2016

Professional memberships

  • Nutrition Society of Australia

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • Food safety in the Pacific Islands
  • Nutrition transition in the Pacific

  • Influences on food choice

Research grants

Project name

Funding body


Fruit and vegetable accessibility and purchasing behaviours in Samoa


New Colombo Plan (2017) $33,000

This project aims to investigate availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in markets and retail outlets, origin of produce, vendor perspectives and fruit and vegetable purchasing behaviours of Samoans. Additionally, the project aims to investigate the food safety practices of fruit and vegetable roadside vendors and the prevalence and potential causes of fruit and vegetable food safety incidents in Samoa.

Learning, Teaching, Practice: A common understanding and integration of sustainability within Nutrition and Dietetics.

USC Exploratory Grant (2015) $9996

While being sustainability focused (SF) is an important graduate outcome for students, sustainability is perceived as an abstract concept, and due to a lack of consensus of what sustainability means in practice, academics experience difficulty integrating SF learning & teaching activities and assessment into the curriculum. The aim of this project is twofold – 1) to conceptualise ‘sustainability’ in the context of nutrition and dietetics and 2) to produce resources that will support development of authentic teaching and learning activities relating to the graduate quality ‘sustainability focused’.

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