Dr Sarah Burkhart

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Dr Sarah Burkhart


Program Coordinator, Bachelor of Nutrition ; Lecturer, Bachelor of Nutrition

MSc Massey, BSc Massey., PhD Sunshine Coast.

+61 7 5456 5046
+61 7 5459 4880
Office location
Dr Sarah Burkhart


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. Sarah is interested in understanding the determinants of food choice across Pacific Island food systems, in particular access and availability, education and awareness and the influence of culture, across various population groups.

Sarah also has experience in research related to 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
  • Commendation for Excellence: Advancing Quality Teaching, 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

  • Determinants of food choice

Research grants

Project title


Funding body


School Nutrition Scoping Review and Capacity Needs Assessment – Pacific Islands

S. J. Burkhart

UN/FAO (2018)

This project includes a scoping review and capacity needs assessment for school nutrition education programmes across 14 Pacific Island countries.

Designing a graduate eportfolio – the expectations of industry


A Hamilton (lead), T Downer, B Flanigan, S Burkhart, A Villani, B Lucas, A Henderson, C Davis, M Small, and J Taylor

USC Commissioned Grant (2016/2017), $15,000

The aim of this project is to discover what the Health and Social Care Industry wants our graduates to demonstrate through a graduate ePortfolio and enhance graduate employability.

Fruit and vegetable accessibility and purchasing behaviours in Samoa

 S. J. Burkhart – used to provide funding for students to undertake project

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.


S. Burkhart (lead), J. Maher, M. Verdonck and T. Ashford.

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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