Dr Sarah Burkhart is a Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics in the School of Health and Sport Sciences. Sarah’s major research focus explores food security and food choice in the Pacific Islands. Working with Pacific partners, academics and stakeholders, Sarah is interested in understanding the determinants of food choice and food security across Pacific Island food systems, particularly school food and nutrition education, food literacy, food access and availability, and the influence of culture.
Sarah recently led two major projects investigating the current state and capacity for school food and nutrition education programmes across 14 Pacific Island countries. She has projects underway investigating the role of diets and food systems in the prevention of obesity and non-communicable diseases in Fiji and the food environment in Samoa. She also contributes to projects investigating the contribution of seaweeds to diets in Samoa, nutrition impacts of climate change in Fiji and gender influences on food choice in small island developing states. Sarah is involved in research related to food provision and nutrition support at major international competition (further details: Food provision and nutrition support at major athletic competition).
Sarah coordinates and teaches several courses across the Bachelor of Nutrition and the Bachelor of Dietetics, with a focus on improving the student experience and readiness for practice using blended learning and the flipped classroom approach. Sarah’s scholarship of learning and teaching interests include the integration of a food systems approach and sustainability within Nutrition and Dietetic curricula, the use of blended learning strategies and the flipped classroom approach. Sarah is also an advocate for involving students in overseas learning and research experiences and has travelled with, and supervised USC students undertaking projects in Samoa and the Solomon Islands.
Sarah is a Registered Nutritionist with the Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA) and Chair of the Brisbane Regional NSA Group.
- LearnX Live! Best Blended Learning Model Platinum Award Winner (with Dr Dana Craven and Dr Anita Hamilton), 2019
- 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
Sarah is a Registered Nutritionist with the Nutrition Society of Australia.
- PROJECT NAME
Gathering evidence and supporting multi-stakeholder engagement on the role of diets and food systems in the prevention of obesity and non-communicable diseases in Pacific Island Countries (Fiji)
Dr S Burkhart (lead), Prof. Steven Underhill and Dr Dana Craven
- PROJECT NAME
School Food Programmes in the Pacific Islands: Scoping Study and Capacity Needs Assessment
Dr S Burkhart and Prof. S. J Underhill
This project includes a scoping review and capacity needs assessment of school food programmes in 14 Pacific Island countries.
- PROJECT NAME
School Nutrition Education Programmes in the Pacific Islands: Scoping Study and Capacity Needs Assessment
Dr S Burkhart
This project includes a scoping review and capacity needs assessment and proposes school nutrition education programmes in 14 Pacific Island countries.
- PROJECT NAME
Designing a graduate eportfolio – the expectations of industry
Dr A Hamilton (lead), T Downer, Dr B Flanagan, Dr S Burkhart, Dr A Villani, B Lucas, Dr A Henderson, Dr C Davis, M Small, and Dr J Taylor
USC Commissioned Grant A$15,000
The aim of this project is to discover what the Health and Social Care Industry wants graduates to demonstrate through a graduate ePortfolio and enhance graduate employability.
- PROJECT NAME
Learning, Teaching, Practice: A common understanding and integration of sustainability within Nutrition and Dietetics.
Dr S. Burkhart (lead), Dr J. Maher, Dr M. Verdonck and T. Ashford
USC Exploratory Grant A$9996
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’.
- Bottcher, C., Underhill, S. J. R., Aliakbari, J., Burkhart, S. J. (2020). Food access and availability in Auki, Solomon Islands. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition; http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19320248.2020.1739586.
- Burkhart, S. J., Verdonck, M., Ashford, T., Maher, J. (2020). Sustainability: Nutrition and dietetic students’ perceptions. 12 (3), 1072; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031072
- Burkhart, S. J., Craven, D. L. (2020). Digital workbooks in flipped nutrition education: student perspectives. Education Sciences, 10 (1), 22;
- Burkhart, S. J., Jones, B., Underhill, S. Swanepoel, E. (2019). School nutrition education programmes scoping review and capacity needs assessment. Final report. Available from: http://www.fao.org/3/ca2935en/ca2935en.pdf. • Bottcher, C., Underhill, S. J. R., Aliakbari, J., Burkhart, S. J. (2019). Food purchasing behaviours of a remote and rural adult Solomon Islander population. Foods, 8, 464. • Horsey, B., Swanepoel, L., Underhill, S. J. R., Aliakbari, J., Burkhart, S. J. (2019). Dietary diversity of an adult Solomon Island population. Nutrients, 11, 1622; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071622
- Burkhart, S. J., Taylor, J., Kynn, M. Craven, D., Swanepoel, L. (2019). Undergraduate nutrition students’ engagement with the flipped classroom: A descriptive cohort study. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour. In press, corrected proof, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2019.06.002.
Projects for Honours and HDR students
- Food choice and food security in the Pacific region
- Dietary diversity in the Pacific region
- Nutrition education in developing countries
- Nutrition transition
- Sustainable food systems
- 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
Sarah's area in expertise includes, food studies, nutrition and dietetics and their application in many settings.