Dr Meika Foster is the founding director of Edible Research Ltd, a company committed to the translation of scientific food and nutrition research for practical application in government, healthcare, and the food industry. Her distinctive skill set combines qualifications and expertise in nutrition science, Law, and needs assessment and strategy implementation. As an independent researcher with a preference for working in transdisciplinary research environments, Meika is dedicated to advancing the central role of science in legal, economic, social, environmental, and cultural decision-¬making in New Zealand.
Meika’s nutrition science research interests include the impact of dietary patterns, particularly plant-based diets, on health throughout the lifecycle; development and nutritional implications of new high-value food products; land use and environmental sustainability of food; biodiscovery and indigenous organisms; and the role of micronutrients, trace metals, and phytochemicals in health and disease. Meika is an independent researcher with experience working across a number of New Zealand research organisations, as well as with values-based Māori entities, small and medium-sized enterprises, and other stakeholders with food and beverage interests. Among her varied research roles, she is the Science Leader for the Vision Mātauranga Programme of the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge, an Associate Investigator at the Riddet Institute, and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland. Her research interests in Law include cultural and intellectual property rights and the protection of mātauranga Māori. She has worked previously for the New Zealand Law Commission in the Te Ao Māori team promoting the systematic review, reform and development of the law of New Zealand, and in policy as an Effective Practice Consultant and Planning Officer for the London Borough of Newham, UK.
Meika received her PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Sydney, Australia. She also holds an LLB (Hons) and a BA (Māori language and culture) from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She is a New Zealand Registered Dietitian (formerly an Accredited Practising Dietitian of Australia), a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, and formerly a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.