This week I had the pleasure to come back to Ithaca, NY (US) and visit Cornell University after four years since I was there as a visiting scholar with my MarieCurie fellowship.
Having previously been part for two years as a visiting scholar of this prestigious institution, the opportunity to return even only for a few days meant a lot to me, both in terms of my professional and personal journey. The opportunity to reconnect with old friends and to meet colleagues who create a dynamic academic community like my former supervisor Miguel Gomez from Dyson School and Alina Stelick and Robin Dando from Dept. of Food Science and Manager at Cornell University Sensory Evaluation Center.
I also got access to cutting-edge resources like the eye-tracking device EyeLink 1000 Plus which is one of the most precise and accurate video-based eye tracker. This device precisely records eye movements with millimeter accuracy, enabling scientists to analyze visual behavior in detail. Equipped with high-speed cameras, it provides accurate recording of fixations and saccadic movements, delivering essential data for studies on visual perception, attention, and cognition.
One of the reasons to visit Cornell and learn more about eye-tracking and sensory analysis was the presence of my Ph.D. candidate, Giulia Andreani, who is spending a semester as a Visiting Graduate Researcher at the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and conducting a consumer experiment on plant-based meat alternatives and nutrition and sustainable labels. By investigating these areas, Giulia aims to contribute to the development of effective consumer-centric approaches that encourage individuals to make informed decisions regarding their food consumption. In particular, her research seeks to advance our understanding of plant-based alternatives and explore innovative food labeling strategies that can empower consumers to make healthier and more sustainable dietary choices.
While I was at Cornell, I was also invited as an Academic Scholar at the Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures. The Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures (CIHF) is an academic center focused on improving service in healthcare, wellness, and senior living through the integration of hospitality, environmental design, and health policy and management. CIHF achieves its goals through multidisciplinary educational programs, research sponsorship and dissemination, and hosting conferences and meetings.