For over 30 years it has been Professor John Brooks’ mission to improve our understanding of food safety to help reduce the incidence of food mediated illness. As Professor of Food Microbiology at AUT University, Dr Brooks is actively involved with the food industry, consulting on microbiological problems for a range of companies and carrying out research across New Zealand’s dairy, seafood and biomedical sectors.
Originally from the United Kingdom, John studied at the University of London where he completed a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Microbiology before moving to Sydney to undertake a PhD in Biochemical Engineering. After a number of years teaching food microbiology at Massey University, John joined AUT University where he is Director of the Food Science Research Centre, Co-director of the Biotechnology Research Institute and also Head of Research within the School of Applied Sciences.
His areas of research include the study of biofilms in food, aquaculture and medicine. Biofilms are bacterial films found growing in diverse environments like the human body, streams, medical apparatus and food processing equipment. His biofilm research is helping to model their behaviour in industrial plants, such as milk evaporators.
John was recently appointed Vice President of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology’s Auckland branch. He is also a member of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority’s Scientific Academy.
When he’s not drawing our attention to food safety, John can be found playing the saxophone or flying amongst the clouds in his glider.