Position: Senior research scientist, Field: Phytochemical antioxidants, Organisation: Antioxidants Team, Food and Wellness Group, Plant & Food Research.
David was born in England and attended Wallington High School, near London, where he discovered his love of science. After leaving school, he enrolled at the University of Southampton, graduating first with a degree in chemistry then a PhD in biochemistry. After 3 years in the University of Southampton Chemistry Department working on enzyme function, David had an opportunity to move to the Biotechnology Research Institute in Montreal, Canada, where he worked on applied enzymology (the study of enzymes).
After his time in Canada, David moved to Wellington, New Zealand, taking up a position with the Chemistry Division of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), which later became Industrial Research Limited (IRL).
Whilst at IRL he was privileged to work with Dr Richard Furneaux, a world-leading carbohydrate chemist, in the field of enzymatic synthesis of carbohydrate derivatives. Work in food ingredient processing such as extraction, enrichment and chemical modification then followed.
If you prefer a career that is so much fun that you look forward to Monday mornings, be a scientist!Dr David Stevenson
All this work with food generated a personal interest in health and nutrition, and David looked for a job that could combine his personal and scientific interests.
He found one at HortResearch in Auckland and refocused his research into investigating the different ways antioxidants may benefit our health and fitness. HortResearch merged with Crop and Food Research in 2008 to form Plant & Food Research, and David transferred to the Ruakura, Hamilton, site to further his antioxidant work.
David says he has found science a very rewarding career.
I get to do work that is really interesting, use all sorts of expensive high tech equipment and even get paid for doing it!Dr David Stevenson
This article is based on information current in 2011.