The Science of Cheese

Event Date: 
August 9, 2017
Rachel Dutton

Cheese is home to a complex and fascinating microbial ecosystem; from bacteria, yeasts and molds, to microscopic mites. Microbes play key roles in the flavor, texture, smell, and appearance of cheese. Prof. Dutton will explain how microbes help make cheese a diverse and delicious food, and how her lab is working to uncover the complex interactions between the microbes in cheese. A cheese tasting preceding, and pairing with, the talk will highlight some of the delicious flavors produced by the microbial world.

Speaker Bio: 
Rachel Dutton received a PhD in Microbiology from Harvard Medical School and was the recipient of a Bauer fellowship at Harvard University. She combined her passions for microbiology and food into a research program that has the goal of using cheese as a way to understand microbial ecosystems. Since joining the Biology Department at UCSD, Dutton and her lab have been studying the microbial diversity of cheeses from around the world and looking at how cheese microbes interact with each other to form communities. She was a 2015 Kavli Fellow, a 2016 Packard Fellow, and a Pew Biomedical Scholar in 2017. In a profile, The New York Times has covered her research and has referred to her as “the gastronomists’ go-to microbiologist.”