Dr Sophia Areta Rodrigues

Doctor of Philosophy, Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)


Sophia joined the University of Auckland as a Lecturer in Feb 2019. Before that, she worked at The University of Queensland (2016-2019), delivering on industry-funded projects that analysed structure-function relationships in food and beverages.

Research | Current

Spurred on by a passion for food, Sophia's current research is in Food Physics and analyses how changes to food during chewing link to sensory perception. The ultimate aim is to understand what makes food taste the way it does by applying fundamental concepts from materials science to food structure and oral breakdown.

As we move to the future, there is an increasing demand to produce nutritionally-balanced foods without compromising on their cost, taste and texture. Sophia's research interests look to functional ingredients with a focus on healthier and sustainable foods, including the “weird and wacky” like cricket flour.

Teaching | Current

  • CHEMMAT 204 Materials
  • CHEMMAT 756 Food Process Engineering
  • CHEMMAT 757 Engineering Biotechnology
  • CHEMMAT 772 Advanced Food Process Engineering


University of Auckland Doctoral Scholar


Areas of expertise

  • Materials Science
  • Oral Processing
  • Rheology
  • Oral Tribology

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Rodrigues, S., Selway, N., Morgenstern, M., Motoi, L., Stokes, J., & James, B. (2017). Lubrication of chocolate during oral processing. Food and Function, 8 (2), 533-544. 10.1039/C6FO00950F
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/32647
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bryony James
  • Rodrigues, S. A. (2015). Food Breakdown during Chewing: Investigating the Link between Bolus Structure, Saliva and Texture Perception The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27363
  • Rodrigues, S., Young, A., James, B., & Morgenstern, M. (2014). Structural changes within a biscuit bolus during mastication. Journal of Texture Studies, 45 (2), 89-96. 10.1111/jtxs.12058
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bryony James
  • Rodrigues, S. A., Young, A. K., James, B. J., & Morgenstern, M. P. (2014). Structural Changes Within a Biscuit Bolus During Mastication. Journal of Texture Studies, 45 (2), 89-96. 10.1111/jtxs.12058


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 10, Room 1045
New Zealand

Web links