Kerry Bentley-Hewitt's has a slightly different story and insight into the primary industries. Dealing with the trials and tribulations of a teenage pregnancy at 18, and going against family advice not to go to University, are all part of Kerry's journey to becoming a scientist. Kerry went against the family and continued her University dream, completing a biomedicine degree, all while having a baby in her first year. Kerry remembers it focused her and her studies, wanting to provide a better future for her daughter.
Going on to complete a PHD, Kerry expanded her family again in the first year. All of the challenges have led her to become more determined and a very independent individual, which meant when the offer to move half way around the world came along she knew they could cope. Kerry now has a happy and fulfilling career at Plant and Food Research, and a moral of staying determined, focused and going through the doors when they open for her.
Her initial position at Plant and Food Research was a three year post-doctoral scientist position in 2010, joining the Food, Nutrition and Health team and quickly become involved in multiple projects focusing on nutrition and immunology. Kerry is now a permanent scientist, her current interestes and research focuses are around determining the glycaemic potency of foods, interactions between food, the human gut and host immunological responses, maternal nutrition effect on infant immunity, just to name a few. Kerry is also passionate about promoting science as a career choice in schools. "Science is forever evolving and developing, I wanted a career that would keep me on my toes. The job is more than just being in the lab, learning about cool new science advances, design projects and collaborate with inspiring scientists from around the world. Plant & Food Research has a great work environment, very friendly and accommodating for working parents." Kerry has worked closely with ZESPRI over the years completing work on their kiwifruit and aiding their business expansion, also completing clinical trials for numerous industry partners exploring the health benefits of their food produce.
Wow, what an interesting role you play in the primary industries Kerry. It's so important that people understand about food and where it comes from! Your work must keep you busy, but by the sounds of it, as a young Mum, you have got this juggling multiple roles business very much mastered.