Colby Lab


Dr. Colby is a behavioral researcher with a focus on health communication through novel nutrition education strategies. She received her doctoral degree in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After finishing her PhD, she worked as a Nutrition Research Scientist for the USDA/ARS. She also worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department Nutrition at East Carolina University before coming to UT in 2011. At UT, she is the director of the Research on Eating and Activity for Community Health (REACH) lab with adolescent populations (ages 9-19 years old). Current research projects involve culinary and gardening interventions.

Current Graduate Students

Hi, I am Srijana Uprety from Lalitpur, Nepal. I completed my undergraduate degree in Public Health from Pokhara University, Nepal. Then I worked as a nutrition officer in a non-government organization, Aasaman Nepal, for about two years. During my work in Aasaman Nepal, I planned and facilitated various programs such as the Nutrition Education Rehabilitation Program (NERP), Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM), Participatory Learning Appraisal (PLA), Linking Agriculture Natural Resources and Nutrition (LANN), and Female Community Health Volunteer (FCHV). I also published a paper from my dissertation that was about assessing the nutrition status of young children in the Satar community of Bhadrapur Municipality, Jhapa Nepal and another article titled “Utilization of adolescent-friendly health services and its associated factors in Dang district of Nepal.” I am currently working in an organization called Comida for Familias Inc., where I educate communities about healthy eating and cooking. In my graduate studies I want to work with community-based interventions to promote the health and wellbeing of children. After I complete a doctoral degree, I want to dedicate my career to reducing burdens related to both obesity and undernutrition in under-resourced communities.

Hello! I am Mohammad Rahanur Alam from Bangladesh. My research is focused on the cross-talk between lifestyle factors and non-communicable diseases with a special focus on the effect of health promotion and lifestyle interventions on obesity and associated non-communicable disorders. I graduated with a BS (Honors) in Nutrition and Food Science from Dhaka University, Bangladesh. Later I completed my MSc in Nutrition and Biomedicine from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany. Currently, I am working as a faculty member in the Department of Food Technology and Nutrition Science at the Noakhali Science and Technology University, Bangladesh. I enjoy traveling to the countryside and watching soccer in my spare time.

Hi! My name is Iyanuoluwa Oyetunji, and I am from the ancient city of Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria. I have been involved in research evaluating the interaction of diet and lifestyle with the risks of non-communicable diseases, especially obesity and hypertension. I recently completed an MSc in Nutrition at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. I also hold a BSc (Hons) and Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics, both from Nigeria. I have previously worked as a clinical nutritionist. In my free time, I enjoy singing, playing the guitar, and hiking. After my Ph.D., I intend to dedicate my future research and teaching to the modification of diet and lifestyle to address the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases.

Hi! I am Marissa McKeague and I am a doctoral student. I have my MScN and my mission is to empower and cultivate a worldwide community in the pursuit of health and happiness through love, personal evolution, and holistic nutrition provided by the earth and its diverse inhabitants.

I originated from San Luis Obispo, California, where I am an active member of the agriculture and food communities. I received my Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing and International Business from Colorado State University and my Master of Science in Nutrition Science from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. During my graduate studies, I completed my Food As Medicine Everyday (FAME) Educator training and my clinical internship with Nutritional Love in Portland, Oregon. I then saw clients for medical nutritional therapy and food relationship coaching. 

I believe my ability to empower and inspire moves outside the classroom; I am interested in nutrition from a public and global health perspective; and empowering our international community through education and research. In my free time, I love to hike, forage, and connect with the natural environment as much as possible. 

Candace Sapp, MS, RD

Research Interest: Implementation Science and Cooking Programs with Youth

Hello! I am a doctoral student in the Community Nutrition program in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences Nutrition Department. I serve as a Maternal & Child Health Nutrition Leadership Trainee with Marsha Spence. While at UT I have also worked with Dorian McCoy as a graduate assistant on diversity, recruitment, and retention initiatives for CEHHS in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. My research focuses on using complex systems science approaches to understand the dynamics of college food security and identify potentially impactful policy and intervention strategies. In my free time, I enjoy baking and decorating cakes.