Dina Nugent, PhD

Research Scientist



 Areas of Expertise

  • Application of nudges and atmospherics to improve food behaviors

  • Food service and food retail interventions

  • Environmental strategies to promote healthy eating active living in worksites

  • Nutrition interventions among low-income populations, and active military

  • Use of food industry techniques (i.e. trade promotions) to shift food supply and demand

Food Story

At 19 years old, Nugent took a hiatus from college to train to be a macrobiotic cook for individuals with cancer and chronic illnesses. There she gained an appreciation for growing and eating unprocessed, regional and seasonal foods. This experience piqued her interest in the complexity of America’s food systems and environments and effects on Americans’ health.  Her father, grandfather and great uncle held lifelong careers in the food industry, and so she is particularly drawn to exploring the role of food suppliers in improving individual’s food behaviors and using traditional food marketing techniques and nudges to promote healthier foods. She loves experimenting with preparing ethnic cuisines from around the world with favorites being Indian, Vietnamese and Italian. She also collects hot sauces from every place she visits.


Academic History

Ph.D., Public Health Nutrition

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2016

  • Thesis: Evaluation of a pricing and communications intervention with food wholesalers and small stores to improve supply and demand of healthier foods in Baltimore City

M.S., Human Nutrition

University of Bridgeport, 2009

B.A., Health Arts and Sciences

Goddard College, 2002

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, American Association of Geographers

  • Member, Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior

  • Member, American Society for Nutrition