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New professor in dairy science at Aarhus University

With the appointment of Lotte Bach Larsen as professor in dairy protein science and manager of the research section Food Chemistry and Technology, the Department of Food Science at Aarhus University will be strengthening its research in dairy science.

[Translate to English:] Lotte Bach Larsen er udnævnt til professor i Institut for Fødevarer ved Aarhus Universitet. Foto: Tina Dahl Møllegard

Strong professionalism combined with high productivity, close contacts to the food industry and other external stakeholders and good collaborative skills has led to the appointment of Lotte Bach Larsen as professor in dairy protein science and manager of the research section Food Chemistry and Technology at the Department of Food Science, Aarhus University. Both appointments are effective from 1 January 2014.


Since 51-year-old Lotte Bach Larsen graduated as a biologist from Aarhus University in 1990, her research has concentrated on milk characteristics and qualities. She was employed as a research assistant and PhD student at the Department of Molecular Biology, Aarhus University, from 1990-1995, where she studied bovine milk enzymes. During this period, she was one of the first to combine molecular analyses with milk. After a few months as a research librarian at the State Library in Aarhus, Lotte Bach Larsen secured a position as a researcher in the Department of Food Science at what was then the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences.


- It was actually a friend of mine who encouraged me to apply for the position. I thought that it could do no harm to apply, and then I got the job and have been here ever since, says Lotte Bach Larsen. She got the job as a researcher in 1996, but already two months later she was promoted to senior scientist. From 2011 she held the title of associate professor in what is now – following some structural and name changes – called the Department of Food Science at Aarhus University.


Productive professor

Lotte Bach Larsen is the only professor at the Department of Food Science at the present time and living proof that even if you are a female with two children you can move up the ladder in the world of science.


- I feel that the appointments as professor and section manager is a recognition of the work I have done in recent years. It is a stamp of approval of my research and research management. It is also a good signal to external partners and can be an advantage when writing research applications and creating new contacts with the industry, says Lotte Bach Larsen.


The collaboration with the industry is one of the areas where Lotte Bach Larsen is particularly strong and was one of the reasons why she was rated as being good professor material in a department that has a high degree of collaboration with the food industry.


Lotte Bach Larsen is also very active in writing scientific papers and popular science articles. She is co-author of 65 peer-reviewed papers and is also involved in numerous other articles about milk and its qualities.


Some of these articles have their origin in one of the major projects that Lotte Bach Larsen has headed. The "Milk Genomics" project examined the link between the composition and quality of milk and genetic background, to which there was at one time as much as seven PhD students attached. The project led, among other things, to some new results on the influence of milk protein variants on processing characteristics such as milk coagulation ability. This has led to a number of spin-off projects in order to bring the results closer to commercialisation.


Lotte Bach Larsen has also supervised the department's PhD students over the last five years, which has been a period of development and consolidation of the food programme. She hopes to continue in the same positive direction in the future:


- I hope I can help to further strengthen not only the relationships with the industry but also the development of the area and that I can attract new projects and ensure investment in new equipment so that we can bring new methods into play and expand the section’s research areas, says Lotte Bach Larsen.


The inaugural lecture entitled " Milk proteins and enzymes: From physiology to functionality " will be held on 7 March at AU Foulum.


For further information please contact: Professor Lotte Bach Larsen, Department of Food Science, email: lottebach.larsen@agrsci.dk, telephone: +45 8715 8049, Mobile: +45 2281 9282