Susan Tosh

Susan Tosh

About her:

Dr. Tosh joined the University of Ottawa as Director of the School of Nutrition Sciences in July 2016. Previously, she was a Research Scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada from 2004 - 2016 and occupied administrative positions in the Guelph, St-Hyacinthe and Brandon Research and Development Centres. She holds a PhD in Food Science from the University of Guelph (2001).

Dr. Tosh has extensive experience as a researcher and director of research teams, completing several national and international research projects and establishing fruitful collaborative links between the food industry and universities. Her area of expertise is in the characteristics and health benefits of dietary fibres from cereal and pulse crops. She is recognized for her investigation of the mechanisms of action for the ability of oat β-glucan to reduce blood glucose and serum cholesterol and has conducted research on the health benefits of barley, lentil, chickpea, bean, pea and soy fibres. She has developed simulated digestion methods to investigate how fibre affects the breakdown and absorption of nutrients. These in vitro digestion models have shown that food made from the same ingredients but prepared in different ways breakdown at different rates in the gastrointestinal tract.

Dr. Tosh’s publication record includes more than 70 peer-reviewed articles. She also contributed to the development and presentation of numerous technical reports for industrial partners and contributed regularly to scientific conferences in Canada and abroad, as a principal investigator or guest speaker.


Food and nutrition is a topic that everyone can relate to; everybody eats! And yet, we still have so much to learn about what we should eat to maintain optimum health.

I am very happy to have joined the School of Nutrition Sciences in July 2016 as Director. The School currently is in a growth phase. In addition to myself, more professors are being hired with expertise in food biochemistry, nutritional biochemistry and microbiology. New research facilities are being constructed at Roger Guindon for increased capacity in biochemical analysis and simulated digestion research. Building on our current program, Honours Bachelor in Nutrition Sciences, we anticipate adding new programs in food science and culinary science at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

It seems fitting that a School of Nutrition Sciences is healthy and growing and I am excited to lead it into the future. 

About her talk:

"Diet diversity and fibre consumption patterns"

Similar to other western societies, Canadians do not consume the recommended 25 – 38 g fibre/day. The deficit is related to inadequate consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limited diversity of fibre sources reduces the types of fermentable polysaccharides consumed and intakes of associated bioactive components. Increasing fibre intake is a complex problem which will be difficult to resolve.