What do you get when you cross a physicist, a food chemist, and a cup of coffee? As a university student, coffee is one of my main food groups, so I couldn’t wait to find out the answer to this question.
If you are anything like me, you think one of the best things about coffee is the caffeine that gives you the great boost of energy and alertness to go about your day. Well, two Lakehead University professors have discovered how to get more caffeine bang for your buck.
Dr. Thamara Laredo and Dr. Chris Murray, assistant professors with the Department of Sustainability Sciences, set out to answer the question, “Is there a way to get more caffeine into my day without increasing the amount of coffee I drink?”
With both Laredo and Murray being avid coffee drinkers, the two worked together with minimal resources in order to solve their brewing question. Armed with a run-of-the-mill coffee grinder and your typical grocery store coffee beans, they successfully answered their question, as well as proved that inexpensive research can also be efficient research.
“You don’t need huge piles of money and giant grants to be able to answer an interesting, relevant question,” says Laredo when asked about her research.
“This is a great example of how professors can just take a problem and solve it,” echoed Murray.
This idea of relevant research struck me as incredibly important for the community, as it proves that a university doesn’t just mean higher education, it means research that benefits the community and will help solve common, fascinating questions. Examples like this may also inspire community members to get involved and be encouraged to approach researchers with their problems and questions.
If you’re interested in finding out the results of the coffee study, make sure to attend Dr. Laredo’s ‘In Conversation’ event at the Orillia Public Library on Tuesday, February 17 from 6:15 - 8:00pm.
For details on this and other upcoming events, visit https://www.lakeheadu.ca/about/orillia-campus/community-programs/public-lectures.