Maleeka is a graduate of the University of Toronto, having completed a B.Sc. in Genes, Genetics and Biotechnology, and Sociology; with a minor in English. After graduation, she worked in the health and food industries, which sparked her interest in health, food safety and security.
Maleeka is currently pursuing a M.Sc. in Food Science. Her research is a collaborative project between the Food Science and Integrative Biology departments at the University of Guelph; supervised by Dr. Jeffrey Farber and Dr. Robert Hanner, respectively. Her primary research focus is in food forensics to detect seafood fraud; in particular, using, developing and modifying rapid DNA authentication methods to validate commercial species of fish. Her research aims to provide a rapid, efficient and cost-effective method, to detect seafood fraud, subsequently reducing its food safety concerns and environmental impact. It aims to create and develop technology to improve transparency in the food supply chain, which can be used by anyone along the supply chain. Food fraud impacts the economy, health and the environment, as such, this research has numerous applications to the industry as a whole.
Maleeka is excited to work in the agri-food sector along with the HQP scholars and industry partners. She hopes this program will give her the skills to pursue a career in research and development or at a policy-making level.