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.