The Coffee Center is proud to announce the addition of Sarah Brinkley to its team this fall. Sarah is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University under Dr. Lombardini. She graciously agreed to chat with us and answer the following questions.
Why did you decide to Study Coffee at Texas A&M?
Through my exploration of many wine and coffee-growing regions of the world, I observed the effects of climate change. It became clear to me that, I needed to address challenges facing the coffee producing world, where resources are limited and where, in terms of biodiversity, we have the most to lose.
The reputation of The Center for Coffee Research and Education brought me to study coffee at TAMU. Specifically, I came here to study what affects the flavor of coffee. I want to understand keys to plant health and environmental sustainability as related to flavor development and increased productivity.
Have you been abroad? Tell me about your experience.
Yes! In a former life as a traveling winemaker, I traveled extensively for work and for play. I worked vintages in Australia, New Zealand, and Chile. My coffee curiosities have led me to explore Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Puerto Rico, and soon Haiti and Guatemala.
I love traveling. I am constantly inspired by the places I visit and people I meet. International exposure, and travel in general, always make me more appreciative of my origins too. I’m reminded that I come from a place with equally rich cultural traditions and natural beauty. I am able to reflect on my home (Tennessee!) with a new perspective.
What do you want to do when you graduate? Why do you want to go that direction?
After graduation, I aim to give scientific validity to the local knowledge of coffee farmers and producers. My dream job would be to be a university professor, doing research and educating others on issues affecting the coffee producing world.
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