Sophie Nicklaus

Reasearch director
INRAE, Institut Agro, Université de Bourgogne

Sophie Nicklaus is the Director of Research at INRAE (Institut National de la Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement). She works at the Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l’Alimentation in Dijon. During her training as an agronomist at AgroParisTech, she developed an interest in the sensory and nutritional qualities of foods and their determinants. Since her doctoral research at the Université de Bourgogne, she has been studying children’s eating behavior, including food preferences and appetite control. Her research aims to evaluate the impact of food properties, such as sensory characteristics and energy density, on the development and evolution of children’s food preferences and consumption. She conducts this research using a combination of experimental and epidemiological approaches, with a particular focus on two birth cohorts, OPALINE and ELFE.

Dr. Nicklaus is particularly concerned with understanding the influence of early food experiences on later eating behaviors and their implications for health. She has authored over 110 original articles and 22 reviews in peer-reviewed international journals, as well as more than 20 book chapters. In addition, she has published a book for the general public on these topics.

Since 2017, she has been leading the team ‘Déterminants du comportement alimentaire au cours de la vie, relations avec la santé’ at the Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l’Alimentation. The team’s research spans the entire spectrum of food, from infant nutrition to the dietary needs of hospitalized seniors.

In recognition of her work on child nutrition, Dr. Nicklaus received the Danone International Prize on Alimentation in 2018. In 2022, she was honored as the INRAE ‘défi scientifique’ Laureate and was appointed a Knight of the Legion of Honor.

Currently, she collaborates with public health authorities in France to develop and evaluate updated recommendations for the nutrition of young children.

Dr. Nicklaus has also been actively engaged in the “Dijon Sustainable Food 2030/Dijon Alimentation Durable 2030” project led by Dijon Metropole, which has received funding as a Territoire d’Innovation (Territory of Innovation) since 2018. She coordinates an initiative focused on sustainable dining outside the home and has served as the scientific director of the project since September 2020.