On 26 May, 2019, the nutrition community lost a visionary ambassador, trusted advisor, and cherished mentor. Leann Birch was a pioneer in bringing a developmental psychology perspective to the study of children's nutrition as a means to respond to real-world questions raised by parents. Leann Elsie Traub was born in Owosso, Michigan 25 June, 1946. She grew up primarily in Southern California and received a bachelor's degree in psychology from California State University, Long Beach, in 1971. She completed her graduate studies at the University of Michigan where she received a master's degree in 1973 and a doctorate in 1975, both in psychology. She subsequently held faculty appointments reflecting affiliations with nutrition as well as human development at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1976–1992), the Pennsylvania State University (1992–2014), and the University of Georgia (2014–2019).

Over this time, Leann was a prolific scientist, publishing >250 publications (with >51,000 citations) and receiving >$30 million in federal research funding. The public health impact and reach of Leann's work is profound. References to her work can be found everywhere: federal dietary guidance, position statements from leading professional organizations, early-childhood education policies, anticipatory guidance given in the pediatrician's office, and popular books on feeding children.


Kinesiology | Public Health

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/kine_fac/144