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About Me

Nicole L. Garneau, PhD

Taste scientist, keynote speaker, food & beverage industry consultant

I live for interacting with people across my community and across the world. I count myself lucky that I get to do just that, connect and inspire, every day through my work as a scientist, community builder and speaker. In a way, I have it easy, because everyone eats! So, I use the stories, anecdotes and real-life science of taste to bring whole teams and diverse audiences to the table in order to delight in what we can learn about ourselves and the world through food. Whether you are leading a large conference and looking for a keynote, hoping to motivate your team, want to inspire others, or a combination of all three, I can share my story to help make your event a success.

More about me

Your Monthly Flavor Science Tip

Nicole in The Media

Are There More Than Five Basic Tastes?

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Five Senses: Scientists have long believed we have just five tastes - salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umami (or savory). Geneticist Nicole Garneau argues we might be able to taste a sixth — fat.

On the Trail of the Sixth Taste. TEDxYouth@MileHigh

Is there a sixth taste? And if there were, how would we find it? In this fascinating talk, geneticist Nicole Garneau describes the scientific inquiry into the existence of a sixth taste by an innovative, museum-based citizen science program in Denver.

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The best way to introduce Nicole Garneau is by reference to well-known science educators “Bill Nye the Science Guy” and Neil deGrasse Tyson in whose footsteps I see her following. She combines uncompromising science chops with the ability to entertain and excite as she speaks. Then she fronts it all with an infectious smile, an engaging personality, and an approachable demeanor. It has been my pleasure and honor to work and present with her as we study the dynamics of flavor as they relate to beer and food.

Ray Daniels

Dr. Garneau gave the keynote address at MSU Denver’s first ever Women in STEM Conference. I invited her to speak about overcoming failure because she is both a polished STEM professional and a very open, approachable woman. However, her talk completely shattered my expectations. Our survey respondents called it “inspirational” and many listed it as the highlight of the conference. Thank you, Dr. Garneau, for teaching us the formula for success!

Dr. April hill

It is with great enthusiasm that I recommend Dr. Nicole Garneau as a speaker for your next event. Dr. Garneau brings to her engagements a high-level of expertise that is backed by scientific research and neatly packaged and presented with a certain elegance that leaves audiences of any background fascinated and eager to know more. I frequently reference what I’ve learned from Dr. Garneau over the years in my own presentations, and I am certainly anticipating the many more contributions that she will make to our understanding of taste science hereafter. Furthermore, Dr. Garneau deserves a ton of recognition for the work she is doing via the citizen science program at DMNS to inspire and change the game for young females looking to explore their interest in scientific fields.”

Melissa Antone
Sensory Scientist and Consultant
Beer & Wine

I really enjoy working with Nicole. We have done several events with Nicole, and her depth of knowledge coupled with her ability to boil the most technical information down to novice level results in an educational and entertaining experience. Nicole employs interactive techniques to help attendees easily understand concepts of flavor, taste and sensory experience. Nicole teaches flavor science in the style of Neil de Grasse Tyson, with an openness and humor that is infectious.

Jeff Mendel