Chris Downs, PhD


Chris Downs leads CSIRO’s Food Program including science and innovation outcomes in food, food ingredients and beverages. Key research areas include: Food Safety, Food Stability, Food Structure and Sensory and Food Transformation.

Chris has experience working with meat, dairy, seafood, and horticulture industries in Australia and New Zealand. He has previously held executive positions in Food Science Australia, CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences, CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences and the New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research, with responsibilities including; capability development, science strategy and leadership, investment portfolio leadership, business development and commercialization. 

Chris’s previous directorships include companies involved in innovation and commercialization in the seafood and biomaterials sectors. He is currently a Director of one of New Zealand’s Crown Research Institutes and a member of the Board of Directors of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST). 

IFT Highlights

Chris joined IFT in 2015 and has been an active IFT volunteer. He is currently a third-year Board member. 


BS in Bakery Science from Kansas State University

MS in Food Science from Kansas State University

PhD in Food Science from Macquarie University