Contact Information

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Mackenzie Hannum


Postdoctoral Fellow, Monell Chemical Senses Center

Laboratory of

Dr. Danielle Reed


Ph.D., Food Science and Technology, The Ohio State University

Research Summary

My research interest involves understanding how and why people perceive taste and smell the way they do. There is a physiological component to perception, driven by different mechanisms and structures, but there is also a psychological component that can be heavily influenced by past and current experiences. In trying to better understand the interplay between the two on an individualized level, I am interested in employing novel methodologies and data analysis techniques to capture this information.

Therefore, my main research aim is to employ the Monell Flavor Quiz to collect information on taste and smell on a global scale – distributing the quiz to individuals across the world. And there is nothing more individualized than knowing someone’s DNA. By collecting saliva samples along with their answers to the Monell Flavor Quiz, we are able to investigate the relationship between someone’s DNA and their perception and preference of different tastants and odorants. This information allows us to assess global food preferences underscored by the interplay between someone’s genetic makeup and any psychological influences on their perception such as liking or engagement with the task.


olfaction, taste, psychophysics, genetics, behavioral analysis, methodological development

Recent Publications

Hannum ME, Ramirez VA, Lipson SJ, Herriman RD, Toskala AK, Lin C, Joseph PV, Reed DR. (2020). Objective sensory testing methods reveal a higher prevalence of olfactory loss in COVID-19 positive patients compared to subjective methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis. medRxiv 2020:2020.07.04.20145870.

Hannum ME, Forzley S, Popper R, Simons CT. (2020) Further Validation of the Engagement Questionnaire (EQ): Do immersive technologies actually increase consumer engagement with the task? Food Qual Pref. Volume 85.

Hannum ME, Simons CT. (2020). Development of the engagement questionnaire (EQ): A tool to measure panelist engagement during sensory and consumer evaluations. Food Qual Prefer. Volume 81.

Hannum M, Forzley S, Popper R, Simons CT. (2019). Does environment matter? Assessments of wine in traditional booths compared to an immersive and actual wine bar. Food Qual Prefer. 76: 100-108.

Hannum M, Stegman MA, Fryer JA, Simons CT. (2018). Different Olfactory Percepts Evoked by Orthonasal and Retronasal Odorant Delivery. Chem Senses, 43(7): 515-521,