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The HCD Team shares tons of informative content about our tools, methodologies, and overall experience in the market research industry every week. Follow along to engage in curious conversations, explorative blogging, & resourceful info on how to optimize your research initiatives.


Dr. Herbert L. Meiselman


Dr. Herbert L. Meiselman is an internationally known expert in sensory and consumer research on food and other consumer products. He received his training in Psychology and Biology at the University of Chicago, University of Massachusetts, and Cornell University. He retired as Senior Research Scientist at Natick Laboratories where he was the highest-ranking Research Psychologist in the United States government. His accomplishments were recognized with a 2005 Award from the President of the United States.  He has served in Editorial roles for Food Quality and Preference, Journal of Foodservice, and Appetite. His current interests include the effects of context/environment, emotion, wellness, psychographics, and meals and menus. Dr. Meiselman is the author of over 220 research papers and 8 books. He edited a large volume on Emotion Measurement in 2016 (2nd edition 2021), and on Context: The Effects of Environment on Product Design and Evaluation in 2019, and Meat and Meat Replacements in 2022. He also edited the multi-volume Handbook of Eating and Drinking (2020) which is now being revised as a 2nd edition. Dr. Meiselman has worked in a broad range of fields in sensory and consumer science: basic academic research, product development (food and clothing), institutional food service design and evaluation including hospitals and military, fine dining food service, health and wellness, culinary evaluation, and an historical approach to meals.  He has served as President of the Research Committee of the Institut Paul Bocuse, Lyon, France, and also served on the Research Committee for the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, and the food service program at Orebro University, Sweden. He has served as Visiting Professor at Bournemouth University, UK; Reading University, UK; Orebro University, Sweden; and Charles Sturt University, Australia.

Sensory and Consumer Research Expert
Dan Alferov


I'm Dan Alferov, the Director of Empathy Analytics at Heartbeat AI. My role involves the intersection of behavioural research and data science to solve business challenges by leveraging emotional analytics of unstructured text data. I am passionate about authentically representing human experience to understand decision-making across diverse groups of individuals, and its implications within healthcare, human resources, and market research. Empathy analytics aims to uncover the emotional drivers which form the experiences of critical demographics and seeks to quantify differences in emotional language expression patterns that represent these drivers.  I am a strong supporter of mental health advocacy, equity, and diversity. I believe in constantly educating myself on my privileges to best support social progress and amplify the voices of those who are systematically disadvantaged. Quantifiable empathy represents both an avenue for prioritization of the next "best" action strategically and a way to foster social accountability to best support social progress and allyship across diverse business contexts. Outside of work, I can be found reading philosophy, playing basketball, cooking or occasionally binging reality TV.

Director of Empathy Analytics, Heartbeat AI
Valentina Parma, Ph.D.


Valentina Parma is the Assistant Director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, the only non-profit organization devoted to the study of smell and taste. She is a psychologist interested in human olfaction across the lifespan. Her basic and translational research both aim to find ways to use smell to improve health. Lately, she has been working at the development and validation of a rapid smell test called SCENTinel. 

Assistant Director, Monell Chemical Senses Center
Jonas Yde Junge, Ph.D.


Jonas Yde Junge is Postdoctoral Fellow at Monell Chemical Senses Center where he does research related to human olfaction and taste. He received his Ph.D. from the Food Science Department at Aarhus University in Denmark which focussed on taste interactions.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Monell Chemical Senses Center
Bartosz Smulski


Bartosz is a highly skilled engineering graduate in Mechatronics with 6 years of experience in Artificial Intelligence. He has a track record of developing analytical solutions across a broad range of industries, including finance, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare. Bartosz has extensive experience in both proof-of-concept and production solutions, leveraging cloud infrastructures to deliver robust, scalable solutions. He specializes in the domains of Machine Learning and Forecasting, with a keen eye for identifying and solving complex problems. As the leader of the AI team at Aigora, Bartosz brings his leadership skills to guide and mentor his team toward delivering cutting-edge solutions.

Head of Artificial Intelligence, Aigora
Dr. Vanessa Rios de Souza


Dr. Vanessa Rios de Souza holds a BSc in Food Engineering and a Ph.D. degree in Food Science and has over 10 years of experience in R&D, consumer, and sensory research across multiple food product categories and functions, with a strong background in food science and food processing. Her experience spans across industrial, academic, and research settings. She currently works as a Senior Computational Sensory Science Consultant at Aigora, where she provides expert guidance and support to empower sensory and consumer science teams to implement artificial intelligence.

Senior Sensory Science Consultant, Aigora
Tessa Moxley


Meng Mechanical Engineering
Tessa Moxley is a senior sensory and consumer researcher at Reckitt. Working as part of an innovative science platform to explore new and specialist methodologies to measure multi-sensory consumer benefits. With a large part of her work focussing around fragrance, she seeks out novel methods to draw out differences and understand the complex impacts smell can have on our body. Tessa trained as a mechanical engineer, with a masters in mechanical engineering from the University of Bath, UK. Her consumer research career began at Dyson, and she enjoys applying her engineering knowledge to human perception. She is a keen advocate of blending creativity with technical science and engineering – in her spare time you can find her either doing house DIY or playing the piano & painting.

Senior Sensory and Consumer Research, Reckitt
Stephen Lillford


BEng, MA
Stephen Lillford is Sensory & Consumer Innovation Manager with Reckitt. Working in a central Sensory Enrichment Science Platform supporting a broad range of Reckitt Hygiene & Health brands. His expertise is in consumer aided product development specialising in fragrance perception and impact on emotions. Originally trained in Mechanical Engineering and Design Strategy at Brunel University UK he also has experience in Kansei (emotion) Engineering from Japan. He is an enthusiast in all aspects of human centred design to understand and link product features with consumer emotions. He is a keen runner and doing his best to stay ahead of his 2 sons but his days are numbered!

Sensory and Consumer Innovation Manager, Reckitt
Pedro Almeida, PhD 


Pedro Almeida is CEO at Mediaprobe. He holds a PhD in psychology in the field of cognitive and affective neuroscience. He was resident researcher in the Neuro-psychophysiology and Psychology department from 2007-2012 and professor of biosocial criminology from 2012-2022 at the University of Porto.

His research expertise includes cognitive electrophysiology of emotional processing, neurobiology of criminal behavior and psychopathy, and applied psychophysiology.

Throughout his career, he has combined his academic profile with consultancy roles in market research which led to his founding of Mindprober in 2016 and now Mediaprobe 2023.

Founder and CEO, Mediaprobe
Rachel Horn

Rachel is the Director of Analytics at HCD Research. Leveraging her experience and expertise in psychology, statistics and analytics, Rachel leads the team in turning data into insights. This includes integrating cutting-edge research methods including applied neuroscience, psychological and behavioral science with traditional qualitative and quantitative techniques. She has a passion for storytelling and a knack for communicating complex data sets with clarity and ease.

Ms. Horn graduated from The College of New Jersey where she studied psychology and participated in multiple labs and research projects that helped hone her love for statistics, scientific inquiry, and research in general. These included TCNJ’s Memory & Aging Lab and its Testing and Assessment in Psychology Lab as well as her own Honors Thesis project on the effect of calorie labeling on menus. She is a life-long learner and looks forward to continuing to develop her skills as a researcher while also helping to mentor newer analysts along the way! 

Director of Analytics, HCD Research
Sophia Stafford


Sophia is the Associate Manager of Global Research at HCD Research. As a former analyst, Sophia has a refined skillset blending her background in data with communicating the complexities of conducting behavioral and neuroscientific research through proposal development and educational sessions. Sophia is a people person, her interest lies with talking, studying, and analyzing different behaviors to understand why we do what we do.

Ms. Stafford graduated from the University of Rochester where she double majored in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Psychology. While at UR, her research endeavors were clinical in nature as she participated in Dr. Harry Reis’ Romantic Relationship lab, Dr. Pigeon Wilfred’s Sleep & Neurophysiology lab, as well as completing an honors thesis project on the glymphatics systems role in chronic pain with Dr. Maiken Nedergaard’s Center for Translational Neuromedicine. Sophia looks forward to expanding her research experience in the realm of consumer neuroscience with each unique project she takes on! 

Associate Manager of Global Research, HCD Research
Michelle Niedziela, PhD


Michelle is a behavioral neuroscience expert in neuropsychology, psychology and consumer science. Experienced from academia (Monell Chemical Senses Center) and industry (Johnson & Johnson, Mars Chocolate) in R&D of innovation technologies and methodologies for consumer research. Michelle obtained a PhD and masters in neuroscience and biopsychology from Purdue University and a BS in psychology from Florida State University.


Beginning as Scientific Director, Michelle led research design and handled all things science related. Currently as VP of Research and Innovation at HCD Research, Michelle focuses on finding and integrating new applied consumer neuroscience tools with traditional methods used to measure consumer response. 


Outside of the office, Michelle loves travelling and dancing. Her favorites places include Vietnam, Taiwan, Croatia, and Iceland. She also taught Argentine Tango while in graduate school.

VP of Research & Innovation, HCD Research
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