Michael O’Mahony, Ph.D.



Dr. Michael O’Mahony is a world-renowned sensory researcher who has actively contributed to the field of sensory and consumer science for over 30 years. He received his PhD from Bristol University, England, before becoming a professor at the University of California, Davis (UCD). There, he built an original and active sensory research program that resulted in numerous unique contributions such as the experimental testing of Thurstonian models, including pioneering work on the method of tetrads, the development of the concepts of abstraction and generalization in the training of descriptive panel members, and more recently the development of better and more meaningful approaches to consumer paired preference testing.


Dr. O’Mahony is a gifted educator and has taught thousands of students through his courses at UCD. He has been invited to lecture at numerous industrial and academic institutions both in the US and abroad, including in Europe, Asia, and Central and South America.


In recognition to his career’s contributions, he was awarded the 2017 Sensory and Consumer Sciences Achievement Award from the Institute of Food Technologists.


In early 2017, he left the university to establish the Davis Sensory Institute, an independent research institute, in collaboration with Dr. Rie Ishii. His main interest is to develop broader industrial applications of traditional as well as more advanced experimental procedures to help businesses extract more reliable information from both sensory and consumer testing.


Dr. O’Mahony also continues teaching courses and seminars in both industrial and academic settings.