Désirée completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. In her PhD research with Prof. Ana Martin-Villalba at the German Cancer Research Center, she focused on neural stem cells in the brain and their functions in learning and memory, aging and depressive-like behaviour. She was supported by a Helmholtz Graduate School Fellowship. At UBC, Désirée worked with Prof. Jason Snyder and was co-supervised by Prof. Stan Floresco from 2013-2019 to further understand the role of neurogenesis in pattern separation and complex behavioural traits associated with depression. During this time, she received a postdoctoral fellowship from the German Research Foundation and a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Désirée joined the Soma Lab in 2020 and is investigating the effects of maternal sucrose (table sugar) intake on offspring physiology and behaviour. In addition, she is examining the effects of neonatal sucrose exposure on motivated behaviours and decision making.