Tag Archives: grape

Crush 2012: The grape and wine science symposium

Crush 2012 is a two-day national symposium dedicated to grape and wine research.

It provides a forum for researchers, students and technologists in both viticulture and oenology to discuss the application of their work to the opportunities and challenges faced by the wine sector.

The global success Australia’s wine offer was built on the back of a strong research-based culture of innovation. To some extent, the world has caught up, but our researchers are continuing their work to ensure that in a fiercely competitive domestic and global market, our wines will continue to have a winning  edge. This is particularly important in our domestic market where a combination of factors, including exchange rates, now sees Australian wine losing market share to imported wines.

This is an excellent opportunity for all researchers, whether current PhD or Masters students, early-career post-doctoral scientists or experienced investigators, to present the results of their work to their peers and benefit from building collaborative networks. Wine industry leaders will be on hand to guide the all important discussions at the end of each half-day session.

Themes to be explored include the lowering of alcohol in wine without diminishing quality, moves to ‘greener’ farming methods and the ongoing quest to better understand the origins of flavour, both in the vineyard and in the winery. An exciting, inclusive part of the program are the ‘snapshots’, where up to 20 researchers will have 5 minutes to  share their work with the audience – this is the researchers’  version of speed dating.

Convened by the Wine Innovation Cluster and held at the Waite Campus, Urrbrae, Crush 2012 presents an opportunity to both share current findings and explore further opportunities for collaborative research through the strong networking focus.

The Waite Research Institute is proud to be a sponsor of Crush 2012: the grape and wine science symposium. For more information (and the program) click here.

South Australian Tall Poppies – Dr Kerry Wilkinson and Dr Matt Gilliham

 

Congratulations to Drs Kerry Wilkinson and Matt Gilliham on being named 2012 South Australian Young Tall Poppies at a reception in Government House on 22 August. They were among eight young South Australian scientists to receive awards this year.

The Tall Poppy campaign was established in 1998 by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science to promote public awareness of Australia’s intellectual achievements. These prestigious awards uniquely acknowledge the recipients’ research achievements alongside their capacity and commitment to communicate science and its significance to the broader community.

Dr Matt Gilliham’s research focuses on how wheat and grapevines might better tolerate salinity and how the nutritional quality of crop plants can be improved. Matt’s work into increasing salinity tolerance and crop yield will contribute to increased production in Australia and other countries with salty soil, and in doing so help combat food insecurity. This year Matt has also been awarded the Viticulture & Oenology 2012 Science and Innovation Award for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry sponsored by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation and was recently awarded a fellowship by the GO8 Australia-China Young Researchers Exchange Program. Matt is a Senior Research Fellow within the ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Energy Biology at the Waite Campus. You can follow Matt on Twitter (@IonPlants) for updates on his work.

Dr Kerry Wilkinson’s research interests concern the compounds present in grapes and wine which affect aroma and flavour. This includes efforts to better understand the effect of bushfire smoke on grape and wine quality. In 2009 after the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, local winemakers found that some wines made from smoke-exposed grapes smelled and tasted like smoked bacon, cold campfires and Band-Aids. The estimated cost to the Victorian wine industry due to ‘smoke taint’ is more than $300 million. Kerry’s research has identified compounds responsible for ‘smoke taint’ and methods for removing them, a valuable development for Australia’s third biggest export industry. Kerry is a Senior Lecturer in Oenology at the Waite Campus.

Both Matt and Kerry are participants in the Waite Research Institute’s Research Leadership Development Program.

Matt received his award and congratulations from His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce at the reception at Government House. Kerry is currently attending a conference in Philadelphia and Prof Eileen Scott accepted the award on her behalf.

We wish them well in the coming year as they continue their outreach to schools and the broader community as part of the Tall Poppy Campaign to promote and encourage an interest and engagement in science.

 

Prof Ed Buckler to speak on genomic diversity in maize and grape

This year’s Keith Finlay Lecture will be given by Professor Ed Buckler from the Institute for Genomics Diversity, USDA-ARS, Cornell University, USA on

“Uniting the world’s crop diversity for trait dissection and breeding: examples from maize and grape”

Maize and grape are two of the most diverse crops and species in the world.  This diversity is a tremendous resource for understanding the genetic basis of complex traits and for plant breeding in general.  However, it poses both a serious problem and substantial opportunity in relating these 10s of millions of variable sites to the complex traits they control.  Genomic technology has reduced costs by nearly 100,000-fold in the last few years, which is providing tremendous opportunities for these high diversity crops.  In maize, this variation is be related to important traits such a nutritional quality to local adaptation to hybrid vigor, while grape shows a similar potential if there is a greater focus on breeding and genetics.    The opportunities for deploying natural variation for a more sustainable and productive agriculture will be discussed.

Date/Time: Thursday 5th July 2012, 4 pm
Location: Plant Research Centre Auditorium, Waite Campus

The audience is invited to stay and talk with the speaker over drinks and finger food following the seminar.

For more information or to make an appointment with Prof. Buckler please contact matthew.gilliham@adelaide.edu.au

Details on Prof. Buckler’s interests and current work can be seen here: http://www.maizegenetics.net/

Keith Warren Finlay was employed as the Senior Plant Breeder and Crop Geneticist at the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide in 1955. During his time at the Waite (1955-1969), Finlay was responsible for building the reputation and scale of the Waite’s cereal breeding programs through his mechanical innovations and collection of large numbers of barley and wheat cultivars. After leaving the University, Finlay was the Deputy-Director General of the International Centre for the Improvement of Wheat and Maize influencing the development of plant breeding internationally. He died in 1980.