Bolstering Australias sustainable viticultural practices

Charles Sturt University student Anne Johnson has been named the recipient of Wine Australia’s Dr Tony Jordan OAM Award 2021 to support her research exploring the benefits of agroecology in Australian viticulture and barriers to its adoption.

The Award, named in honour of the late Dr Tony Jordan OAM, recognises the most outstanding applicant of Wine Australia’s annual scholarships for postgraduate students in the fields of wine, viticulture, and wine business research.

Mrs Johnson said her PhD through the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre will study the adoption of agroecology – the use of nature’s ecosystem services in farming practices – to understand what discourages growers from embracing its use more broadly.

‘As the grape and wine sector adapts to and mitigates the effects of climate change, agroecological practices can improve resilience and sustainability. Around the world agroecology is delivering environmental, economic and cultural benefits in a number of agricultural industries and my work will identify and promote the viticultural practices that are delivering those benefits’, Mrs Johnson said.

‘In addition to the biophysical benefits in the field, which are commonly studied, there are many human factors that influence decisions and my research aims to take a holistic look at this to provide a model for future research strategies into social impacts of sustainability that could be extended across the entire sector.’

‘It was a surprise and a great honour to be awarded this scholarship particularly since Dr Jordan saw the importance of sharing knowledge of good winemaking practices and helped to establish Charles Sturt University’s wine research and education program.’

Wine Australia General Manager Research, Development and Extension Dr Liz Waters said Mrs Johnson’s research will support the Australian grape and wine community to grow its sustainable practices.

‘Mrs Johnson’s research will contribute to the increasing body of work on sustainability for the Australian grape and wine community and will help us to better understand how we can adapt to be more resilient to future challenges’, Dr Waters said.

‘This year we received many excellent applications for our scholarships, and we were delighted to see so many emerging researchers aiming to provide innovative solutions for our grape and wine community.’

Applicants for Wine Australia’s annual scholarships presented an exciting array of topics, with the successful 10 candidates investigating key areas for Australian grapegrowing, winemaking and business.

The scholarship recipients are undertaking their studies at Charles Sturt University, The University of Adelaide and Flinders University. The recipients of Wine Australia’s scholarships for 2021 are:

Anne JohnsonImplementation of agroecological practices in viticulture: Identification of factors that motivate or constrain uptake
Anahita MotamedisadePhotocatalytic treatment of winery wastewater
Ranjith CebrecoEngineering biosensors of wine spoilage
Alix HarlingtonEngineering biosensors of smoke taint
Yiming HuoMitigating taint in wine due to vineyard exposure to bushfire smoke
Benjamin PikeUnderstanding the relative sustainability of harvesting pruned vineyard biomass and the effect on carbon sequestration and disease management
German PugaEssays in wine economics
Rochelle SchlankComparison of soil, vine, and environmental metrics to optimise vineyard irrigation scheduling
Yeniu WangDetection of grapevine virus diseases in Australian vineyards using remote sensing and machine learning techniques
Andres Zhou TsangGenetic basis of salt exclusion in grapevine

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