A University of Adelaide researcher who helps viticulturists worldwide to produce quality wine has been named among Australia’s latest Superstars of STEM.
This year, 60 outstanding women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) have been chosen as Superstars of STEM, announced by the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon. Karen Andrews.
Run by Science & Technology Australia, the Superstars of STEM program supports and trains women to share their passion for STEM with the Australian community, through the media, social media and on stage.
Among them is Dr Roberta De Bei, a Research Fellow in the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.
Funded by Wine Australia, Dr De Bei’s research focuses on helping viticulturists to improve their vineyard management so that quality wine can be consistently produced.
Despite growing up in the only province of Italy where there is no wine production, Dr De Bei pursued a career in viticulture. She moved to Australia after completing her PhD at the University of Padova.
This year marked Dr De Bei’s 10 years at the University of Adelaide, where her research interests include vine physiology, vine performance and sustainable vineyard management.
Dr De Bei is passionate about delivering practical outcomes for the wine industry and is the co-inventor of a smartphone App that enables real-time monitoring of grapevine canopy architecture to improve vineyard management.
She won the Australian Women in Wine award for Researcher of the Year in 2016 for her contribution to the Australian wine industry.
“Being a Superstar of STEM is exciting for many reasons,” Dr De Bei says.
“My participation in this program is a great opportunity to broaden my skillset and build on my commitment to championing change for women in STEM. This will improve my effectiveness in communicating with the media, in public forums, and with high-profile members of the community.
“I would also like to fulfil the program aim of becoming a role model for girls and young women, especially those of migrant descent who are like me, by showing that a career in STEM is fun and attainable.”
Photo: Dr Roberta De Bei, Research Fellow in Agriculture, Food and Wine, and Superstar of STEM.