Eight emerging University of Adelaide grape and wine researchers have been given a boost with Wine Australia scholarships to support their PhD and masters research.

Highlighting the awards, was Joseph Marks (pictured), the inaugural recipient of the Dr Tony Jordan OAM Award, which recognises the most outstanding applicant among a field of exciting and high-calibre candidates.

Joseph will investigate how under-vine cover crops affect arbuscular mycorrhizal associations (the symbiotic relationship between plant roots and fungi that allow plants to capture nutrients), soil organic carbon composition and soil carbon stocks.

“Dr Jordan was an ardent supporter of academic endeavour and encouraged excellence across the Australian grape and wine community,” says Wine Australia General Manager Research, Development and Extension Dr Liz Waters.

“We’re delighted to announce that Joseph’s project is the recipient of the award and that he will investigate a developing area of research that aims to support increasing the environmental sustainability of vineyards across Australia.”
Joseph is an ecologist with a passion for wine and landscapes.

“I am extremely humbled to be presented with the inaugural Dr Tony Jordan OAM Award from Wine Australia and I will endeavour to honour Dr Jordan’s passion for research and innovation within the Australian wine sector,” he said.

“The notion of terroir is one that encapsulates so many ecological theories, from biotic systems to abiotic systems and the specific interplay of variables that make each one unique.

“Underpinning these systems is the soil substrate and it is here that I wish to focus my research, understanding how a reversion to natural land management through under-vine cover-cropping can affect the soil, grapevine and vineyard ecosystem.”

Seven additional award recipients increased the total number of University of Adelaide research students as current scholarship holders, to 22.

Recipient Project title
Chethana Shekharappa The role of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) in cell death in grape berry development
Hugh Holds From brandewijn (burnt wine) to bush fires: new directions in Australian Brandy production
Merek Kesser A regional study of the effects of vineyard floor management on soil health, biodiversity and terroir expression
Natalja Ivanova Understanding the sensory perception of ‘body’ in beer and wine
Ruchira Ranaweera Chemical markers for authentication of Australian wine
Xiaoyi Wang Molecular genetic control of grapevine bud fruitfulness
Yihe Sui Use of membrane filtration technology to achieve protein stability in white wine

Dr Waters said this year’s scholarship recipients had presented an outstanding array of projects across the grape and wine production chain.

“We are delighted that they are joining a broader community of dedicated researchers who are committed to driving innovation for Australia’s grape and wine community.”

Wine Australia’s PhD and masters by research scholarships are awarded annually and aim to support and attract postgraduate students to the fields of wine, viticulture and wine business research.

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