Research internships provide an important opportunity for students to explore overseas research environments, broaden their skillset and lay the foundation for future collaboration. For a PhD Student in wine science, France is considered one of the crème de la crème locations to do so.

As a Nicolas Baudin program laureate, joint University of Adelaide and CSIRO PhD Candidate, Ross Sanders, was recently awarded a travel grant to complete a research internship at the University of Bordeaux. Ross’ research focuses on the quantification of methoxypyrazines in the bunch-stem (rachis) of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz wines, which has implications for red wine flavour and aroma.  Working closely with industry partner, Treasury Wine Estates, he aims to promote strong ties between research outputs and industry uptake.

At the University of Bordeaux, Ross will be placed at the Science Institute of Vine and Wine (ISVV) where he will investigate changes in the composition of wine due to oxygen exposure during both barrel and bottle aging. In particular, he will focus on changes in fatty acid composition using gas chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. Ross will also explore new methods for the evaluation of wine aging potential using electron paramagnetic approaches.

With his departure date just around the corner, Ross is greatly looking forward to this opportunity.

“The cultural, social, and economic importance of wine production to France has driven not only the identity of world-renowned French wines but also high-quality wine research. This Internship will enable me to pursue my passion for applying analytical chemistry in wine research whilst simultaneously promoting collaboration with leading French researchers in a well-equipped research environment”.

As an early-career researcher, he added that undertaking a research internship at the University of Bordeaux “would provide irreplaceable knowledge and experiences” – supporting his continued development in key areas such as “interpersonal skills, research techniques, and ongoing professional relationships”.

Of course, while in France, Ross also has some personal goals – including learning French, exploring the culture, landmarks and running/skiing trails…as well as finding the best local pâtisserie and boulangerie.

We wish Ross a wonderful trip and look forward to hearing more about his experience at the University of Bordeaux.

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