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Young scientist honoured by industry

A researcher who established a link between smoke exposure and its effect on wine quality has been honoured by the Western Australian wine industry as its Young Achiever of 2009.

Kristen Kennison from the State's Department of Agriculture and Food was announced as the winner on Friday.

Department director general Rob Delane says Kennison’s research is valuable to the wine industry in WA, interstate and overseas.

“Kristen conducted world-first research that has led to increased knowledge of the timing of grapevine sensitivity to smoke exposure and its effects on wine,” he said.

“Its outcomes have enhanced the decision-making ability for vignerons after smoke exposure from events such as the Victorian bushfires, and helped to decide the best times for prescribed burning.”

Delane says the department worked closely with the wine industry through its premium wine project.

Kennison is now leading a three-year national project funded by the Grape and Wine Research Development Corporation to learn more about the smoke effect and how it can be avoided.

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