Young achiever to study in USA

Name: Anthony Robinson

Anthony Robinson has won the inaugural 2008 Fulbright Western Australia Scholarship to study at the prestigious University of California Davis, making him the first recipient of a Fullbright Scholarship from the Australian wine industry in more than 50 years.

To the best of Grapegrower & Winemaker's knowledge, Bryan Coombe is the only other wine industry recipient of a Fullbright Scholarship.

The scholarship, worth approximately $25,000-$40,000, provides funded education and research in the USA for up to 12 months.

Twenty-four scholars have been selected from across Australia, representing various fields, including marine and environmental science, epidemiology, law, visual arts and electrical engineering. He will undertake research at the Viticulture and Oenology Department, working with Professor Hildegarde Heymann, a world leader in the field of Sensory Evaluation of Food.

'I am extremely excited to have been awarded this prestigious scholarship,' Robinson said. 'To be recognised in your field of expertise is rewarding in itself, but to be selected from the wider research community as a professional in your field is tremendous.'

Robinson's major project will focus on understanding environmental influences that drive flavour formation in grapes to increase awareness of the limitations of vineyard/region in the development of grape aroma for wine production.

'It is intended that the sensory work conducted in the US on my first Fulbright Scholarship will make clear the role that grape derived flavour compounds play in the perceived aroma of wine. This is particularly valuable to the WA wine industry where 'regionality' plays a significant role in product differentiation,' Robinson said.

Robinson is currently undertaking a PhD at Murdoch University working in the Separation Science Laboratory which is part of the Western Australian node of Metabolomics in Australia, a new National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Centre.

The Fulbright Scholarship Program is one the largest and most prestigious educational exchange programs in the world, administered by the American-Australian Fulbright Commission. More than 150 countries world-wide work in collaboration with the United States Department of State to facilitate the initiative.

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