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Bolstering Australia’s sustainable viticultural practices

Image: Anne Johnson, recipient of the Dr Tony Jordan OAM Award.

Charles Sturt University student Anne Johnson has been named the recipient of Wine Australia’s Dr Tony Jordan OAM Award 2021 to support her research exploring the benefits of agroecology in Australian viticulture and barriers to its adoption.

Mrs Johnson said her PhD through the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre will study the adoption of agroecology – the use of nature’s ecosystem services in farming practices – to understand what discourages growers from embracing its use more broadly.

“As the grape and wine sector adapts to, and mitigates, the effects of climate change, agroecological practices can improve resilience and sustainability,” she said.

“Around the world, agroecology is delivering environmental, economic and cultural benefits in a number of agricultural industries and my work will identify and promote the viticultural practices that are delivering those benefits.

“In addition to the biophysical benefits in the field, which are commonly studied, there are many human factors that influence decisions and my research aims to take a holistic look at this to provide a model for future research strategies into social impacts of sustainability that could be extended across the entire sector.

“It was a surprise and a great honour to be awarded this scholarship particularly since Dr Jordan saw the importance of sharing knowledge of good winemaking practices and helped to establish Charles Sturt University’s wine research and education program.”

Wine Australia general manager – research, development and extension Dr Liz Waters said Mrs Johnson’s research will support the Australian grape and wine community to grow its sustainable practices.

“Johnson’s research will contribute to the increasing body of work on sustainability for the Australian grape and wine community and will help us to better understand how we can adapt to be more resilient to future challenges,” Dr Waters said.

“This year we received many excellent applications for our scholarships, and we were delighted to see so many emerging researchers aiming to provide innovative solutions for our grape and wine community.”

 

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