Research Café Monday to showcase grad student and post-doc research at CCOVI

While visitors to Niagara enjoy views of rolling vineyards while sipping award-winning wines across the region, behind the scenes, ground-breaking research at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) has been pivotal to the development and success of the grape and wine industry for two decades.

On Monday, Nov. 28, the Faculty of Graduate Studies invites members of the Brock community and the public to attend its Research Café, entitled From vine to wine: How research is helping grow Ontario’s grape and wine industry. The café will highlight the research of graduate student and post-doc researchers from CCOVI who will share their research on industry driven research topics.

“Our Research Café is a great opportunity to bring Brock and the broader community together to celebrate the amazing research being conducted here in Niagara,” says Jens Coorssen, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies. “Wine and viticulture are fundamental to the Niagara region and our students and faculty are conducting remarkable research that is affecting the wine industry across the country and internationally. This outstanding work that needs to be shared and recognized more widely in our community.”

The Research Café will take place Monday from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at Pond Inlet and is the kick-off event for the 2016-17 Mapping the New Knowledges (MNK) Conference series of research-driven events.

For more information, visit the MNK website.

The presenters for the Research Café are:

Andréanne Hébert-Haché, MSc student – Supervisor: Dr. Debbie Inglis and Dr. Jim Willwerth

After moving to St. Catharines from Montreal, Hébert-Haché completed her BSc in Oenology and Viticulture in 2016 and immediately started her MSc in Biological Sciences at Brock. She studies the cold tolerance of grapevine clones and rootstocks as well as the relationship between cold tolerance and the concentration of proteins and carbohydrates in the grapevine buds and cane tissues in the hope of identifying biochemical markers of enhanced cold tolerance.

A recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II — Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology, Hébert-Haché combines field and laboratory experiments to observe the changes in key biochemical markers responsible for winter survival. She hopes she can one day help the viticulture industry of her home province to overcome the tough challenges that Canadian winters can bring.

Jennifer Kelly, PhD candidate – Supervisor: Dr. Debbie Inglis and Dr. Gary Pickering

Jennifer Kelly is a Biotechnology PhD candidate at Brock University. She studies Appassimento wine and is unlocking its potential for Ontario’s cool climate. In her hometown of Thunder Bay, she studied Psychology and Natural Sciences at Lakehead University. Driven by a passion for wine, science and human behaviour, she was drawn to Ontario’s wine country in 2010 where she attended Niagara College’s Wine and Viticulture Technician Program in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Three harvests later (two domestic and one international), she landed at the door of Brock where she began her master’s research.

Last summer, she began her PhD studies and continues her work optimizing Appassimento winemaking in Ontario. This work can assist local winemakers in developing contemporary wine styles, and optimize production techniques that support the progress of Ontario’s promising grape growing appellations.

Dr. Emily Aubie, Post-doc researcher

Emily Aubie discovered a love for wine while completing her PhD in Organic Chemistry at Wayne State under the supervision of Dr. Mary Kay H. Pflum. Consequently, she went on to obtain a Certificate in Grape and Wine Technology at Brock. She then spent five years working in various aspects of the wine industry while chasing wine grape harvests in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

While working as part of a winemaking team for a large Canadian winery, Emily was exposed to an interesting problem resulting from machine-picking red wine grapes after a severe frost. The unintentional addition of plant matter during the picking process resulted in wines with undesirable floral characters, bitterness, and reduced color. The problem was presented to CCOVI, which invited Dr. Aubie to join him as post-doctoral fellow to pursue the investigation. In the face of global climate change, the possibility of early frost in wine regions that have not historically been affected could make this research important on a global scale.

For more information or to RSVP to this event please email Courtney Charette at

Read more stories in: Business, Graduate Students, Graduate Studies, Mathematics and Science, News, Research
Tagged with: ,