My main interest is in the terpenoid pathways in grapevine. These compounds are incredibly diverse specialised metabolites with functions ranging from flavour and aroma compounds, semiochemicals and phytohormones. We utilise a number of biotechnology approaches and microbial and plant heterologous expression systems to ultimately assign functions to the genes and enzymes. A second research interest is studying the complex interaction between a grapevine and its environment (natural and manipulated). These studies are typically performed in highly variable vineyard settings and rely on data from multiple data layers: climate, soil, plant, metabolite and/or genome. The goal is to understand how a grapevine responds to their ever changing environment.


I obtained my BSc (Microbiology and Genetics) at Stellenbosch University in 1995 and joined the laboratory of Prof Sakkie Pretorius for my BScHons (Microbiology). For my MSc I followed Prof Pretorius to the newly established Institute for Wine Biotechnology (IWBT) in the Department of Viticulture and Oenology. I obtained my PhD (Wine Biotechnology) in 2004 with a thesis on the genes and enzymes involved in carotenoid metabolism in grapevine. I am currently a researcher in grapevine molecular biology at the South African Grape and Wine Research Institute (previously IWBT).


Room 2019, JH Neethling Building, Victoria Street, Stellenbosch University