Project Description


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