PhD student, Anne Johnston, is the recipient of Wine Australia’s Dr Tony Jordan OAM Award 2021.
Her research will explore agroecology – the use of nature’s ecosystem services in farming practices – in Australian viticulture and the obstacles that stand in the way of its adoption.
Johnston said that the agroecological practices can improve sustainability in the grape and wine sectors to combat the effects of climate change.
“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,” Johnson said.
Reaching beyond the usual biophysical benefits, which are often studied in her field, Johnson intends to explore the human factors that influence decisions.
“My research aims to take a holistic look at this [decision making] to provide a model for future research strategies into social impacts of sustainability that could be extended across the entire sector,” she said.
Johnston’s research is backed by Wine Australia.
“Mrs 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,” said Wine Australia General Manager, Dr Liz Waters.
Wine Australia provided 10 successful candidates with scholarships this year which investigated the key areas of Australian grape growing, winemaking and business.