Senior Research Associate
The objective of my research program and the research staff at the Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory is to help the New York grape juice industry reach their goal of producing maximum sustainable yield of high quality fruit through viticulture research and education. We work closely with producers and processors to identify research questions that are applicable to the industry. Those questions are then transformed into scientific research projects at the lab. We pass on the knowledge gained from those experiments to extension specialists, processor representatives, and grape producers in a variety of educational media, such as research publications, conferences, grower workshops, newsletters, and web sites.
Viticulture as Plant Biology:
Grape growing in the Northeastern, U.S. can have unique challenges for vine productivity and fruit quality. Climatic and soil influences on temperature and available sunlight, water, and mineral nutrients affect vine growth and productivity. Therefore, one aspect of my research focuses on understanding the effects of environmental factors, such as mineral nutrient availability, on vine size, yield, and fruit maturation.
Viticulture as Agricultural Business:
Grape production is also a business influenced by the laws of supply and demand, cash flow, and market competition. While the NY wine grape industry continues to grow in regional markets, the Concord juice industry is more mature and more heavily influenced by world bulk juice competition. Therefore, the second aspect of my research focuses on techniques for efficient vineyard production to improve producer profitability.
Awards and Honors
- Extension Distinction Award (2014) American Society for Enology and Viticulture
Presentations and Activities
- Industry of Tomorrow: Precision Viticulture. Unified Wine and Grape Symposium. January 2016. CAWG. Sacramento, CA.
- Assessing and adjusting soil pH. Advanced Grapevine Nutrition Workshop. June 2015. Virginia cooperative Extension. Crozet, VA.
- Spatial Measurement of Vineyard Soil, Canopy, and Crop Characteristics. Lake Erie regional Grape Program Growers' Conference. March 2015. LERGP. Fredonia, NY.