Oliver Tomic holds degrees in process engineering (MSc, 1998), gas-sensor array technology (so-called electronic nose, PhD, 2004) and applied statistics (MSc, 2014). Oliver worked 17 years as a researcher and data analyst at the department for sensory and consumer science at the Norwegian food research institute Nofima. During that time, he was the head of development of the open source data analysis software tools “PanelCheck” (performance monitoring of sensory panels) and “ConsumerCheck” (analysis of sensory and consumer data). Oliver also co-authored the textbook “Statistics for Sensory and Consumer Science”. In his four years as a senior research scientist at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health he analysed patient registry data to measure the quality of health care services at Norwegian hospitals. In September 2017, he joined the data science research group at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in his role as associate professor.
Paul received his PhD in Chemistry from Flinders University (2000), where he undertook research into organic synthesis of bridged, bicyclic amines using free-radical techniques. For his post-doctoral research, Paul first worked at CSIRO Molecular Science division in Melbourne. Subsequently, his interest in aspects of molecular recognition and drug-discovery led him to take up a NHMRC-funded research position with the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at Flinders University, where he studied structure-function relationships of human drug-metabolising enzymes (2001-2003), before joining the Tannin team at the AWRI. Pauls research includes phenolic and tannin chemistry related to colour and mouth-feel properties, structure-function relationships, molecular recognition, organicchemistry, role of oxygen and sulfur chemistry in winemaking. Paul recently joined the Wine Australia research and development team.
Patricia Osidacz Williamson is a Senior Sensory Scientist at AWRI having extensive expertise in sensory studies involving both trained panels and consumers. Patricia holds a Bachelor degree in Food Engineering from the Campinas State University (Brazil), a Master’s degree in Food Science from the University of Illinois (USA), an Applied Sensory Science and Consumer Testing qualification from UC Davis (USA) and is in the final stage of completing a PhD at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, UniSA. She was part of the Consumer Insights teams at E&J Gallo Wines in California and Unilever Brazil and UK.
Her recent project work includes understanding of wine consumer needs in China and the drivers of preference to obtain information for wineries to produce the right wine for the Chinese market, understanding of the interplay of wine sensory characteristics and extrinsic attributes such as packaging, price and brand to consumers.
A large amount of my past and current research focuses on areas of significance along the value chain of grape and wine production in relation to: viticulture management and wine production effects on grape and wine quality; relationships between grape and wine sensory attributes, composition and quality; molecular drivers of sensory profiles; perception of wine and beer astringency and body; alternative grape varieties in Australia; Australian wine terroir, regionality and provenance; wine consumer marketing, cross-cultural differences, perception, preference, emotions, context and predicting consumer behaviour; wine and food interactions; flavour additives in wine; wine neophobia; new wine and food product development; rapid wine sensory methods and wine and food extracts in health, mucositis and colon cancer.
My group have also conducted sensory research on abalone, chocolate, cheese, tomato, muntries, chicken meat, eggs and beer.
I currently oversee a number of projects. In 2015 I was awarded funding from the South Australian River Murray Sustainability – Industry-led Research Sub-Program (IRSP) PIRSA 2015 as Principal Investigator (PI) in addition to funding from the Australian and Chinese wine and beverage industries to define a niche wine market opportunity in China, determine consumer extrinsic and intrinsic wine preferences, generate wine and packaging concept designs, conduct market evaluation of concepts plus undertake a feasibility review to ascertain the capacity of the Riverland wine region to make and determine production costs of such wines. I’m also PI on a 4.5 year Wine Australia funded project to examine contextual effects on Australian wine consumers’ perceptions and preference and the wine attributes that drive both consumer emotions, liking and willingness to pay which completes in mid-2017. Multiple publications have arisen from this research which were the first to reveal wine product evoked consumer emotions; novel consumer segmentation bases; better consumer research method practices; influence of consumer research testing situations and novel rapid methods for wine flavour profiling using trained panellists and consumers. In 2017 my collaborators and I (at 20% in-kind) were awarded a Wine Australia 5 year project on understanding the drivers of terroir in the Barossa Valley. The outcomes of my previous research have already been capitalised on, adding value to operations through improvements to production systems in areas such of salt management and fruit processing.
Renata graduated from the University of Belgrade, specialising in Viticulture and Horticulture and attained her PhD in Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Adelaide. Since then she has been involved in many significant research programs addressing issues of importance for the Australian and international wine industries. Over years, Renata has researched various components that contribute to the grape and wine quality, objective measures of Shiraz and sparkling wine quality, consumers’ preferences, and more recently, various strategies for flavour and alcohol modifications. Currently, Renata coordinates research programs at the ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production where she oversees, combines and translates all projects’ outcomes into industry-ready applications.
Leigh Francis is a Research Manager at the AWRI in Adelaide, where he leads the sensory analysis and the flavour chemistry research teams. He has a degree in chemistry, and worked in chemical engineering research and in a laboratory position in a large winery prior to joining the AWRI in 1988, where he developed the first formal sensory program. He spent a post-doctoral period with the wine sensory pioneer Prof. Ann Noble at UC Davis in 1994, and has researched numerous aspects of wine flavour chemistry and sensory properties of wines, including consumer preferences. The AWRI sensory team currently comprises four sensory scientists and utilises a highly technically trained panel, an external descriptive analysis panel, and consumer and discrimination testing. He’s an affiliate lecturer at the University of Adelaide and a Senior Adjunct Research Fellow at University of South Australia.
Marcell Kustos is a PhD Candidate at The University of Adelaide focusing on fine Australian wines of provenance (FAWoP), food and wine pairing, and sensory marketing. In his multi-disciplinary research he has been developing expertise in sensory science, flavour chemistry, consumer behaviour and marketing. Marcell obtained a Bachelor degree with honours in Food Engineering at Corvinus University of Budapest (Hungary), a Master’s degree in Gastronomy at the University of Wageningen (Netherlands), and a WSET Level 3 certification. Previously he worked on geographic origin and authenticity of food products. His current research includes understanding of FAWoP including consumer definitions, sensory and chemical profiling, food pairing, and how such information can be utilised by the wine industry, hospitality and tourism sectors to increase sales of FAWoP on the domestic and export markets.
Toni Paterson MW
In the wine industry, we rely on our senses, particularly the olfactory system, for the assessment, analysis and enjoyment of wine. However, we seem to blissfully ignore its limitations, including the ever-present phenomenon of palate fatigue. From the perspective of someone who ‘tastes wine for a living’, gain insight on how to maximise the power of sensory assessment, by being honest about its fallibilities.
Modern Olives Laboratory
Claudia came to Australia in 2006 to head up Modern Olives Laboratory. She has had over 15 years’ experience in olive oil testing. She finished her studies in Argentina as Food Scientist and olive oil specialist. After working for several years in the area of quality, authenticity and sensory testing in a commercial food laboratory, Claudia completed a Post Graduate Course in the Fats & Oils Institute in Seville, Spain; where extensive experience in olive oil analysis was gained. Claudia is an approved chemist of the AOCS, participate as technical members for the Australian Standard for Olive Oil (AS 5264-2011) committee and is a NATA technical assessor. She has extensive experience in sensory evaluation of olive oil carrying out many training and judging in this matter. Claudia has been invited to many national and international conferences as speaker and she has published numerous scientific papers in national and international journals.