Caroline Bartel

Scientist The Australian Wine Research Institute Member since 2019 AWITC Fresh Science winner 2019  

What attracted you to your current role? I have been at the Australian Wine Research Institute since 2008, I was lucky to be offered a position after completing my Honours degree. Initially I was working on Oenococcus oeni, then moved into a project looking at fermentation profiles of various Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains. A couple of years ago I was given the opportunity to work on the wine spoilage yeast Brettanomyces bruxellensis, I jumped at the chance, given there is less known about Brettanomyces and the project was very industry relevant.

What is one of your interesting findings in your research career? SO2 is the primary means of controlling Brettanomyces. By collecting wine isolates, my research indicates that Brettanomyces is becoming more tolerant to SO2. I am currently looking for more isolates from industry in order to verify the finding, and to determine how widespread SO2 tolerance is becoming.

What inspires you? Working with my wonderful colleagues at the AWRI, and knowing my research is having a direct impact and is helping the Australian wine industry.

Whom do you look up to the most and why? I have great admiration for people who are driven and know their purpose in life.

Outside of work, what are interesting facts about yourself? I have two kids, who keep me on my toes. I enjoy gardening, there is nothing better than eating something that you grew yourself. What is the best career advice you’ve been given? Choose a career in an area you find enjoyment.

What advice or recommendation do you have for students interested in a science career? Go for it! There are so many wonderful people working in the wine industry, and the jobs available are varied. There is something for everyone.

How long have you been a member of ASVO and why would you recommend ASVO to your colleagues? I submitted a poster at the recent 17th AWITC and was lucky enough to have it selected to present and then received a prize at the Fresh Science session. My membership was part of that prize, so I am a very new member of the ASVO. I would recommend ASVO to my colleagues as they provide opportunities for researchers to get their research out to industry.