Dr Mardi Longbottom
What attracted you to your current role
I work as a Senior Viticulturist at the AWRI and work in the Industry Development and Support team. I was attracted to this role because I enjoy working at the interface between research and industry.
Tell us about an interesting finding in your current or past research.
My current research is looking to identify links between environmentally sustainable practices among Australian wine-grape growers and long-term financial performance, or natural capital accounting. There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence that agribusinesses which seek environmental sustainability credentials and invest in natural capital are more resilient. In the pilot study we found that using vineyard energy use as an indicator of sustainability, in addition to lower production costs and less irrigation applied, low energy users were also more likely to implement alternative methods of saving energy such as grazing sheep in their vineyards and they were also more likely to have an area of their property dedicated to the enhancement of biodiversity.
What inspires you?
What or whom do you look up to the most and why?
I’m surrounded by people who inspire me, especially those who are eternally resilient and keep going in the face of adversity. These are my go-to people when I need an alternative solution to a problem.
Outside of your work, tell us some interesting facts about yourself
Outside of work my family keeps me pretty busy. I’m currently learning the rules of roller derby so I can keep up with my kids’ conversations.
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
When you need to take time to grow petunias, take it.
What advice or recommendation do you have for students interested in a career in wine science?
Get out as much as possible and meet lots of people in the industry. The Tech Conference and ASVO events are great places to meet people from a broad spectrum of roles. When you’re given a contact, follow up on it, there are so many people out there willing to help.
How long have you been a member of ASVO and why would you recommend ASVO to your colleagues?
Before I joined the ASVO board in 2013, I regularly attended ASVO events and as a postgraduate student, it was a highlight to present at an ASVO seminar.
What other organisations do you contribute to?
I am a director of Australian Grape and Wine, the peak body for Australia’s grape and wine producers.