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Oral presentation at International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (Pacifichem) 2021


Due to the unforeseen ban on international travel in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic (2020-2022), Claire Armstrong, PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide, used the travel grant to virtually attend and present a poster titled ‘The use of fluorescence spectroscopy to develop a variability index and measure grape heterogeneity’ at Macrowine Congress, an international conference in wine science, from 23rd to 30th of June 2021. This meeting provided Claire with the chance to exchange research findings with international wine science researchers and further her knowledge in state-of-the-art research applications. Furthermore, the funds were used to virtually attend and give an oral presentation titled ‘Fluorescence spectroscopy coupled with machine learning techniques as a rapid analytical method for the determination of Vitis vinifera L cv. Cabernet Sauvignon grape maturity’ at Pacifichem Congress from 15th to 20th December 2021. This is the largest conference for chemistry researchers in the world and is organised by Pacific Basin chemical societies so provided Claire a large international research platform to be involved with and present at. The remaining budget was spent on virtual courses organised by Eigenvector Research Incorporated on 15 topics around machine learning and data pre-processing and analysis. These techniques are being used for data analysis of the results from the PhD project. In summary, the financial support provided by Wine Australia was invaluable for Claire to gain experience in disseminating research findings to international audiences and knowledge in subjects relevant to her PhD project.


Macrowine 2021 involved over 450 wine science researchers from 23 countries discussing innovative research in viticulture and enology, including the following topics: grapevine diversity for a sustainable viticulture, microbial ecology from vineyard to bottle, wine longevity and shelf-life, chemical diversity of 'special' wine styles, and physiology of chemosensory perception, sensory science, and consumer perception. Claire’s poster presentation at Macrowine was part of the novel tools and strategies for precision and sustainable varietal and regional enology session. Claire attended numerous presentations throughout the Congress but of particular interest was Steve Tyerman’s presentation, the keynote speaker for grapevine diversity and viticultural practices for sustainable grape growing, as he discussed the uneven cell death that occurs in late ripening stages for Shiraz cultivar, which could be a contributing factor to the variability observed in Claire’s PhD vineyard trails. Furthermore, Kiera Nareece Lambrecht’s presentation titled ‘In line monitoring of red wine fermentations using IR spectroscopy’ during the novel tools and strategies for precision and sustainable varietal and regional enology session was motivating for Claire to hear discussions around spectroscopy being used to determine grape quality. Macrowine 2021 presented Claire with an opportunity to discuss innovation, and future direction in wine research, with an emphasis on diverse viticultural and winemaking practices with changing global markets and climates.

The International Chemical Congress of the Pacific Basin Societies (Pacifichem) 2021 involved Pacific Basin Chemical Societies such as American Chemical Society, Chinese Chemical Society and Royal Australian Chemical Institute discussing novel research in chemistry. Topics of discussion were themed around ‘a creative vision’ with core-chemistry and chemistry for global challenges as the foundations for the symposia topics. An oral presentation was initially intended to be presented at the Advances in Wine and Beer Chemistry but that got cancelled due to changes to the Congress program and instead was included as part of the ‘Advances in Wine and Beer Chemistry’ symposium organised by Chin-Kun Wang (Chung Shan Medical University, Taiwan), Young-Suk Kim (Ewha Womans University, South Korea) and Philip Marriott (Monash University, Australia). Claire had the opportunity to attend presentations that were part of her session and follow discussions around chemistry for and from agriculture, food and fermented beverages. Furthermore, she was able to attend presentations in the artificial intelligence, big data and beyond symposium, with Al├ín Aspuru-Guzik’s presentation on innovative ways to handle complex data such as organic chemical compounds being especially motivational for experiments that apply machine learning as part of Claire’s PhD, and for her career aspirations. Claire’s findings presented at Pacifichem, and experience of virtually attending and presenting at Pacifichem were also disseminated during the research day for undergraduate Grape and Wine Industry Practice, Policy and Communication course, and the ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production May 2022 workshop.

Machine learning and data handling courses presented by Barry Wise, PhD (President, Eigenvector Research Incorporated) were the final activities associated with the travel bursary. Topics such as linear algebra for chemometrics, hyperspectral imaging, calibration and classification, and regression modelling were covered. Each topic was presented in one-hour slots over multiple days with very informative slides and examples to follow along. The skills that Claire has learnt from these courses have been applied to experiments in her PhD project that involve pre-processing data and applying machine learning algorithms to afford systems that are applicable to grape growers and winemakers. The subject area of chemometrics is particularly interesting to Claire as she aspires to pursue a career that involves analytical chemistry in combination with machine learning.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.