Two CSU researchers identified in wine awards

WINE EXCELLENCE: Associate Professor Sandra Savocchia and Dr Regina Billones-Baaijens from the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC).
WINE EXCELLENCE: Associate Professor Sandra Savocchia and Dr Regina Billones-Baaijens from the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC).

Two Charles Sturt University (CSU) scientists are finalists in the Australian Women in Wine Awards, recognising their significant contribution to research in the industry.

Associate Professor Sandra Savocchia and Dr Regina Billones-Baaijens from the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC), are one of three finalists in the ‘Researcher of the Year’ category.

The research focuses on understanding grapevine trunk disease and developing management strategies. Professor Savocchia, from the Faculty of Science and NWGIC, said grapevine trunk diseases cost the Australian wine industry millions of dollars each year.

“These diseases are caused by fungi that infect vines through pruning wounds and colonise wood, causing dieback and eventually killing the vine,” Professor Savocchia said.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Regina Billones-Baaijens said one of the most significant contributions of the research is the development of DNA-based molecular tools to detect and quantify the pathogens.

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