Speakers

Jack Bobo, CEO Futurity

Jack Bobo

Jack Bobo serves as CEO of Futurity Food - a Communication, Policy & Technology Analysis company focusing on insights in food technology, consumer attitudes and consumer trends ibn order to deliver meaningful results for companies that are laying the foundations today for the future of food tomorrow. In 2015, he was named by Scientific American one of the 100 most influential people in biotechnology.
He previously held the roles at Intrexon, a synthetic biology company developing revolutionary solutions to the world's most pressing problems--in food, energy and health, as well as in the U.S. Department of State where he worked for thirteen years as a senior advisor on global food policy, biotechnology and agricultural trade. He is an accomplished communicator, having delivered more than 300 speeches on the future of food, the role of science and technology in feeding the world and how to build consumer trust. Prior to his career at the State Department, he was an attorney at Crowell & Moring LLP. He received a J.D., an M.S. in Environmental Science, a B.A. in psychology and chemistry and a B.S. in biology from Indiana University.


Robin Shaw - Wine Tourism Australia

Robin Shaw


Robin is Australia’s wine tourism guru. She has been at the forefront of developing new winery experience models for over 20 years, has managed one of Australia’s most successful cellar doors and tourism experiences for Pernod Ricard at the Jacobs Creek Visitor Centre, and is a former CEO of the stunning Adelaide Hills Wine region. Because of her passion for “all things wine and tourism” she had the opportunity to implement Australia’s first National Wine Tourism Strategy for the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, from which she has gone on to advise some of Australia’s most sophisticated wine tourism enterprises. Robin will be sharing her experiences and tips to get the most return from Wine Tourism!


Cassie Roma, Head of Content Marketing - The Warehouse Group

Cassie Roma

Cassie is a California native, and after 16 years in New Zealand, a proud YanKiwi. As a published writer, social media expert & keynote speaker she works tirelessly to drive creativity in content while delivering long-term growth strategies for brands large & small. Beyond her current role as Head of Content Marketing for The Warehouse Group, she’s spent time working with brands like Air New Zealand, ANZ Bank, Mighty River Power & NZME. Cassie has been awarded & recognised globally as a thought leader across many marketing & business disciplines. Her passion is in driving connections through storytelling.


Craig Elliot

Craig Elliott

Craig coordinates Australia’s activities to better prepare industry, government and the community for the arrival of Xylella fastidiosa. Previously, Craig led a consultancy supporting agribusinesses and government agencies to prepare and better respond to emergencies. He has also worked in senior management roles in Tasmanian and Queensland biosecurity agencies leading a range of biosecurity, food and chemical safety and animal welfare regulatory, surveillance, emergency response, research and engagement programs. He was an Incident Controller and Mentor to the multi-jurisdictional National Biosecurity Response Team and has led a number of major animal, plant and environmental biosecurity emergency responses in Australia.


Dr. Eric Crampton, Chief Economist, the NZ Initiative 

Dr. Eric Crampton

Dr Eric Crampton is Chief Economist with the New Zealand Initiative. Prior to joining the Initiative, Dr Crampton served as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Canterbury. He works across a broad range of economic policy areas but has a particular interest in New Zealand alcohol policy and statistics. In diverse media columns and at his blog, Offsetting Behaviour, Dr Crampton regularly casts a critical eye over the latest studies of alcohol’s purported social costs.


Jill Brigham, Executive Director, Sustainable Wine & Food Processing Centre

Jill Brigham

Jill Brigham is the Executive Director of the UC Davis' new Sustainable Wine & Food Processing Center. The center's mission is to establish and advance best practice designs for high-efficiency food and beverage production. She leads the development of technologies and processes necessary to enable the UC Davis Teaching & Research Winery to be fully self-sustainable and carbon neutral; generating 100% of power demand, capturing rainwater, recycling all winery process water and cleaning solutions, and capturing carbon dioxide emissions. Prior to joining UC Davis, Jill worked at NASAs Johnson Space Center, where she managed projects and engineering teams developing a wide variety of aircraft and spacecraft systems.


John Clarke

John Clarke

John is a Gisborne contract grape grower having planted his first vines in 1982. A former Mayor of Gisborne from 1989 to 2001 he is also a former Chair of Gisborne Winegrowers and is currently on several Boards in the Gisborne region.

John was elected to the NZ Grape Growers Council in 2006 and was Chair of the Grape Growers Council during the formation of NZ Winegrowers Inc. in 2016. He was elected as Chair of NZ Winegrowers in May thus becoming the first grape grower to lead the national body.


Prof. Gregory Jones Director of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education, Evenstad Chair in Wine Studies, Professor of Environmental Studies

Gregory Jones


Gregory V. Jones is the Director of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education, holds the Evenstad Chair in Wine Studies, and is a professor and research climatologist in the Department of Environmental Studies at Linfield College. He specializes in the study of climate structure and suitability for viticulture, and how climate variability and change influence grapevine growth, wine production and quality. He conducts applied research for the grape and wine industry in Oregon and many regions worldwide, has given hundreds of international, national, and regional presentations and published extensively on climate and wine-related research.


Mary Haddock-Staniland

Mary Haddock Staniland

Mary Haddock-Staniland is the Head of Membership Services at Diversity Works New Zealand, the national body for workplace Diversity and Inclusion. She is highly sought after as a keynote speaker on diversity and inclusion. Cultivating and promoting a positive culture is one of the keys to her success. Mary has a high-profile social media presence, which is used to promote issues of social justice in a positive and affirming way. Mary is an Advisory Board Member for the Circability Trust.


Dr. Mark Krasnow

Mark Krasnow
Dr. Mark Krasnow


Dr. Krasnow received his Ph.D. in Integrative Crop Plant Physiology in 2004 from UC Davis. He is the director of Thoughtful Viticulture Ltd., which conducts research projects for the New Zealand wine industry and individual clients. He is also a consultant, specialising in irrigation, canopy, and understorey management. His research aims to reduce chemical inputs in the vineyard, increase vineyard efficiency and profitability, and improve wine quality. 


Dr. Stephen Dibley -  Manager – Training & Biosecurity Preparedness

Dr. Stephen Dibley
Dr. Stephen Dibley


Dr Stephen Dibley has worked with Plant Health Australia since 2008 and has primary responsibility for the delivery of the National Emergency Plant Pest Training Program. Under this program, Stephen delivers activities to improve government and industry biosecurity preparedness, including simulation exercises, emergency response workshops and online training. Stephen is also active in the facilitation of plant pest diagnostics as Deputy Chair of the Subcommittee on Plant Health Diagnostics and Coordinator of the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network. Prior to coming to PHA, Stephen was a post-doctoral researcher investigating sugar transport and cell wall architecture in tomatoes and beans.


Dr. Vaughn Bell

Dr. Vaughn Bell
Dr. Vaughn Bell


Vaughn Bell is a Senior Scientist working for The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research. Since 2004, he has studied sap-feeding mealybugs, with an emphasis on their ecology, biology and ability to transmit (vector) grapevine leafroll virus. By examining the inter-relationship between the vine, virus and vector, his findings contributed to the development of a practical and financially sustainable virus management approach.

Vaughn’s doctoral thesis, An integrated strategy for managing Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3 in red berry cultivars, included a series of recommendations that have been communicated to, and widely adopted by the New Zealand wine sector.


Dr. Darrell Lizamore

Darrell Lizamore

Originally from Stellenbosch, Darrell recently joined the Bragato Research Institute after working on the grapevine genetics programme at Lincoln University since 2009. During that time he studied mobile DNA in the grapevine genome, developing high-throughput sequencing and somatic embryo regeneration protocols to produce and genetically characterise new clones.  He established a rapid commercial DNA test for grapevine varieties and held a part-time secondment to the Bio-Protection Research Centre to train staff and students in genome sequencing and bioinformatics. Darrell has been tasked with setting up the BRI's Grapevine Improvement research programme and laboratory in Blenheim.


Dr Rebecca Deed

Dr Rebecca Deed

Dr Rebecca Deed is a Lecturer in Wine Science at the University of Auckland.  Her research walks the interdisciplinary line between wine yeast biology, analytical chemistry and sensory science to understand the mechanisms behind the formation and impact of aroma compounds in grape juice and wine.  She is also a senior judge at national wine competitions having judged for Liquorland, the NZ Aromatic Wine Competition, the New World Wine Awards, the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards and Winestate Magazine.


Eric Wilkes

Eric Wilkes


Eric has worked in the beverage industry since completing his PhD in chemistry at the University of Newcastle in 1997. In 2011 he joined the AWRI where he is Group Manager Commercial Services. Current areas of research include wine stability, methods to determine authenticity and the impact of metals on wine development. He is a past Chair of the Interwinery Analysis Group (one of the largest wine testing proficiency programs in the world), is an active member of a number of international working groups on wine analysis and export regulations and a co-author of a book on wine laboratory analysis.


Dr Clark Ehlers

Dr Clark Ehlers
Dr Clark Ehlers


Dr Clark Ehlers is a senior advisor in the New Organisms team at the Environmental Protection Authority since June 2014. He risk assess the importation, release and development of all new organisms in New Zealand, including biological control agents and genetically modified organisms. Clark was seconded in the role of Acting Chief Scientist between February and July 2019 where he supported the EPA by providing scientific advice and leading strategic work streams. Clark has a PhD in Microbial biotechnology and post-doctoral research experience in the field of applied and environmental microbiology.


Margaret Elliot

Margaret Elliot

Margret Elliot (Marg) has been involved with the SWNZ program since 1994, while employed as Quality Service Manager for Zespri, coordinating the audit program and supporting the associated documentation requirements. Marg has Grape Growing - EIT Qualifications, along with Lead /Trade Master Auditor with extensive verification and auditing background working in the primary industry business sectors in advisor roles as well as implementation of auditing programs and Food Safety programs. Marg is a registered verifier for Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) Wine Standards Management Plan (WSMP). Her certificate in Adult Teaching ensures she is in demand for training seminars on HACCP and Internal Auditing for BRC accreditation. Marg – is a Director of WAI, and part owner of a vineyard producing “top of the market” Pinot Noir. 


Professor Matthew R Goddard, PhD, BSc hons, DIC, FHEA

Matthew Goddard
Professor Matthew R Goddard

Mat undertook a PhD and post-doctoral fellowship in evolutionary and ecological biology at Imperial College, then moved to a Faculty position at University of Auckland (New Zealand) in 2004 and then gain a Professorial position at the University of Lincoln (UK) in 2015. Mat has worked extensively with the viticulture sector and spearheaded wine microbial ecology, revealing the distribution of microbes associated with vines and their effect on wine quality. Mat’s research produced the first demonstration that microbes positively contribute to differences in regional wine styles, or terroir. Mat now runs whole agri-ecosystem projects fusing next-generation DNA sequencing to evaluate biodiversity (not just microbes) and augment agricultural microbiomes to minimise disease and elevate agricultural health and quality.


Jane Skilton

Jane Skilton

Jane Skilton began her wine career in London and passed her Master of Wine examination in 1993. She moved to New Zealand in 2000 and founded the NZ School of Wines and Spirits, teaching the Wine and Spirit Education Trust qualifications and general wine courses to trade and consumers in New Zealand, Fiji and China. She is an experienced wine show judge and has been asked to judge both national and international (London, Rutherglen, Brisbane, Margaret River, Hobart, Limestone Coast, Cowra, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Tokyo). Jane contributes regularly to wine publications in NZ and overseas.


Patrick Materman

Patrick Materman

Still in his first ‘job’ since studying horticulture at Massey University, Patrick has the experience of 29 vintages with Brancott Estate and feels privileged to have been part of the thrilling journey of New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc success story. 

Starting as a cellar hand in Auckland, Patrick moved to Marlborough in 1994. Several role changes led him to become Chief Winemaker for Pernod Ricard Winemakers New Zealand in 2010. Patrick also established his own Sauvignon Blanc vineyard in Marlborough’s Awatere Valley. 

Since 2014, Patrick has been a board member of New Zealand Winegrowers, sat on the Finance and Research committees, and chaired Sauvignon 2016 and Sauvignon 2019.

In his new role as Global Winemaker for Pernod Ricard Winemakers, Patrick works with winemaking teams across the globe, including emerging wine producing countries such as India and China.


Sally Ronaldson

Sally Ronaldson
Sally Ronaldson

Sally’s role is as a food scientist/project manager with Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) in Wellington. She enjoys being able to apply food science knowledge and experience in food regulatory requirements to make informed risk management recommendations and decisions.

Sally’s qualifications include a 1st class honours degree in food science, a postgraduate diploma in human nutrition and degree in marketing management.

In her previous role Sally was a senior adviser for the wine programme at MPI for almost 10 years so worked closely with the wine industry during this time. She also completed winemaking papers through the Eastern Institute of Technology.


Mark Allen

Mark Allen
Mark Allen

Marks initial involvement in viticulture started in 1986 with Morton Estate when the industry was looking to develop new vineyards in prime locations with premium varieties.
This initially involved exploring and investigating the most suitable sites in Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough which resulted in a wide range of sites being selected. Over the pursuing years he managed the development and operations of those vineyards for both Morton Estate and later Villa Maria. In 2004 Mark started his own independent vineyard advisory business and in 2011 he took on the role as Project Manager for the NZ Winegrowers and MPI funded Mechanical Shaking Trial for crop reduction and botrytis control and continue with that work.


Yoke Miller

Yoke Miller
Yoke Miller

Yoke been associated with the horticultural industry for over 35 years. Loves meeting people and helping growers/businesses to understand and enable them to comply with the Audit requirements. She was a part owner and a worker in a Kiwifruit orchard for 30 years and is co-owner of “Klipon” Associates that produces Viticulture/Horticulture. Clips and Ties. www.klipon.co.nz. Yoke was an auditor for 8 years with Zespri, assisting in the rollout of the Zespri quality program ensuring member orchardists were meeting the GlobalGAP program requirements. She is a qualified Lead Auditor, and using the skills gained, spent the next 6 years as Quality/Audit/Health & Safety Manager for other entities, which also involved assisting in writing quality "manuals" and auditing against various standards. Yoke joined the Water and Atmosphere (WAI) verification team in 2010 as an Auditor/verifier for the Sustainability Wines New Zealand (SWNZ) program and since 2016 part of the team associated with the Grafted Grapevines Standard (GGS) program


Patrick Lyon

Patrick Lyon
Patrick Lyon

Patrick is a Director of Strategy consulting at PwC. Patrick led the PwC team to assess and refresh the strategy for New Zealand Winegrowers in 2018. In this project the team assessed the outlook for the NZ wine industry, highlighting the opportunities and risks facing the industry, working closely with the NZ Winegrowers Board to develop a strategy for the next five years. Patrick has previously worked for Boston Consulting Group, Booz and Co, and Diageo. At Diageo he was responsible for assessing consumer and market trends for Diageo’s brands across Europe


Gywn Williams 

Gwyn Williams
Gwyn Williams

A former Soldier, Farm Labourer and Lincoln graduate who since 1983 has been growing grapes, and providing Contract Labour, Machinery and Management services to the industry, in North Canterbury. Vineyard ownership, Contract Services, and practical grass roots experience has been my place in the industry.

Involvement in the local Regional Organization was followed by a place on the NZW Board in 2008 and Chaired the Sustainability Committee for nearly 3 years.
I now serve on the Environment Committee and Chair the SWNZ Technical Advisory Group.


Fabian Yukich 

Fabian Yukich
Fabian Yukich

Fabian’s involvement in the wine industry began at an early age working for his family winery in West Auckland. He joined Villa Maria in 1998 as project manager for the design and construction of the company’s Marlborough and Auckland wineries and has continued his tenure, now acting as Executive Director and Sustainability Champion. In addition to his work at Villa, he is on the board of the New Zealand Winegrowers, has served on the sustainability committee of the NZWG board since 2012 and is the Chair of the Sustainability Committee.


Sarah Wilson 

Sarah Wilson
Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson joined New Zealand Winegrowers in 2018 as Senior Legal Counsel. Her role is part of the Advocacy team, which provides information and support to members on a variety of regulatory issues. In particular, one of her focuses for 2019 has been providing information to members about how to navigate the risks posed by Brexit.

Prior to joining New Zealand Winegrowers, Sarah spent several years as a criminal prosecutor specialising in regulatory matters. She has also worked in public law and commercial litigation.


Meagan Littlejohn

Meagan Littlejohn
Meagan Littlejohn

Meagan Littlejohn joined the Sustainable Winegrowing NZ (SWNZ) team in May 2018 as the new Systems Administrator. She is responsible for the efficient operation of information systems and audit processes, managing member notifications, developing user-friendly solutions for data entry and analysis, providing support with internal and external reporting, and mapping the programme’s processes and procedures. Meagan is a Canadian with a Master of Arts (M.A.) and a background in research, project management and process mapping. Previously the Administrative and Marketing Coordinator for St John in Wellington, Meagan is now applying her skills and experiences to the New Zealand wine industry.


Peter Wood

Peter Wood
Peter Wood

Peter Wood is a Plant & Food Research plant pathology scientist based at Havelock North.  Peter has 35 years’ experience in viticulture. Peter began his career with Dr Richard Smart with a focus on new grape varieties/clones, rootstocks and training systems in Gisborne.  In 1991 Peter moved to Hawke’s Bay to focus on apple, stone fruit and grape disease management. In grapes, Peter was key in the development of several biological-based products. In 2014, Peter was the first in New Zealand to identify the sexual state of powdery mildew.  Recently, he conducted NZ’s first studies into powdery mildew ascospore release. 


Katherine Jacobs

Katherine Jacobs
Katherine Jacobs

Big Sky Wines began in 2005 in Te Muna Road, Martinborough. Katherine and Jeremy had returned to New Zealand from living in France, and they knew the time was right to pursue their long-held ambition – to make world class, hand crafted wines, that give true expression to the character of their place. And that’s what they are doing. Jeremy is a 4th generation winemaker, from a family with a 100 year winemaking history in New Zealand. Deep roots. Katherine is pure energy and passion. She studied viticulture and winemaking in New Zealand, while living in France, and while working vintages in Bordeaux. Together they make a great team. At Big Sky, fine wine is all about place. And people. That’s what gives wines personality and soul. Their philosophy is simple: make the best wines possible, not the most wine possible. That means being hands on, and staying small so each vintage can be managed personally by the winemakers. Vineyards are certified sustainable, and are currently being transitioned to organic certification.

Katherine is very proud to be the inaugural Chair, of the NZWG Women in Wine Initiative.


Paul Robinson

Paul R
Paul Robinson

Paul Robinson has worked for Villa Maria for almost 12 years since completing his Bachelor of Viticulture at EIT. His current role is Vineyard Manager of 150ha at Villa Maria’s Te Awa, Joseph Soler and Esk Valley Terraces vineyards. The role is very diverse, growing 14 different varieties on a range of soil types, of which half of the vineyards are managed organically.  He is a past winner of the National Young Viticulturist competition in 2014, and is now the chair of the Hawke’s Bay Young Viticulturist regional committee.


Andrew Blakeman

Andrew Blakeman
Andrew Blakeman

Andrew is a horticultural consultant based in Gisborne. He has many years’ experience managing large scale vineyard and orcharding operations. In recent years his focus has shifted to research and extension work helping growers put research findings into action.


Elsie Montgomery

Elise Montgomery
Elise Montgomery

Elise has been involved in the wine industry for many years. After studying and working vintages overseas she joined the Villa Maria group and was Vidal winemaker for 7 years. She left full time employment to have a family and with her husband Simon, set up a consultancy business Montgomery Nash Consultancy. Four years ago Elise re-entered full time work to join EIT and is now a lecturer in a range of subjects along with being the Programme Co-ordinator for Degrees in the School of Viticulture and Wine Science.


Jim Walker

Jim Walker
Jim Walker

Dr Jim Walker is a Principal Scientist with Plant and Food Research (PFR), Hawkes Bay. He leads PFR’s crop protection research programme for tree fruits that has focussed on reducing pesticide use and residues on New Zealand apples. His research has included the development of selective pest management programmes, the introduction of new natural enemies, and greater use of semiochemicals (pheromones) for pest management. The widespread adoption of research findings has enabled more effective biological control in apple orchards and contributed to >90% reduction in insecticide use by apple growers since the mid-1990s.


Emma Taylor

Emma Taylor
Emma Taylor

Emma Taylor is the General Manager of Vineyard Plants, a subsidiary of Villa Maria Estate. Emma is also the current chair of VINA the New Zealand Viticulture Nursery Association. Vineyard Plants produces high quality vines for Villa Maria and its growers and some open market clients that are certified to the New Zealand Winegrowers Grafted Grapevine Standard. When not working in the nursery Emma is also involved in some Villa Marias Viticulture Projects, this include involvement in the TANK process, looking after Water Consents for the HB region and looking at expansion opportunities. Emma is a current member of the NZW Enviornment Committee and was a past winner of the Young Viticulturist and Young Horticulturist of the year competition.


Lauren Swift

Lauren Swift
Lauren Swift

Marlborough born and bred. Now been living in Hawkes Bay for 10 years, I have been at Ash Ridge for nearly seven years. As a graduate from EIT, I started my career as a summer position in the vineyard and cellar door, the role developed rapidly to winemaker! I have been involved with the growth of the company from setting up the winery on site, to growing the production four fold. Now I also keep myself busy in wine judging, EIT advisory committee and Young Winemaker of the Year competition.


Chris Ireland 

Chris Ireland
Chris Ireland

Chris is the South Island Sales and Technical manager for Netafim, the world’s leading irrigation company and is based in Blenheim. He has been in the wine industry for over 30 years and has been involved in growing grapes in most of NZ wine growing regions. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in viticulture from Charles Stuart University and when he’s not discussing the virtues of growing more with less, he will often be found out tending to the family’s organic vineyard.


Amber Parker

Headshot of Amber Parker
Amber Parker

Dr Amber Parker is a Senior Lecturer in Viticulture at Lincoln University. She completed her PhD at Lincoln University in collaboration with Bordeaux Sciences Agro-ISVV-Ecophysiology and Functional Genomics of Grapevines, France, worked as a scientist in grapevine modelling at Plant and Food Research after her PhD, and has been at Lincoln University since 2015.


Emma Jenkins MW

Emma Jenkins
Emma Jenkins

Emma Jenkins MW is a wine writer based in Taupo, New Zealand. Emma is wine columnist for The Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ edition), co-editor of The Independent Wine Monthly alongside Jane Skilton MW, and also writes on a freelance basis for a number of trade and general publications. She provides consultancy services to a wide range of industry and corporate entities. In addition, Emma is involved with the MW education program, teaches WSET courses on occasion and continues to hone her skills judging wine both at local and international competitions.


Rex Sunde

Rex Sunde
Rex Sunde

Rex has been involved with the seed, agrichemical, kiwifruit and wine industries. He is currently a director of Misty Valley Nursery and Artisan Organics. Through his consulting business, Rex assists New Zealand Winegrowers with preparation of the Vineyard Spray Schedule. He also consults to wineries and vineyards around New Zealand. Rex has a strong desire to see the NZ wine industry strengthen its foothold at the premium end of the world wine market, through continuous improvement in sustainability.


Roshni Rohra

Roshni Rohra
Roshni Rohra

Roshni has recently completed her Master of Science in Biological Science at the University of Auckland with Plant and Food Research. During her project, she has obtained a comprehensive understanding of the underlying pathogenicity of Leafroll virus 3 and the differences between genetic variants. Roshni’s interest in plant viruses began during my undergraduate studies when she learnt that these pathogens were ubiquitous, unique and diverse which inspired a curiosity within her. In particular, why viruses incur economically devastating effects on crops. Roshni is passionate about this project and the New Zealand wine industry; her favourite wine is Pinot gris.


Jelena Cosic 

Jelena Cosic
Jelena Cosic

Jelena Cosic is a final year PhD student in the School of Biological Sciences and Department of Statistics, University of Auckland. Before coming to New Zealand, she earned her 2nd Master degree from the University of Florida, USA. Her background is in mathematics and statistics. Her main interests lay within the area of agriculture and machine learning which was one of the main reasons she decided to pursue PhD. Besides spending free time in learning new things, she likes to spend her time with her friends exploring New Zealand and enjoying unusual activities like paintballing.


Wenyao Zhu

Wenyao Zhu
Wenyao Zhu

Wenyao (a.k.a. Arthur) is a PhD student at the University of Auckland from year 2018. He joined the research team led by Prof. Paul Kilmartin and specialised in the aroma research of wines. The current project in which Wenyao is engaging involves analysing wine aroma using GC-IMS technology and is jointly operated by the university and Constellation Brands NZ. Wenyao received his Bachelor and Master degrees from the University of Melbourne, Australia in the field of food science, during which time he also participated in multiple research projects such as the development of allergen and phthalate analyses.


Maya Sun

Maya Sun
Maya Sun (1)

Meng Sun, Maya, is from Lincoln University. She is interested in plants, with a background of landscape architecture and plant physiology. Maya has a dream of owning a garden filled with plants that she love. During leisure times, I like cooking and watching movies. When she is done with her PhD study, Maya would like to go back to China and start building the garden of her dreams.


Kenneth Olejar

Kenneth Olejar Jr
Kenneth Olejar Jr

Ken Olejar is a Lecturer in Wine Chemistry at Lincoln University. His main area of research is investigating metabolite production in plants and in processing systems, such as wine production, utilizing metabolomics and chemometrics


Szs Ying Leung 

Sze Ying Leong
Sze Ying Leong

Sze is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Food Science, University of Otago. She completed her PhD in year 2016 investigating the feasibility of using Pulsed Electric Fields (PEF) technology to increase phytochemicals in plant-based foods. Later, she received wine metabolomics training at Germany. She is currently involved in numerous industrial scale trials using high-throughput PEF equipment to assess the potential advantages of PEF for two very different NZ commercial products, namely wine and deep-fried potato products. The project is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment through the Food Industry Enabling Technology programme and she is also affiliated to Riddet Institute, a national Centre of Research Excellence.


Dr. Edwin Massey

Dr. Edwin Massey

Dr. Edwin Massy is Biosecurity and Emergency Response Manager at New Zealand Winegrowers, based in Blenheim. To date key achievements in his role have included developing the New Zealand Winegrowers Biosecurity Strategy; driving the process that lead to New Zealand Winegrowers signing the Government Industry Agreement Deed in May 2017 and the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Operational Agreement in July 2017. Ed also held a key role in coordinating the wine industry response to the Kaikoura earthquake in November 2016 and is a member of GERMAC (Plant Germplasm Advisory Committee) and write regular biosecurity columns for several national and regional industry magazines including New Zealand Winegrower.

Previously, Ed worked in various roles at MPI since 2005.and in 2012 took over the management of the Plant and Environment response team and held key roles in a number of horticultural sector biosecurity responses. In 2015 he joined the GIA team as principal advisor and developed the scenario for exercise RAWAHO an all of government exercise simulating the detection of a breeding population of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. Ed is a strong believer that industry working in partnership with government can drive improved biosecurity outcomes. He has a PhD in geography from the University of Auckland.


Tracy Benge

Tracy Benge


Like many in the NZ wine industry Tracy’s journey started elsewhere, with a career in investment banking in London.

With a Business Degree from Victoria University and qualifications as a Chartered Accountant, Project Manager, and in Kaizen Lean Process Transformation, Tracy built a career in business management with a heavy focus on process re-engineering and finance, after several years in audit and management consulting with PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Drawn to the wine industry, Tracy embarked on a career change in 2001, studying Grape-growing and Winemaking at EIT. Tracy has worked in the wine industry for over 10 years, joining NZW in 2014 as a Project Manager in Sustainability.

Tracy relocated to Marlborough in January to work on the establishment of the new Wine Research Centre. Describing it as the chance of a lifetime, this role allows her to combine her broad range of business and management skills with her wine industry and sustainability background. 

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