Post-doc traveller gains a bevy of benefits

University of Adelaide Post-Doctoral Fellow Roberta De Bei gained first-hand experience with the latest in grapevine data analysis and instrumentation when she shared her work in near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy at The University of La Rioja, in Logrono, Spain last year.

A GWRDC travel grant funded Roberta’s five-week visit to the university at the invitation of Professor Javier Tardaguila, leader of the Viticultural Research Group.

The time spent collaborating with Professor Tardaguila and his research colleagues allowed Roberta to gain experience using a hyperspectral camera and develop analysis strategies for the estimation of parameters such as water and berry cell death in grapevines.

‘Pictures of the vineyard canopy taken with the hyperspectral camera provide researchers with a much greater range of information than can be afforded with NIR spectroradiometers’, Roberta said.

The hyperspectral camera can be mounted to a small aircraft to conduct vineyard flyovers to assess things such as the nitrogen content of a whole vineyard. Following Roberta’s return from Spain, she had an opportunity to trial the camera on home soil when researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute, in Magdeburg, Germany, visited The Plant Accelerator at The University of Adelaide.

‘We are now hoping to receive funds to purchase a hyperspectral camera for shared use on the Waite campus’, Roberta said.

Another major outcome of Roberta’s visit to Spain was cementing of The University of Adelaide’s partnership in the Vineyard of the Future initiative, a multinational project investigating potential effects of climate change on viticulture in Australia, Chile, Spain and the US. It is also seeking to establish a fully instrumented vineyard using wireless connectivity and automated data gathering and analysis. For more information, visit

‘Much of my work at The University of Adelaide is now dedicated to the Vineyard of the Future project; it was a great outcome from my visit to Spain through the sharing of instrument-related expertise’, Roberta said.

In June this year, Roberta will return to the University of La Rioja to continue to strengthen the links with The University of Adelaide. Technical papers resulting from Roberta’s 2012 visit to Spain will be published in the coming months.

For more information contact Elise Heyes, GWRDC Program Manager,

GWT-1117 - La Rioja Spain