Associate Professor Christopher Ford
✓ Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD — email supervisor to discuss availability.
Over the past 10 years we have been working largely in the following area:
- Developing an understanding of organic acid metabolism in plants. Within my laboratory, and in collaboration with Dr John Bruning (School of Biological Sciences) and Assoc. Prof. Kathleen Soole (The Flinders University of South Australia) we are investigating the mechanisms by which developing grape berries metabolise ascorbic, tartaric and malic acids. To achieve this we are using a range of biochemical, molecular and metabolic approaches in whole berries and cell suspension systems.
I have had past reseach engagement with the characterisation of glucosyltransferase enzymes (GTases) involved in plant secondary metabolism. I started working in this area in 1995 when a post-doc with Prof. Peter Hoj; we identified and characterised the anthocyanidin Gtase from grapevines. In 2006, Prof. Gideon Davies at The University of York and his group successfully resolved the three-dimensional structure of this enzyme - the outcome of a huge amount of work over the previous three years. In 2014 I began co-supervising PhD student Lieke van der Hulst (principal supervisor Kerry Wilkinson) on a project to examine GTs associated with the formation of glycosides in grapes affected by smoking.
We have also undertaken research aimed at unravelling the outcomes of extended maceration (EM) in the production of red wines. During red wine production, the period of contact between berry skins and juice, must or wine may be extended beyond the normal periods to provide additional properties to the finished wine. We hope to both understand the processes and be in a position to advise the wine industry on strategies for achieving desired wine outcomes.
Current CMF Lab members:
Jenny Bellon - PhD student (based at AWRI)
Hui Hui Chong - PhD student (based at EJ Gallo Winery, Modesto, CA)
Lieke van der Hulst (co-supervised with Kerry Wilkinson)
Past PhD students: Louise Robinson; Seth DeBolt; Susan Wheeler; Lin Lin Low, Iraj Tavassolian, Venetia Joscelyne, Vicky Harris, Vanessa Melino, Erminawati Wuriatmo, Alana Capaldo, Crystal Sweetman, Crista Burbidge, Cyd Yonker, Martin Mendez, Tony Ogbeide, Amy Koschella, Darren Wong, Yong Jia, Emily Higginson.
Past Honours students: Madeleine Griffith; Belinda Sinclair; Christobelle Anderson; Guy Lyons; Sam Gavan; Sam Hambour; Kelly Wellington, Katie Grieve, Greg Lane, Sid Pachare, Craig Turnbull, Yue Cue.
Past Masters students - Mario Mazza; Jayendra Patel; Chandra Rongala, Steve Hicks.
Past post-docs: Matt Hayes, Crystal Sweetman.
|2012||Ford, C. (2012). The biochemistry of organic acids in the grape. In H. Gerós, M. Chaves, & S. Delrot (Eds.), The Biochemistry of the Grape Berry (pp. 67-88). Bentham Science Publishers.
|2002||King, B., Paltridge, N., Collins, N., Ford, C., Li, R., Symons, R., & Langridge, P. (2002). A map-based approach towards cloning the Yd2 resistance gene in barley. In M. Henry, & A. McNab (Eds.), Barley yellow dwarf disease: Recent advances and future strategies (pp. 75-77). Mexico: CIMMYT.|
Wine 2030: Grapevine metabolism: the effects of increased day and night-time temperatures on berry composition of organic acids. 2011. Dr Chris Ford
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project Ref. UA 1002: Organic acid metabolism and the control of grape berry acidity in a warming climate. 2010-2015. Dr Chris Ford.
Australian Research Council – LIEF Grant LE0989336: The South Australian Facility for Small and Large Molecule X‑Ray Diffraction Structure Determination. Dr CJ Sumby; Prof JA Carver; Prof JC Wallace; Asst Prof M Hrmova; Prof A Pring; Prof AD Abell; Dr GW Booker; Prof MI Bruce; Dr J Brugger; Dr CM Ford; Dr HH Harris; Dr JC Morris; Prof JC Paton; Dr DJ Peet; Dr SM Pyke; Dr KE Shearwin; Dr RI Menz; Dr CA Abbott; Dr PA Anderson; Dr MH Brown; Dr MR Johnston; Dr KA Schuller; Prof AF Lopez; Dr SM Pitson; Prof SF Lincoln; Prof RA McKinnon.
Australian Research Council – Discovery Grant DP0985378: The control of metabolite glucosylation during grape berry development. 2009. Dr Chris Ford, Prof. Dennis Taylor, Dr Mark Thomas, Dr Paul Boss.
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project Ref. GWR H06/06: Tartaric acid biosynthesis gene expression in Arabidopsis thaliana. Honours scholarship and research support. 2007.
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project Ref. GWR H06/06: sensory and compositional consequences of extended maceration in red wine making. Honours scholarship and research support. 2007.
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project Ref. UA 06/02: Organic acid metabolism during grape berry development. 2006-2009;
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project Ref. UA 05/03: Consequences of extended maceration on the composition of red wines. 2005-2008;
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project Ref. UA 05/02: The role of ascorbic acid in grape berry development. 2005-2008;
Australian Research Council – Linkage Grant LP0560480; Understanding, controlling and improving the flavour of almond kernels. 2005-2007. Prof. Margaret Sedgley, Dr Brent Kaiser and Dr Chris Ford
Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture – Sub-program 3, Project 3.3.3 Organic acid metabolism.
March 2003 to September 2006;
$45,000 per annum; $9,000 additional support in 2006 for generation of transgenic grapevines
Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture – Sub-program 1, Project 1.2 The Tannin Project
July 2003 to June 2005;
$15,000 per annum
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Growth and physiology of Brettanomyces/Dekkera yeast and the production of flavour impact compounds in wine. Paul Grbin, Vladimir Jiranek and Chris Ford.
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project UA 02/03 Metabolic consequences of the transfer of an entire plant secondary metabolic pathway into grapevine hairy root cultures. March – November 2003;
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project UA 02/04 An investigation of flavonol glucosyltransferase activity in grapevine tissues. March – November 2003;
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation – Project UA 01/07 The development of an assay for the activity of tartaric acid biosynthetic enzymes in grapevine tissues. March – November 2002;
I deliver approximately half of the lectures in Animal and Plant Biochemistry, at both Waite and Roseworthy campuses (ca 20 hours per campus), and am also responsible for tutorial classes (3 hours per week) at Waite. I was Course Coordinator and principal lecturer for undergraduate and postgraduate coursework-level teaching in Introductory Winemaking from 2001 to 2013, and resumed this role in 2015. I also coordinate and teach the final-year course Grape and Wine Industry Practice, Policy and Communication. Previously to this I was the CC and principal lecturer for Wine Packaging & Quality Management (2001-2008), and Fermentation Technology (2009-2010). I continue to present lectures in Fermentation Technology and Viticultural Science III.
The Bachelor of Applied Biology degree, launched at UA in 2015, was developed under my leadership during 2013 and 2014. I am Program Convenor for this degree, and continue to be actively engaged in establishing the curriculum structure, including Major Pathways, the Student Exchange and Work Placement components.
I am Coordinator for the Level II course Animal and Plant Biochemistry, delivered to around 200 students at the Waite and Roseworthy campuses. I convened the working group that developed this course in 2008. I am also the Course Coordinator for the Level II Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology (BVO) and Masters of Viticulture and Oenology course Introductory Winemaking, and the Level III course Grape Industry, Practice, Policy and Communications.
|Date||Role||Research Topic||Program||Degree Type||Student Load||Student Name|
|2018||Co-Supervisor||Understanding Spatiotemporal Patterns of Fruit Composition in Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyards in Central California||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Mr Brent Shipley Sams|
|2018||Principal Supervisor||Breaking the sugar:flavour nexus - growing grapes with more flavour and less sugar||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Mr Pietro Previtali|
|2017||Principal Supervisor||Using Grapevine enzymes to make novel biochemicals||Master of Philosophy||Master||Full Time||Miss Emi Kaye Schutz|
|2016||Co-Supervisor||Microbial Solutions to Wine Compound Elimination||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Ms Jin-Chen Li|
|2012||Principal Supervisor||Wine Science and Business||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Miss Hui Hui Chong|
|2008||Principal Supervisor||Modelling Evolution in Yeast Interspecific Hybrids||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Part Time||Ms Jennifer Bellon|
|Date||Role||Research Topic||Program||Degree Type||Student Load||Student Name|
|2014 - 2018||Co-Supervisor||The Analysis of Grapevine Response to Smoke Exposure||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Miss Lieke Van Der Hulst|
|2014 - 2016||Co-Supervisor||Investigations and Applications of Self-Sufficient Cytochrome P450 Monooxygenases||Master of Philosophy||Master||Full Time||Mr Samuel Munday|
|2012 - 2016||Principal Supervisor||The Genetic Basis of Acid Composition in Developing Berries of This Cultivated Grapevine Vitis vinifera||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Miss Emily Grace Higginson|
|2012 - 2013||Principal Supervisor||Consumer Willingness to Pay Premiums for the Benefits of Organic Wine and the Expert Service of Wine Retailers||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Mr Osadebamwen Anthony Ogbeide|
|2011 - 2016||Principal Supervisor||Molecular and Structural Characterization of the Candidate Enzymes Responsible for Tartaric Acid Synthesis in the Grapevine||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Mr Yong Jia|
|2011 - 2014||Principal Supervisor||Ascorbate metabolism during fruit development||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Mr Darren Chern Jan Wong|
|2010 - 2014||Principal Supervisor||An Investigation of the Role of the Regulatory Gene VvMYBA1 in Colour, Flavour and Aroma Metabolism Using Transgenic Grapevines||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Mrs Amy Rinaldo|
|2009 - 2012||Co-Supervisor||Factors Affecting the Levels of 3 Isobutyl 2 Methoxpyrazine and C6 Compounds in Vitis Vinifera L Merlot||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Mr Martin Pablo Mendez Costabel|
|2009 - 2012||Principal Supervisor||The Influence of Cabernet Sauvignon Grape Maturity on the Concentration and Extraction of Colour and Phenolic Compounds in Wine||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Miss Cynthia Yonker|
|2008 - 2011||Co-Supervisor||Application of Citral to Control Postharvest Diseases of Oranges||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Mrs Erminawati Wuryatmo|
|2007 - 2012||Co-Supervisor||Genes and Mechanisms Responsible for Beta-Glucose Metabolism in the Oenologically Important Lactic Acid Bacterium Oenococcus Oeni||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Part Time||Miss Alana Capaldo|
|2006 - 2009||Co-Supervisor||Physiological, Biochemical and Molecular Characterisation of Hydroxycinnamic Acid Catabolism by Dekkera and Brettanomyces Yeasts||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Part Time||Miss Victoria Harris|
|2005 - 2009||Principal Supervisor||Ascorbate Metabolism in Grape Berries during Development||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Dr Vanessa Melino|
|2005 - 2009||Principal Supervisor||Consequences of Extended Maceration for Red Wine Colour and Phenolics||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Miss Venetia Joscelyne|
|2004 - 2008||Principal Supervisor||Construction of a Microsatellite Base Genetic Linkage Map of Almond||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Mr Iraj Tavassolian|
|2003 - 2007||Co-Supervisor||The Role of Abscisic Acid in Grape Berry Development||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Dr Susan Wheeler|
|2003 - 2007||Co-Supervisor||Evaluation of Tartrate Stabilisation Technologies for Wine Industry||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Part Time||Ms Lin Low|
|2003 - 2006||Principal Supervisor||Tartaric Acid Biosynthesis in Plants||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Prof Seth DeBolt|
|2002 - 2004||Co-Supervisor||Identification of Pollen Donors for Olive Cultivars||Master of Applied Science||Master||Full Time||Miss Sonali Mookerjee|
|2001 - 2005||Principal Supervisor||An investigation of a barley protein (SE/BTI-CMe) and its influence on beer haze stability||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Miss Louise Robinson|