Krista Sumby

Dr Krista Sumby

Grant-Funded Researcher (B)

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Dr Krista Sumby is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine. She is currently part of a project looking at “Past, Present and Future Drivers of Soil Change” utilising her expertise in microbial ecology and molecular biology. Dr Sumby is working to identify microorganisms in Australian soil samples (the soil microbiome) collected regularly over the past two decades to see if changes in farming systems have led to changes in soil microbial communities. The results will likely lead to recommendations for farming practices to encourage the most beneficial microbial communities. The potential benefits of farming with a greater reliance on the soil biota (rather than external inputs) include healthy soil for crop plants to thrive and in return produce more consistent food and a reduced carbon footprint.

Dr Sumby has over fifteen years of scientific research experience and has worked on several molecular and microbiology-based projects. She completed an MSc in Microbiology at the University of Canterbury leading to work in the dairy industry on microbial genetic projects. Dr Sumby completed a PhD in Wine Microbiology in 2013, working on bacterial enzymes involved in flavour production in wine, before further work in wine microbiology and microbial ecology isolating and identifying yeast and bacteria from the environment. Dr Sumby was most recently a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Australian Research Council Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production at The University of Adelaide (2017-2022) investigating vine and grape attributes that favour particular yeast species.

Current project: 

Past, Present and Future Drivers of Soil Change. Have changes in farming systems led to changes in soil microbial communities?

Picture of sea, pasture and a rainbowGraph showing relative abundance of different bacteria in samples testedKrona_taxa_plot

Past projects:

  • Exploiting the secondary metabolism of lactic acid bacteria to improve wine aroma
  • Defining and exploiting the indigenous microflora of grapes
  • Directed evolution of more robust non-Saccharomyces yeast strains for completion of alcoholic fermentation
  • Directed evolution of superior LAB for quicker and more reliable malolactic fermentation
  • Heterologous expression and characterisation of esterase's from lactic acid bacteria to investigate their potential for use in winemaking

yeast and bacteria picture

Projects involving supervision of HDR students include:

  • Isolation and characterisation of improved lactic acid bacteria strains for optimised malolactic fermentation performance
  • Bioprospecting for Lactic Acid Bacteria in Novel Australian Niches
  • Defining and Exploiting the Indigenous Microflora of Grapes
  • Isolation and characterisation of yeast with novel biotechnological properties for use in winemaking
  • Identification and understanding of Saccharomyces and Oenococcus oeni interactions, in co-inoculated fermentations, for development of robust inoculation pairs in wine production
  • The influence of sulfur compounds on yeast, bacteria and mixed cultures of these in oenology

 

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2022 - ongoing Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Soil Ecology The University of Adelaide
    2018 - 2022 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production University of Adelaide
    2014 - 2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2013 - 2013 Casual Technician, Wine Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology Laboratory University of Adelaide
    2007 - 2013 Practical demonstrator, Microbiology and Invertebrate Biology II University of Adelaide
    2007 - 2013 Practical demonstrator, Microbiology for Viticulture and Oenology II University of Adelaide
    2001 - 2003 Technical Officer Fonterra Research Centre
    2001 - 2001 Casual Technician Environmental Science and Research Ltd
    2000 - 2001 Practical demonstrator, Biotechnology III University of Canterbury
    2000 - 2001 Practical demonstrator, Microbiology II University of Canterbury
    2000 - 2001 Practical demonstrator, Microbiology III University of Canterbury
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2016 Award Best Poster in Oenology-Microbiology 16th AWITC Australia -
    2014 Recognition Postgraduate Alumni University Medal University of Adelaide - -
    2013 Award The Harold Woolhouse Prize for The Best PhD Thesis in The Faculty of Sciences University of Adelaide - -
    2013 Recognition Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence University of Adelaide - -
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2007 - 2013 University of Adelaide Australia PhD
    1999 - 2001 University of Canterbury New Zealand MSc (1st Hons Microbiology)
    1996 - 1998 University of Canterbury New Zealand BSc
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2016 Provide First Aid Course St John Ambulance Australia -
  • Research Interests

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 Co-Supervisor The influence of sulfur compounds on yeast, bacteria and mixed cultures of these in oenology Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Emily Hocking
    2020 Principal Supervisor Defining and Exploiting the Indigenous Microflora of Grapes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Natalia Soledad Caliani
    2019 Co-Supervisor Bioprospecting for Lactic Acid Bacteria in Novel Australian Niches Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Scott Allen Oliphant
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - 2022 Co-Supervisor Isolation and Characterisation of Yeasts with Biotechnological Properties Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Mandy Man-Hsi Lin
    2016 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Identification and Understanding of Saccharomyces and Oenococcus Interactions in Wine Fermentation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Louise Joyce Bartle
    2013 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Use of Directed Evolution to Generate Multiple-stress Tolerant Oenococcus oeni for Enhanced Malolactic Fermentation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Jiao Jiang
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Identification and characterisation of yeast from the vineyard The University of Adelaide Applied Biology Student placement Other Part Time Evdoxia Lagonik
    2018 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Investigating a more reliable system for genetic manipulation in Oenococcus oeni The University of Adelaide Applied Biology Student placement Other Part Time Thu-Nghy Do
    2016 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Developing new starter cultures of lactic acid bacteria for co-inoculation and sequential malolactic fermentation in high alcohol wine The University of Adelaide Master of Viticulture & Oenology Other Full Time Yin Liu
    2016 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Selecting New Malolactic Fermentation Starter Cultures The University of Adelaide Master of Viticulture & Oenology Other Full Time Xingwei Mi
  • Position: Grant-Funded Researcher (B)
  • Phone: 83138356
  • Email: krista.sumby@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 83137415
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Taylor Building East, floor Level Three
  • Org Unit: Agricultural Science

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