Honours project in wine chemistry

David is seeking students who are interested in chemistry, whether from the perspective of wine or food science, or pure chemistry.

His research broadly relates to isolation, identification, synthesis and analysis of natural compounds. The application of organic chemistry, compound isolation, structure elucidation, and analytical techniques such as GC-MS, HPLC-MS, and spectrofluorometry are key features of his research. This relates particularly to grape and wine components and development of methods for the analysis of aroma, flavour, and phenolic compounds that are important to grape and wine quality and sensory appeal.


Projects can be developed to suit a student’s interests and may range from sulfur compound synthesis to polyphenol analysis, and many things in between, including spirit production. Among other research priorities such as investigating polyfunctional thiol biogenesis and linking wine composition to sensory properties, David’s current emphasis is on using absorbance-transmission and fluorescence excitation-emission matrix (A-TEEM) data with machine learning algorithms for classification and regression.


Recent examples include authentication of red wine by variety and region, rapidly determining compositional traits of grape and wine, and predicting wine sensory attributes. There is still much more that can be investigated with this technique.

Projects are often developed in conjunction with colleagues within the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine or with collaborators at CSIRO and AWRI who specialise in wine chemistry, biochemistry, viticulture, sensory science, or chemical engineering, thereby offering a broader perspective on the research.

Further Information

Tagged in Honours projects - Wine science