Simon Schmidt

Partner Investigator

Simon Schmidt is a biochemist and molecular biologist with expertise is in fungal physiology and genetics, particularly as these fields relate to alcoholic fermentation during the process of winemaking.

Dr Schmidt holds the position of Research Manager at the Australian Wine Research Institute. As Research Manager, he has led and participated in research relating to winemaking’s technical aspects, including understanding the effect of grape juice composition, yeast-bacterial interactions, and nutritional additives on fermentation performance. He has also investigated the effects of aeration during fermentation on wine style and managed the development of yeast strains for commercial winemaking. The latter has resulted in the licensing of yeast strains to bulk yeast producers who now make those strains available to the Australian wine industry. He has published works on systems-level characterisation of yeast during fermentation and developed methods to facilitate those analyses. Further, he has experience with recombinant protein production and characterisation. To a lesser degree Schmidt has participated in projects in the field of grapevine genomics, in which molecular markers for the identification of grapevine clones have been developed.

The current goal of Dr Schmidt’s research team is to define the physical and genetic interactions that drive fermentation performance and reliability in commercial fermentations, using that information to generate the next generation of winemaking yeasts through marker driven breeding and engineering approaches.