Congratulations to Dr Alistair Nesbitt on the UK’s first PhD in viticulture and climate science!

Dr Alistair Nesbitt’s research presents the first quantitative and qualitative analysis of viticulture climate suitability in England and Wales. He examined risks relating to weather and climate change, the potential for agro-economic diversification into viticulture and threats and opportunities for wine production and wine quality in South-East England and Champagne under projected future climate change scenarios. Alistair will shortly be submitting more of his research findings for potential publication.

Having successfully defended his thesis: ‘A climate for sustainable wine production: Modelling the effects of weather variability and climate change on viticulture in England and Wales’, Alistair Nesbitt has now been conferred with the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at a University of East Anglia ceremony. Alistair’s first paper based on his thesis results proved to be very popular – it was the most downloaded paper in 2016 from the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. The paper can be accessed here

On completing his PhD Dr Nesbitt said. “I remember my first harvest in Mildura, Australia in 1999. Hail had ruined the crop and we spent days just picking grapes for drying into raisins …. depressing stuff but that sparked my interest in weather and wine – 15-years later and I began my PhD research on the same subject, supported by a scholarship from the Natural Environment Research Council. The PhD was a hugely rewarding process and I’m grateful to all those who helped me follow a passion and realise an ambition. First and foremost, thanks to Professor Steve Dorling who enthusiastically supervised my PhD, but also to my wife Paula, my family and friends. The challenge of doing a PhD should not be underestimated and their support was awesome. Steve and I are continuing to work closely together on research and on developing tools and services to support the growth and resilience of UK viticulture.”

Posted in Industry News.