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Brock leading climate change research

July 15, 2011  By Brock University


brockannoucementJuly 15, 2011, St.
Catharines, Ont – As vineyards struggle to survive the damages inflicted by
increasingly erratic weather, the province has given $2.86 million to a team of
scientists studying how climate change impacts Ontario’s grape and wine industry.

July 15, 2011, St.
Catharines, Ont – As vineyards struggle to survive the damages inflicted by
increasingly erratic weather, the province has given $2.86 million to a team of
scientists studying how climate change impacts Ontario’s grape and wine industry.

Gary Pickering will lead a
team of 19 researchers studying various aspects of climate change threatening
Ontario grape growers. Besides Brock University, the researchers also hail from the
University of Guelph, Niagara College, Environment Canada and Vineland Research
and Innovation Centre
.

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brockannoucement 
St. Catharines MPP Jim
Bradley joins Minister Glen Murray on a tour of the Cool Climate Oenology and
Viticulture Institute, led by Debra Inglis. Photo courtesy of Ontario Innovation
 

The announcement was made
July 11 at Brock University by Glen Murray, Ontario’s Minister of Research and
Innovation
. The funding comes from the Ontario Research Fund – Research
Excellence
program, which helps cover the cost of conducting groundbreaking,
internationally significant research.

Research support is part
of the province’s strategy to create the next generation of jobs and make
innovation a driving force of Ontario’s economic growth. The grape and wine
industry contributes close to $1 billion annually to Ontario’s economy.

“Dr. Pickering and his
team at Brock are making discoveries that will prepare our grape and wine
industry for the challenges of climate change,” Murray said. “Our government is
proud to support innovation in the Niagara region, and to support researchers
who fuel our economy with new ideas.”

Pickering, a biological
sciences professor who is also a researcher in Brock’s Cool Climate Viticulture
and Oenology Institute (CCOVI)
, said the evidence is “irrefutable.

“Adapting to climate
change represents arguably the single most urgent challenge facing the world,”
he said. “(This) announcement will allow the grape and wine sector in our
province to be in the best position possible over the coming years to successfully
respond to current and future challenges through innovative research and
networking.”

This new research
initiative fits squarely within the university’s relationship with the
surrounding community and with the private sector, said Brock president Jack
Lightstone.

Brock is committed to
being a partner that helps strengthen our broader community in many ways,
including economically,” said Lightstone. “We are grateful for this investment
by the Ontario government that enables us to play a key role in a research
initiative that supports our grape and wine industry.”

Pickering, the recipient
of numerous research awards, is passionate about wine and wine education, and
is working on a number of books. He is also North American editor of the Journal
of Food, Agriculture & Environment
and a member of the Honorary Editorial
Board for the International Journal of Wine Research.


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