2017 Conference Speaker Bios

Here are brief Bios for the four speakers who will be giving the six presentations at the 2017 WIGA Viticulture and Oenology Conference:

Simone Castellarin  Ph.D  (Agricultural Science and Biotechnology)

Canada Research Chair in ‎Viticulture & Plant Genomics, UBC, Vancouver BC


  • Hormonal, Molecular, and Canopy Management Control of Fruit Ripening
  • Impact of Irrigation on Fruit Ripening and Composition (with Jim Harbertson)

Dr. Simone Diego Castellarin is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and a Canada Research Chair in Viticulture and Plant Genomics. He received his Ph.D. (2007) in Agricultural Science and Biotechnology from the University of Udine, Italy.

The Castellarin laboratory investigates the ripening processes in grapes and the biological mechanisms that determine fruit composition and wine quality. A major focus of the laboratory is to examine how grape composition evolves in the vineyard under different environmental conditions and how grape and wine quality can be improved through viticultural practices. This research aims to promote the development of new practices to increase grape and wine quality in BC vineyards and wineries. He has also collaborated in a breeding program that led to the selection of ten new fungus-resistant varieties with first-class wine quality.

For his contributions on the understanding of the regulation of pigment production in red grapes, Dr. Castellarin has received the Rudolf Hermanns Prize (Geisenhem, Germany) for outstanding scientific achievements in horticulture and viticulture.


Jim Harbertson  Ph.D  (Agricultural Chemistry)

Associate Professor of Enology, WSU Wine Research Center,  Richland WA


  • Wine Phenolics – How They Change during Ripening, Winemaking, and Aging
  • Ripening and Sensory Impacts of Regulated Deficit Irrigation (with Simone Castellarin)

Jim Harbertson is an Associate Professor of Enology at Washington State University’s Wine Science Center in Richland, Washington. He received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and doctorate in agricultural chemistry from the University of California at Davis. Jim’s research focuses on the phenolic compounds found in grapes and wine and their biochemical and chemical changes during grape ripening, winemaking and aging. Jim serves as an associate editor for the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. Jim has received research paper of the year in Enology from the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture three times (2010, 2014, 2017). Jim is an active volunteer for the American Society of Enology and Viticulture serving in various capacities on the board and now serves as the first vice president and the technical program director. Jim has organized symposiums, workshops and seminars in California and Washington.


Alan Marks  Ph.D  (Food Science)

Technical Sales & Support Rep, Scott Labs, Kelowna BC


  • Using New Research Ideas for Successful Malolactic Fermentation
  • Haze Wars: Filtering and Fining Techniques

Alan Marks is the technical sales & support rep for western Canada with Scott Labs Ltd. Before Scott Labs he was a winemaker in the Okanagan for 12 years and previously made wine in the US for 6 years. He has also consulted for a number of BC and Washington wineries during that time. His education includes degrees in Agriculture from the Univ. of Missouri and Food Science/Enology from the University of Arkansas. His winemaking interests focus on sparkling production and viticulture techniques to enhance wine quality.


Stephen Eng  P.Ag

Specialty Ag Division Manager for Evergro Canada, Kelowna BC


An Essential Guide for Understanding Soil and Plant Nutrition in the Vineyard


  • Professional agrologist, P.Ag.
  • Specialty Ag Division Manager for Evergro ( division of CPS)
  • Lived in Saanichton for 22 years, now in Kelowna
  • Sessional instructor at University of Fraser Valley ( for 5 years)- “Sustainable, Holistic Agriculure”
  • Has provided professional advice based on Wine Islands soil and tissue analyses for many years

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