Linfield biology professor to discuss impact of microbes in vineyards

Jeremy Weisz, associate professor of biologyJeremy Weisz, associate professor and chair of the Department of Biology at Linfield University, will present “Microbial Terroir: a sense of place for microbes in the vineyard” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18. The event is available to the public via Zoom. Pre-registration is required.

All of the attributes of a vineyard that make a wine unique comprise terroir, which is sometimes referred to as the sense of place in a wine. Recently, the scientific community has recognized that one attribute of a vineyard that can significantly influence the resulting wine are the microbes that live there. The bacteria and fungi that live on and around wine grapes make up the microbial terroir of the vineyard.

Weisz will discuss how these bacteria and fungi influence the composition of their microbial communities. He will share the results of several years of research on microbial terroir in the Willamette Valley, examining how geography and viticulture combine to give a vineyard a unique sense of place.

A member of the Linfield faculty since 2010, Weisz is an expert in microbial biology. His research focuses on understanding interactions that plants and animals have with their microbiomes, the microbes that live on and in them. He has been studying microbiomes on wine grapes since 2014, including a recent project on the impacts of farming practices on grape microbiomes funded by the Oregon Wine Board.

The presentation is part of Linfield’s Faculty Lecture Series, which shares the professional work and interests of the university faculty with the community. View more information on the series, including the full schedule. The series is sponsored by Linfield’s Office of Academic Affairs. For additional information, contact 503-883-2224.

Linfield is an independent, nonprofit university with campuses in McMinnville and Portland, Oregon. Since 1858, Linfield has connected a traditional liberal arts experience with practical education through 56 majors, including wine studies, sport management and nursing. Linfield has been recognized four years running for having the Best Ethnic Diversity in the Pacific Northwest by U.S. News and World Report. Thirty-two percent of Linfield students are first-generation college students, and more than one-third are U.S. students of color. Linfield competes in the NCAA Division III Northwest Conference. Learn more at www.linfield.edu.