CORVALLIS, Ore. – Laurent Deluc, a research viticulturist at the University of Nevada-Reno, has been selected to join Oregon State University to further develop a nationally and internationally recognized viticulture research program within OSU's Department of Horticulture.
Deluc's work will be aimed at improving the quality and performance of grape vines and enhancing both grape and wine quality. His position is among those that are part of the recently established Oregon Wine Research Institute at OSU.
Deluc was educated in France and earned his bachelor’s degree in plant physiology and doctorate in plant molecular biology at the University of Bordeaux.
In his role as OSU's new research viticulturist, Deluc brings expertise in two areas important to Oregon wine growers. The first involves how genetics influence development of individual grapes – and therefore, grape quality. His second area of expertise involves how grape plants respond to environmental stresses such as drought and cold, and how to overcome those stressors.
"Dr. Deluc has a breadth and depth of expertise about grapes that will address what has been identified as a priority by Oregon's wine industry, and that's the continuing improvement in vines and grape-growing practices," said Bill Boggess, interim dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. "His new role is part of sustaining the Oregon wine industry's – and OSU's – commitment to ever-higher quality of grapes and wines."
To help identify research needs and to communicate results, Deluc will work closely with the Oregon wine industry, with other scientists in the Oregon Wine Research Institute and in related fields at OSU, as well as with colleagues at Washington State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also will teach at least one upper division or graduate course each year, and train graduate students.
A search committee of Oregon wine industry representatives, OSU faculty, and others guided recruitment and screening that led to Deluc's appointment. He will begin work in late June.