Dr Mark Krstic is the new managing director of the Australian Wine Research Institute, effective 1 February 2020. He will succeed Dr Dan Johnson, who has led the AWRI since 2011 and is taking up a new position as Pro Vice Chancellor Research Innovation at Macquarie University in Sydney.
AWRI Board chair Louise Rose said, “The AWRI Board conducted a global search for the new managing director and was very pleased with the high calibre of applications received.
“Dr Krstic was the stand-out candidate due to his wealth of experience in grape and wine research, knowledge of the wine industry and outstanding leadership and commercial business skills.
“Dr Krstic combines a research background in viticulture and oenology with deep understanding of the issues facing Australian grape and wine producers. His connections and experience will be invaluable as the AWRI embraces a changing research, development and extension (RD&E) landscape and he will be an outstanding leader for the Australian grape and wine industry’s research organisation.
“While maintaining a focus on the AWRI’s core areas of strength, Dr Krstic’s strong viticultural background aligns well with the ‘grape to consumer’ direction that the AWRI Board has been working towards in recent years and views as a focus for research and collaboration into the future.”
Dr Krstic said, “The opportunity to lead the AWRI is both humbling and exciting. At a time where our industry is facing incredible opportunities and challenges, the importance of world-class grape and wine science and a strong technical support base to help Australian grape and wine producers succeed cannot be overstated.
“The AWRI is a unique organisation filled with talented people working with Australian Grape & Wine, Wine Australia, state and regional bodies, investors, collaborators, producers, suppliers and other organisations to support a prosperous and sustainable Australian grape and wine industry. It will be an honour to lead such a wonderful team.”
Dr Krstic was previously General Manager Business Development at the AWRI.
Dr Krstic comes from a family farming background in Tasmania, where he completed his undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in Agricultural Science at the University of Tasmania in Hobart.
He was then appointed to a post-doctoral position within CSIRO, at the iconic Merbein Research Station, near Mildura, where he conducted research in areas related to grapevine physiology, crop development and yield estimation.
Following the post-doctoral appointment, Dr Krstic was appointed as a Viticultural Scientist at the Victorian Government’s Department of Primary Industries (DPI). Over almost ten years at DPI he held a number of senior research leadership and executive roles and completed an Executive Masters of Business Administration (Mt Eliza/Queensland University).
Dr Krstic was then recruited to work for the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC – now Wine Australia) as a Program/Innovation Manager, helping the GWRDC implement a number of key extension initiatives, including the Regional Program, over a period of five years.
Following this, Dr Krstic was appointed as Manager of the AWRI’s Victorian node in 2012, which was successful in driving key RD&E outcomes throughout regional Victoria. In 2016 he was appointed as Business Development Manager at the AWRI, and recently promoted to the position of General Manager Business Development.
Dr Krstic is a graduate of the Wine Industry Future Leaders Program (2010) and has accumulated a wealth of relevant experience and knowledge over the past 23 years in research, development and extension. He has held a number of key roles across a range of agricultural industries, including Deputy Chair of the Victorian Government’s Wine Ministerial Advisory Committee, member of Horticulture Innovation Australia’s Table Grape Strategic Investment Advisory Panel, past President of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) and member of the Program Subcommittee for the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference. Dr Krstic is extremely passionate about wine and the outcomes science can deliver for the sector.
Photo credit: Eric Wilkes.