Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari

Director and Extension Enologist
p: 515-294-3308 |

2563 Food Sciences Bldg.
Ames, IA 50011-1061

Area of Expertise:
As Director and Extension Enologist, Dr. Dharmadhikari’s main responsibility is to lead the development and coordination of the Enology and Viticulture program at ISU. The program includes education, research, extension and service projects aimed at building a strong and prosperous grape and wine industry in the state of Iowa and the uppermidwest region. Dr. Dharmadhikari has a Ph.D. from Ohio State University specializing in Midwest grapes and he is also the author of “Micro Vinification.”


Michael White

Field Specialist - Viticulture p: 515-961-6017 | fax: 515-961-6017 |

909 East 2nd Suite E Indianola, IA 50125-2812

Area of Expertise:
As a Crops Field Specialist, Mike serves the counties of Dallas, Polk, Jasper, Poweshiek, Madison, Warren and Marion. His areas of expertise are in agronomic resource management with emphasis in soils; soil fertility; waste nutrient use; crop production practices; forage selection and use; soil conservation; integrated crop management; pesticide use; pesticide safety and compliance training. Mike has a B.S. degree in Forestry Management and a M.A. degree in Agronomy, both from ISU.


Tammi Martin

Administrative Specialist
p: 515-294-3308 | fax: 515-294-4362 |

2571 Food Sciences Building
Ames, IA 50011-1061

Area of Expertise:
As Administrative Specialist, Tammi provides executive level support to the Institute by managing and coordinating office activities; financial accounting, scheduling, communications, and program activities. Tammi is a graduate of ISU and has previously served in University office positions with the NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center and the Center for Crops Utilization Research.
Paulina Biernacka

Paulina Biernacka

Assistant Scientist
p: 515-294-3176 | fax: 515-294-4362 |

2573 Food Sciences Building
Ames, IA 50011-1061

Area of Expertise:
Paulina joined the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute as Assistant Scientist III in August 2014. Her research interests include wide-range analytical chemistry with an emphasis on flavor chemistry, method development, isolation of volatiles and pre-concentration methods. She obtained her PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Gdansk University of Technology in her home country of Poland. Paulina’s research focused on the composition of fermentation by-products in raw spirits and alcoholic beverages. She brings with her over seven years of expertise in analytical chemistry, including two years as a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, during which she conducted research on the development of innovative samplers for environmental pollution monitoring. At the Institute, Paulina will be developing methods to assess flavor properties and quality control of wine.

Jennie Savits

Research Associate
p: 515-294-1555 | fax: 515-294-4362 |

2575 Food Sciences Bldg
Ames, IA 50011-1061

Area of Expertise:
Jennie started at the institute as a wine lab assistant in the fall of 2007. After graduating with a degree in Food Science in spring 2009, she completed an internship at Bedell Winery in New York State where she participated in all aspects of winemaking. Jennie serves the institute as a Research Associate, assisting with research projects, education and outreach, performs chemical analysis of samples in the lab and oversees student lab assistants. Jennie is also currently pursuing a master’s degree with a thesis research project focusing on the varietal characteristics of La Crescent wine. The goal of this research is to determine the aroma profile of La Crescent wine from Iowa grown La Crescent fruit. Small batches of wine were produced in 2011 and 2012 and subsequently evaluated by sensory panels trained using descriptive analysis. Further, it is intended for the wine to be analyzed instrumentally by gas chromatography- mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to determine and quantify important aromatic compounds found in the wine.

Craig Tordsen

Program Manager, Value Added Agriculture-Extension
p: 515-291-0966 | fax: 515-294-0221 |

1111 NSRIC Bldg.
Ames, IA 50011

Area of Expertise:
Agricultural economic development; Agricultural Marketing Resource Center; bioenergy economics; budgeting; business analysis; business planning; Database Development; Databases; economic development; entrepreneurship; farm business management; farm business planning; farm financial planning; feasibility studies; feasibility studies and market strategies for niche commodities; financial analysis; Financial Management; financial management/budgeting; financial planning; value added agriculture

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