David Jeffery

Well done Mia. Best wishes to you and also to my fellow evictees, well done fellas.

Favourite Thing: At a simple level, discovering things.



Reynella East High


Flinders University

Work History:

In a number of restaurants in Darwin when I was a chef. As a scientist, The Australian Wine Research Institute and The University of Adelaide.


The University of Adelaide

Current Job:

Lecturer in Wine Science

Me and my work

I’m an organic chemist and wine scientist who does teaching and research

I have a PhD (7 years at uni) in synthetic organic chemistry along with a good understanding of analytical and wine chemistries. My work involves lecturing and supervising practicals for students who are doing a winemaking/viticulture degree. I also supervise research students doing their own PhD projects related to grape and wine science. Once upon a time I worked as a qualified chef so it’s interesting to now be working with food (well, a beverage really) on the scientific side of things. I’m no Heston Blumenthal in the kitchen though!


My Typical Day

Planning and discussing research, reading and writing scientific papers, supervising research students and lecturing

I meet with colleagues and my research students to plan and discuss research activities and funding opportunities. I read scientific papers and work prepared by my students, as well as prepare manuscripts from our research. I’m (foolishly) writing a text book with some other scientists from the US related to wine chemistry which is taking up a lot of my time at the moment. I respond to lots of emails from students and people within the university to make sure my courses are running okay, and I’m in contact with winemakers and other lecturers who also do presentations within my courses. Some days I lecture and supervise practical exercises while other days I mark assignments and plan the lessons. I’m also still studying – this time to get some university teaching qualifications. Amazingly enough, if there’s a spare millisecond or two left in the day, I still like to do things in the lab.


What I'd do with the money

If it’s possible I’d offer it as a summer scholarship so a high school student could work in my lab during the holidays.

I need to look into the things to see if it can work, but I’d like to provide a scholarship for a high school student to work in my lab for a few weeks during the summer holidays, so they could earn a bit of money and see if research was something they’d be keen to do in the future. If that’s not possible then I would use it to promote scientific education, probably by donating it to a school so they could buy some basic lab equipment that they didn’t have.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Knowledgeable, hard-working, funny

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Hilltop Hoods

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Visiting theme parks (e.g. Disneyland and Dreamworld)

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

Win lotto, play a muscial instrument (guitar or drums), and be a V8 supercar driver

What did you want to be after you left school?

A scientist

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Of course. I was a bit of a ratbag at times.

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Presented at overseas conferences and my employer paid for it!

Tell us a joke.

I don’t often tell nerdy science jokes. It’s only a periodic past time.

Sports followed

AFL, V8 supercars, cricket, basketball, gymkhana

Favourite team

Port Power