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Usher, Kevin, Ph.D.

Research Scientist, Sustainable Production Systems

Contact Information:

4200 Highway 97, Summerland Research Site
Box 5000
Summerland, British Columbia V0H 1Z0
Telephone: 250-404-3336
Fax: 250-494-0755

Areas of Expertise:

  • Plant Biochemistry - Secondary metabolism and the influence of biotic and abiotic factors on phenolic, terpene, alkaloid and thiol biochemical pathways
  • Flavour and Aroma Chemistry - The development of aroma and flavour composition in grapes, wine, tomato and other fruit and the relationship between flavour and aroma chemistry and human sensory

Current Projects:

  • Development of mesoclimate and wine sensory modules for the Okanagan/Similkameen GIS; Production of vineyard soil maps; and terroir effects on wine quality (Collaborator)
  • Toward Optimum Water Use in Vineyards: Effects of Deficit Irrigation on Vine Physiology, Disease and Insect Pressure, and Fruit Quality in Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (Collaborator)
  • Identification of factors that contribute to shrivel berry (Collaborator)
  • Improving the health benefits and quality of food crops under protected cultivation (Collaborator)
  • Development of key flavour and aroma volatiles in Okanagan Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (PI)
  • Production and analysis of small-lot wines to assess the wine-making quality of grapes from viticulture research (Collaborator)
  • Ecology of human enteric pathogens in fresh horticultural products (Collaborator)
  • The effects of irrigation, N fertilization and canopy management on canopy performance and fruit quality in Sauvignon blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon (Collaborator)
  • Study of cover crops for the suppression of cutworm damage to grapes (Collaborator)
  • Sustainable production of high-quality wine grapes (Collaborator)
  • Identification and sensory attributes of sulphur compounds in British Columbia's varietal wines (PI)
  • Nutrient and water management of horticultural crops in an era of uncertain water supply (Collaborator)


  • British Columbia Wine Grape Council - Research and Development Committee (Ex-officio)
  • Member of American Society of Enology and Viticulture - National
  • Member of American Society of Enology and Viticulture - Pacific Northwest Chapter

Research publications






Other science related publications


  • Bowen, P, Bogdanoff, C, Cliff, M, Usher, K, Stanich, K, Marsh, S, Estergaard, B, and Smith, S. 2016. Growing region and winery influences on the sensory quality of Merlot wines from the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys. BC Wine Grape Council Annual Conference Abstracts.
  • Bowen, P., Bogdanoff, C., Cliff, M. Usher, K., Stanich, K., and Marsh, S. 2016. Growing region and winery influences on the sensory quality of Merlot wines from the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys. 67th Am. Soc. Enol. Vitic. National Conference, Monterey, CA, June 27-30. Technical Abstracts page 78. Poster presentation.


  • Bowen, P.A., Bogdanoff, C.P., Usher, K.B., Estergaard, B.F., Cliff, M.A., and Stanich, K. (2012). "Irrigation frequency and rate effects on vine growth, leaf gas exchange, berry composition, and wine sensory quality in red winegrapes.", American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 63(3), pp. 440A. (Abstract)


  • Neilsen, G.H., Neilsen, D., Bowen, P.A., Bogdanoff, C.P., Usher, K.B., Rabie, B., Herbert, L.C., and Losso, I. (2009). "Crop load and irrigation management. First year effects on nutrition, vigour, yield and quality of Merlot grapes.", 10th Annual Enology & Viticulture Conference and Trade Show, Penticton, BC, Canada, July 20-21, 2009.
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