Faculty and Staff Profiles

Louis Conradie, Wine Production Specialist

  • B.S. Agric Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University, South Africalouisconradie

After finishing at the University in Stellenbosch, Louis went overseas to gain more experience and work in wineries in California and Australia adding to the experience he gained working and studying in South Africa. After 2 years of following harvest and working between Australia and the USA, Louis got a lucky break and was able to stay in Australia through a sponsorship program and managed to gain citizenship. Over the next 6 years Louis worked in Orange, NSW and Margaret River Region, Western Australia where he was able to work with some of the Australian wine industries brightest wine-making minds. With 17 harvests over the last 12 years between South Africa, Australia, California and Canada, in many different wine regions, Louis has managed to work in a wide number of wineries across the globe with a diverse group of individuals. He finds himself at he Fermentation Science department in the winemaking and viticulture program where he will be working closely with the students to build an appreciation for wine and the winemaking process.

 

Dr. Brett Taubman, Director

BrettTaubman

  • B.S. Finance, Penn State
  • B.S. Chemistry, Montana State
  • Ph.D. Chemistry, U. Maryland
  • Post-doctoral, Penn State

Dr. Taubman teaches analytical and brewing chemistry as well as introductory chemistry courses. He has earned BS degrees in both Finance and Chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University and Montana State University, respectively, and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Maryland in 2004. Following his graduate studies, he worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the Pennsylvania State University before joining the chemistry faculty at Appalachian in 2007. Dr. Taubman's current research interests include investigating terpene profiles of hop varietals as well as terpenes and cannabinoids in hemp varietals. He has successfully developed a pilot instructional brewing facility on the ASU campus and currently serves as President of Ivory Tower, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with the mission of supporting research and education within fermentation sciences. Dr. Taubman helped to develop the four-year degree program in Fermentation Sciences, for which he is currently the Director, and shares time between that program and the Chemistry Department. 

• Analytical Chemistry
• Fermentation/Beer Chemistry
• Hop Aroma Chemistry
• Cannabinoid and Terpene Analysis
• Gluten Free Brewing
• Koji Fermentations

Dr. Duygu Ercan-Oruc, Assistant Professor

Duygu

  • B.S., Food Engineering, Ege University, Turkey
  • M.S., Food Engineering, Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey
  • Ph.D., Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Penn State University, University Park
  • Post-Doctoral, Food Science and Technology, University of California, Davis
  • Post-Doctoral, Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Post-Doctoral, Food Science, Penn State University, University Park

Prior to joining the Fermentation Sciences at Appalachian State University as a faculty, Dr. Ercan-Oruc has worked in several multidisciplinary research projects during her appointments at Penn State University, UC Davis and University of Maryland. She also worked as a research consultant for a start-up company where she filed a patent application. Her research interests include applications of novel bioreactor designs for the production of value-added products, optimization of fermentation and downstream processes, and applications of immobilization techniques for the fields of food, pharmaceutical, and agriculture. She also focuses on non-thermal sterilization techniques including pulsed-UV and novel photodynamic processes for the enhancement of the safety of fermented foods. 

During her academic career, she has taught several courses related to Bioprocess Engineering, Food Biotechnology, and Food Biochemistry. Moreover, during her post-doctoral appointment at Penn State University, she has worked on the development of international food safety and processing training programs for Ukraine and for South and East Africa.

She is a member of Phi Tau Sigma-The Honor Society of Food Science and Technology, Gamma Sigma Delta-Honor Society for Agriculture and Agricultural Sciences, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, and Institute of Food Technologists.

Office: Edwin Duncan Hall Suite 108 108F
Email: ercanorucd@appstate.edu

Dr. Folarin Oguntoyinbo, Assistant Professor

  • BS Microbiology, Ondo State University, Nigeria Dr.Oguntoyinbo
  • MS Microbiology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  • PhD Microbiology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  • Post-Doctoral, Institute of Food Research, Norwich, United Kingdom

Dr. Folarin Oguntoyinbo joined the A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences, Appalachian State University from the University of Lagos, Nigeria where he worked as Professor of Food Microbiology. He attended the 2005 microbial diversity course of the Marine Biological laboratory, Woods Hole, MA. He was a Georg Forster Experienced Researcher of the Alexander von Humboldt at the Max Rubner-Institut, Institut für Microbiologie und Biotechnologie, Kiel, Germany as well as Newton International Fellow of the Royal Society, UK at the Institute of Food Research, Norwich, UK, now Quadram Institute Bioscience. Also, he is a previous visiting guest researcher at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA, Maryland, USA. He is the recipient of 2016 Food Safety Award for a Professional in a Country with Developing Economy of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), St. Louis, Missouri. He is an active member of Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) United Kingdom and American Society for Microbiology (ASM).

His research focuses on the molecular microbial ecology of fermented foods and beverages, the biochemical changes, sensory attributes and process optimization. This is aimed at provision of safe foods, improved quality and organoleptic properties through linkage of the microbiome in fermented foods with their metabolic signatures. In addition, he is testing hypotheses that can support industrial fermentation systems by maximizing microbial in situ growth dynamics, kinetics and functional properties. His research frontiers will continue to address unanswered questions on development of multifunctional starter cultures for North Carolina industrial fermented foods and beverages processing, agricultural postharvest value addition, reduction of food waste, improvement of nutritional intake and gastrointestinal health.

Dr. Oguntoyinbo’s teachings include Traditional Fermented Foods and Beverages, Reading and Writing in Fermentation Sciences, Social Implications of Fermented Beverages and Fermentation Microbiology.

Office: Edwin Duncan Hall Suite 108 108E
Email: oguntoyinbofa@appstate.edu

Daniel Parker, Lab Manager

  • B.S. Ecology and Environmental Biology, Appalachian State University
  • M.S. Molecular Biology, Appalachian State University

Mr. Parker is the Operations Manager for the brewing facility at Appalachian State. He earned a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Ecology and Environmental Biology with a minor in Chemistry and a Master's of Science in Molecular Biology for his study of Mycology. Before moving to Fermentation Sciences Mr. Parker had enjoyed teaching labs in both Biology and Chemistry at Appalachian State as well as managing the Chemistry department stockroom. He is now excited to be a part of the Fermentation Sciences where he manages student and faculty brewing both in the ASU facility and in collaborative sessions with commercial breweries. Mr. Parker also coordinates the Enology / Craft Beverage laboratory for the Fermentation Sciences program, a professional lab that provides chemical, microbiological, and sensory analysis for commercial producers including wineries, vineyards, breweries, distilleries, kombucharies, cideries, hopyards, and barley growers in the region.  

Christy M., Administrative Assistant

Ms. Christy McAlister

  • B.A. Global Studies,  Appalachian State University

Christy is the Administrative Support Assistant for the Fermentation Sciences. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Global Studies with a concentration in German Studies at Appalachian State University. Christy manages program and program-related budgets, student files and requests, grants and funds, departmental main office communications/functions/documentation, and the Fermentation Sciences website and social media.