Paul Petersik is one of the founders of VineForecast. He is responsible for backend and AI development, research topics and forecasting. As a studied meteorologist, this is exactly his field of expertise.
Paul about himself
Despite the distance to wine-growing areas, wine and viticulture have been a constant companion for me for years. As early as the 9th grade, for example, I completed an internship at Schloss Wackerbarth in in Saxony. There I was mainly involved in foliage work on steep slopes.
After graduating from high school, I cycled more than 10,000km through Europe. During this trip I worked at the Hannes Steurer winery and the Karl Sattler winery harvesting. The following spring I also helped tie vines at Mathern winery.
The weather is my great passion
Besides viticulture and cycling, I was interested in one thing above all - the weather. I was impressed by all the spectacular phenomena our atmosphere has to offer. That's how I ended up starting my studies in meteorology at the University of Leipzig in 2013.
This was followed by a year abroad at the world's northernmost university on Spitsbergen and internships at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva and at wetter.com. I completed my master's degree in climate physics at the University of Utrecht in Holland. Here I specialized in machine learning methods, which are now used for VineForecast and forecasting fungal diseases, such as Downy mildew and Powdery mildew.
Viticulture or meteorology? - Both!
With VineForecast, I am now pursuing the goal of combining my passions for viticulture and meteorology. In addition, I am working on my own project that supports a target group that is close to my heart - the winemakers.
The initial spark for VineForecast was the application for the Harry Otten Prize Harry Otten Prize for Innovation in Meteorology. After several rounds of selection, the idea of a precise forecast of fungal diseases in viticulture made it to the finale. In this blog article you will learn more about the new methodology of forecasting Downy mildew and Powdery mildew.