Professor Paul Andrew Kilmartin

BA/BSc(Hons) (Well), STB (Rome), GradDipTh, MTh (Syd), PhD (Auck), LTCL, FNZIC, FNZIFST

Research | Current

My main areas of research are fairly evenly divided between wine chemistry and applications of conducting polymers with the Biocide Toolbox programme and the Polymer Electronics Research Centre, currently involving 7 PhD and 2 MSc/BSc(hons) projects and several international visitors. My main scientific training is in the area of Electrochemistry, coupled with the use of a range of Chromatographic, Spectroscopic and Surface Analysis techniques.  See:



  • (A) Conducting polymers as chemical sensing elements.  PEDOT and polyanilines are used as redox mediators for the determination of antioxidants in beverages, including polyphenols, ascorbic acid and SO2 in wines, grape juices, teas and milk. This work includes including collaborations with Dr Alexander Turke and Prof Wolf-Joachim Fischer of the Technical University of Dresden, a PhD project on the MBIE High Performance Sensors programme, and applications of voltammetric methods to monitoring patient disease status (with Dr Anthony Phillips of SBS).
  • (B) Conducting polymers as antioxidants. The antioxidant properties of conducting polymers has been investigated for several years after the discovery of this property at Auckland. This work provided a research theme within the ‘Hybrid Polymers’ MBIE programme, with a strong commercialisation focus, and has included the successful development of antioxidant and antimicrobial polyaniline/polyethylene blends. Further projects involve antifouling coatings for the marine industry.
  • (C) Grape tannins for biocidal applications including smart packaging. The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of grape tannins extracted from winery waste are being investigated within the current 'Biocide Toolbox’ MBIE programme. Tannin structures are also being investigated using solid state NMR, FTIR and various chromatographic methods, and involves a collaboration with the team of Dr Andrea Versari at the University of Bologna, Italy.
  • (D) Sauvignon blanc harvesting methods. This research centres around an Auckland discovery that more intense varietal aromas are produced with machine harvesting versus hand-picking of grapes, coupled with effects of juice oxidation that can be regulated with sulfite additions at harvest. The timing of antioxidant additions are being investigated, along with novel grape maceration and pressing procedures (with Villa Maria, Constellation, and Delegats wineries). The research involves a collaboration with Assoc Prof Wessel Du Toit of the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
  • (E) Sauvignon blanc and Pinot Gris aroma profiles.  The chemical aroma composition of both Sauvignon blanc and more recently Pinot Gris are being surveyed, to identify distinctive aroma compound profiles for New Zealand wines. Aroma modelling involving sensory panel outputs is being developed.  Aroma stability is also being examined in relation to polyphenol oxidation, including novel electrochemical approaches, while storage temperature has been identified as being of overriding importance for Marlborough Sauvignon blanc.

Postgraduate supervision

Research projects are offered in all research projects mentioned above.

Research group

PhD students 2015/18

  • Tanya Rutan - Aromas in Pinot noir from NZ regions
  • Winai Suthanthangjai - Phytochemicals in gut metabolism
  • Ken Olejar - Sauvignon blanc maceration techniques
  • Leandro Dias Araujo - Sauvignon blanc harvesting trials
  • Yu Li – Grape juice oxidation enzymes
  • Charlotte Vandermeer - Active plastic materials based upon grape tannins
  • Mahsa Motshakeri - Electrochemical sensors for antioxidants in milk
  • Xiaotong Lyu - Harvesting effects on Pinot gris aroma

MSc students

  • Annie He – Antioxidant additions to Pinot gris at harvest
  • Victoria Knotts - Sauvignon blanc sensory profiles
  • Jose Munoz Perez - Measurment of sulfur in grape juices
  • Danielle Carter - Pinot noir maceration (with Pernod Ricard)

International Visitors 2014/18

  • Dr Yunbin Zhang (Shanghai Institute of Technology, CHINA) - Cyclic voltammetry of essential oils
  • Dr Guangcai Niu (Heilongjiang Agricultural Univ., CHINA) - Grape fermentation trials
  • Assoc Prof Elise Champeil (John Jay College, City University of New York, USA) - NMR of wines for forensic applications
  • Dr Matteo Gatti (University Cattolica, Piacenza, ITALY) - Pinot noir vineyard manipulations
  • Jose Luis Marcon Filho (PhD student at Univ. Santa Catarina State, BRAZIL) - Sauvignon blanc from high altitudes
  • Prof Andrea Versari (University of Bologna, ITALY) - Method development for polyphenols
  • Dr Giuseppina Parpinello (University of Bologna, ITALY) - Method development for wine aroma compounds
  • Dr Ran Suo (Agricultural University of Hebei, CHINA) - Aromas in Jujube wine
  • Arianna Ricci (PhD student at the University of Bologna, ITALY) - Electroanalytical method development
  • Florian Castelot (Intern student, Escom, FRANCE) – Cyclic voltammetry of grape juices
  • Francois Madec (Intern student, Rennes, FRANCE) – Chardonnay maceration trials
  • Julia Betzin (Intern student, GERMANY) – Sauvignon blanc sensory panel
  • Pauline Daniel (Intern student, FRANCE) – PEDOT microelectrodes
  • Suzanne Callerot (Intern student, FRANCE) - Sauvignon blanc harvesting trials
  • Annabel Bozon (Intern student, GERMANY) - Electrochemistry of Sauvignon blanc juices
  • Anna-Theresa Hienl (Intern student, GERMANY) - Electrochemistry of Sauvignon blanc juices
  • Veronika Barbulescu (Intern student, GERMANY) - Tannin/plastic composites
  • Philippine Armand (Intern student, FRANCE) - Sauvignon blanc harvesting trials
  • Ute Herold (MSc student, University of Bonn, GERMANY) - Sauvignon blanc wine trials
  • Tania Garrido (PhD student, BIOMAT research group, SPAIN) - Biodegradable active packaging

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Jiao, Y., Kilmartin, P. A., Fan, M., & Quek, S. Y. (2018). Assessment of phenolic contributors to antioxidant activity of new kiwifruit cultivars using cyclic voltammetry combined with HPLC. Food Chemistry, 268, 77-85. 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.06.046
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Siew-Young Quek
  • Granato, D., Shahidi, F., Wrolstad, R., Kilmartin, P., Melton, L. D., Hidalgo, F. J., ... Ismail, A. B. (2018). Antioxidant activity, total phenolics and flavonoids contents: Should we ban in vitro screening methods?. FOOD CHEMISTRY, 264, 471-475. 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.04.012
  • Newair, E. F., Kilmartin, P. A., & Garcia, F. (2018). Square wave voltammetric analysis of polyphenol content and antioxidant capacity of red wines using glassy carbon and disposable carbon nanotubes modified screen-printed electrodes. European Food Research and Technology, 244 (7), 1225-1237. 10.1007/s00217-018-3038-z
  • Xu, G., Jarjes, Z. A., Desprez, V., Kilmartin, P. A., & Travas-Sejdic, J. (2018). Sensitive, selective, disposable electrochemical dopamine sensor based on PEDOT-modified laser scribed graphene. Biosensors & bioelectronics, 107, 184-191. 10.1016/j.bios.2018.02.031
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jadranka Travas-Sejdic
  • Motshakeri, M., Travas-Sejdic, J., Phillips, A. R. J., & Kilmartin, P. A. (2018). Rapid electroanalysis of uric acid and ascorbic acid using a poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-modified sensor with application to milk. ELECTROCHIMICA ACTA, 265, 184-193. 10.1016/j.electacta.2018.01.147
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jadranka Travas-Sejdic, Anthony Phillips
  • Zujovic, Z., Wheelwright, W. V. K., Kilmartin, P. A., Hanna, J. V., & Cooney, R. P. (2018). Structural investigations of perlite and expanded perlite using ¹H, ²⁷AI and ²⁹Si solid-state NMR. Ceramics International, 44 (3), 2952-2958. 10.1016/j.ceramint.2017.11.047
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ralph Cooney, Zoran Zujovic
  • Dahaghin, Z., Kilmartin, P. A., & Mousavi, H. Z. (2018). Determination of cadmium(II) using a glassy carbon electrode modified with a Cd-ion imprinted polymer. JOURNAL OF ELECTROANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 810, 185-190. 10.1016/j.jelechem.2018.01.014
  • Dahaghin, Z., Kilmartin, P. A., & Mousavi, H. Z. (2018). Simultaneous determination of lead(II) and cadmium(II) at a glassy carbon electrode modified with GO@Fe3O4@benzothiazole-2-carboxaldehyde using square wave anodic stripping voltammetry. JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR LIQUIDS, 249, 1125-1132. 10.1016/j.molliq.2017.11.114


Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 9, Room 937
New Zealand

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