New Zealand scientist recognised for contribution to international horticulture

Auckland 10 August 2009

Dr Sue Gardiner, a molecular biologist at Plant & Food Research, has been awarded the 2009 Outstanding International Horticulturist Award for her contribution to apple research.

The award, made by the American Society for Horticultural Science, honours scientists for an outstanding and valuable contribution to international horticultural science, education and / or research for a period of 10 or more years. Dr Gardiner was recognised for the scientific excellence of her research in apple genetics and her contribution to the creation of links among international researchers in genomics, genetics, physiology and breeding of apple. Her work is enabling the development of new technologies across fruit breeding programmes internationally.

Dr Gardiner's work in developing an understanding of apple genetics at the molecular level, and by extension related crops in the Rosaceae family, contributes to the development of new varieties. Rosaceae crops, including apple, pear, peach, apricot and some berries, generate over NZ$400 million in export income for New Zealand1. Dr Gardiner's research assists Plant & Food Research breeding teams in developing new varieties of fruits with specific characters, such as pest and disease resistance, novel flesh colour and flavour.

Sue is an energetic scientist who uses her knowledge and people skills to create new advances in research that have a practical application, both at home and abroad," says Dr Bruce Campbell, Chief Operating Officer of Plant & Food Research. "Her research has contributed greatly to our understanding of the genetics of fruit crops, a major focus for both the Institute and industry. We congratulate her on this well deserved recognition."

Dr Gardiner was formally presented with her award at the Society's Annual Conference in St Louis, Missouri.

1Fresh Facts 2008, published by Plant & Food Research

Emma Timewell
Communications Manager, Corporate Communications,
Plant & Food Research Mt Albert,
120 Mt Albert Road, Sandringham
Auckland, 1025, New Zealand
Telephone: +64-9-925 8692
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