A soft fruit scientist who made a global contribution to the development of blackcurrants has been presented with a major award.
Dr Rex Brennan is well known in Scotland’s soft fruit industry after a career spent at the James Hutton Institute (JHI) and its predecessor, the Scottish Crop Research Institute, where he specialised in berry fruit genetics.
The Worshipful Company of Fruiters (WCF) presented Dr Brennan with the Matthew Mack award, a triennial honour which recognises distinguished achievements in education, training and innovation in the fruit industry.
WCF awards council chair, Chris Newenham told a virtual banquet honouring Dr Brennan that the scientist had devoted a lifetime’s work to enhancing and advancing the genetics of berry fruits throughout the country.
Dr Brennan said he had worked at the institutes at Invergowrie for more than 30 years.
“I was fortunate during that time to work with many talented colleagues at the institute and elsewhere, and I must acknowledge their considerable contributions to the work,” he said.
“In addition, the support of a wide range of commercial partners was crucial in getting the results of our work, including new varieties, out to the fruit industry.”
JHI chief executive Professor Colin Campbell said: “We are very pleased to hear Rex has received this richly-deserved honour. His work is outstanding and underpins our reputation for soft fruit breeding. Rex has also made enormous contributions to mentoring the next generation of Hutton soft fruit breeders and plant scientists.”