T&G Global has announced the recipient of the 2023 Edward Turner Horticulture Futures Grant is Reuben Panting, a Masters student at Auckland University.
The postgraduate tertiary student grant valued at $10,000, was established to celebrate T&G’s 125th anniversary, and is named in honor of company founder Edward Turner.
T&G Global’s Chief Executive, Gareth Edgecombe, says the company is delighted to appoint Reuben as the inaugural recipient of the Edward Turner Horticulture Futures Grant.
“Reuben greatly impressed us with his passion for the horticulture industry, and his interest in addressing key issues that are a threat to the sustainability of fruit varieties. Reuben’s commitment to innovation, development and commercialization in the field of biology fits the intent of the Grant perfectly, and we’re looking forward to seeing him successfully complete his studies and bring his ideas and discoveries into the industry in the future,” says Gareth .
Reuben Panting, 21, originally from Nelson is currently undertaking a Masters of Science at the University of Auckland, with a particular focus on plant and microbial biotechnology. He completed a Bachelor of Science, Majoring in Biological Sciences – Biotechnology pathway in 2022. These academic studies have led Reuben to develop a strong interest for plant biotechnology, microbiology and how the intersection of these fields can lead to innovation for practical gains.
As part of his two-year Masters programme, Reuben will be conducting the research component at the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research, in conjunction with the University of Auckland. The research involves studying the genetic basis of the pathogenicity of Venturia Inaequalis, the causal agent of apple scab and the single most economically important pathogen of apples in the world.
Reuben hopes the discoveries made through his research will go on to directly inform apple breeders and aid in the development of more resistant apple cultivars to this disease.
“I am honored to be chosen as the recipient of T&G’s grant, which will help support me as I continue my studies and research to complete my Masters of Science. I believe that the horticultural industry has a responsibility to invest in the future, with research playing an important part in developing practical innovations in deep-science fields.
“I am truly excited to be a part of the innovation the industry makes to combat factors such as extreme weather, which can make common horticultural diseases worse or more difficult to manage,” says Reuben.
For more information about the Edward Turner Horticulture Futures Grant visit https://tandg.global/horticulture-futures-grant
*T&G is also widely known as Turners and Growers, distributors of New Zealand fruit and vegetables.