Dr Burdon is a leading postharvest scientist well respected by industry and academic peers. Over a career spanning 30 years, he has consistently demonstrated outstanding skills in innovative thinking and scientific excellence in partnering science with business. He is especially noted for the science underpinning the successful commercialisation of new kiwifruit cultivars and his practical advice to packhouse and coolstore operators.
Dr Burdon began his career in the UK and has worked at the Natural Resources Institute in the UK and the Agricultural Research Organisation’s Volcani Centre in Israel before joining the Postharvest Group of HortResearch, the predecessor of Plant & Food Research, in 1995.
His major achievements include being involved in the development of the KiwiStart early season programme for the ‘Hayward’ kiwifruit variety and the commercialisation of ‘Hort16A’, marketed as Zespri® Gold Kiwifruit. More recently, he has facilitated the commercialisation of ‘Zesy002’, commonly known as Gold3 and marketed as Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit, following the demise of ‘Hort16A’ because of the bacterial disease Psa. Dr Burdon has also provided essential support to the avocado industry by applying expertise which started with his avocado research in Israel.