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JHI breeder named first female chair of soft fruit group


James Hutton soft fruit breeder Dr Dorota Jarret has been appointed chair of the International Society for Horticultural Science’s (ISHS) Rubus and Ribes Species and Management working group – the first female scientist, and the youngest, to ever take up the position.

The Rubus and Ribes Species and Management working group is part of the ISHS division of Vine and Berry Fruits which has over 2000 members spanning the globe.  As chair of the group, Dr Jarret will head up an 18-strong committee and will be responsible for guiding scientific activities and interests of the group for a minimum term of 4 years.

Dr Jarret was elected to take up the position of working group chair following her appearance as keynote speaker at this summer’s XII Rubus & Ribes Symposium in Switzerland, where she shared details of the development and use of genetic tools in Rubus and Ribes breeding at the James Hutton Group in Dundee.

Speaking about her appointment, Dr Jarret, who completed her PhD in January 2016, said, “I feel truly privileged and honoured to be elected to represent and promote activities of this working group, a fantastic community of over 400 outstanding researchers and members of society, a truly dedicated group with top knowledge and skills within Rubus and Ribes disciplines.”

Dr Jarret has been a part of the soft fruit breeding team at James Hutton Limited, the commercial subsidiary of the James Hutton Institute since 2009, whereas Ribes geneticist and breeder she now oversees the contract to breed new varieties of blackcurrant for popular soft drink Ribena, and also plays a key role in blueberry breeding and researching the lesser-known honeyberry, which is tipped to be the next soft fruit sensation.

Photo caption: Dr Dorota Jarret

Photo source: James Hutton Institute