The Inventor of Botryzen's products, Dr Philip Elmer

Kudos Lifetime Achievement award winner, Dr Phil Elmer is a highly respected and passionate Waikato-based scientist who leads a plant research team with more patents and biological product success than any other in NZ.

Dr Elmer began his science career in the 1980s wanting to make a difference and find solutions to problems. While most were focused on finding new pesticides, Phil saw the tide was starting to flow toward organics and consumer demand for food without pesticide residue. He honed his skills and in 1997 they were put to the test dealing with a crisis in our wine industry. Fungicides used to control grape rot were failing and leaving detectable residues in wine. Phil led the development of innovative biological controls, which were later patented and have become a wildly successful global export as well as being critical to sustainable practice in our own wine industry.

Dr Elmer’s team achieved similar success delivering integrated pest management practices and tools to the NZ Summerfruit industry. Since 2010, Phil’s experience has been critical in our response to the devastating vine-killing, bacterial disease Psa, helping to fast-track the planting of new kiwifruit lines and restore an industry facing decimation. His team received the Prime Minister’s Science Prize for this work in 2017.

A great communicator, Dr Elmer is equally at home writing a patent or a peer-reviewed article. Wine industry leader Dr John Forrest, says “Phil has that rare gift of being an academic scientist who is able to communicate with everyone, plus he’s a great team leader.”

His pioneering work has put New Zealand at the forefront of sustainable fruit and vegetable production.

Taken from The Kudos Science Trust

Merlissa Leslie