Ground-breaking researcher praised for contribution to blueberry sector

The International Blueberry Organisation (IBO) has paid tribute to Bernadine Strik, who passed away recently.

Bernadine Strik visiting one of Costa Group’s berry farms in 2019

Image: Costa Group

Through her ground-breaking research and trials over more than 30 years, Strik helped transform the way in which blueberries are grown. This included improving yield through closer plantings, along with the use of trellises and mulch to improve nutrient management. 

“One of Bernadine’s greatest strengths was her ability to work with and understand the needs of blueberry growers,” according to a release from IBO. “This included extensive work in the field across many different regions and countries to better understand different climates, planting practices, growing conditions, including nutrient management, and harvesting processes.”

Strik was a member of the executive board of the International Society of Horticultural Sciences. She also received the prestigious Duke Galletta Award for Excellence in Horticultural Research. 

IBO president Peter McPherson praised Strik’s contribution to the blueberry industry.

“Having personally worked with Bernadine on many occasions over the past three decades, one can only outline Bernadine’s foresight, vision and R&D programmes that brought about positive change to berry production outcomes across the globe – she was truly a dynamic leader in her field,” McPherson explained. 

“On behalf of berry growers globally we send our deepest condolences to her husband Neil and her two daughters and families.”