For the past 25 years Sonia Whiteman has worked in the primary sector, mainly horticulture, in roles including researcher, research manager, extension specialist and General Manager of a Kiwifruit Orchard Management company. Sonia is currently employed by Zespri as the Innovation Team Leader for Protect Supply – a Zespri Innovation platform that has a vision to deliver sustainable pest & disease control and fruit safe to eat. This role involves assisting in the development, management and delivery of research projects for that platform with a specific focus on diseases of kiwifruit and food safety. Sonia is extremely passionate about the value that well executed and implemented science can add to our primary industries, kiwifruit being no exception. Sonia has a Bachelor of Horticultural Science with honours and a PhD in plant pathology.