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East Malling Research in Kent, England, has appointed physiologist Dr. Julien Lecourt to lead research into optimizing efficiency, yields, and postharvest quality in temperate tree fruit production.

Lecourt was previously at INRA (the National Institute for Agricultural Research) in Bordeaux, France, where he worked on a range of perennial crops.

Lecourt holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in molecular biology and biotechnology from the University of Normandy, France. He earned his doctorate in plant biology from the University of Bordeaux Segalen, France.

Dr. Mark Else, program leader at East Malling, said this is an important position for the U.K. fruit industry as scientists work to improve yields and consistency of fruit production. Lecourt’s expertise will help steer East Malling’s work on traditional and novel fruit crops.