“I am grateful, honoured and humbled to accept this award. However, this is not an accolade one achieves without the input of others,” said Theron.
According to Hugh Campbell, general manager of Hortgro Science, the deciduous fruit industry research body, Theron provides the critical link between what is happening in industry and the university and vice versa.
“This link extends beyond the South African industry into the international arena where she plays a dual role of acting as an ambassador for the SU Department of Horticultural Science and the SA fruit industry,” said Campbell.
Theron joined Stellenbosch University’s Department of Horticultural Science as lecturer in 1985 after spending four years at the Agriculture Research Council’s Fruit and Fruit Technology Research Institute in Stellenbosch.
Theron also became the first incumbent of the Chair in Applied Pre-harvest Deciduous Fruit Research at SU in 2014. The chair is funded by Hortgro and the university.
Currently, Theron is not only the most senior horticulturist at the university, but also in South Africa.