Professor Ian Puddephat

Ian Puddephat is a crop physiologist with a diverse interest in plant biology, crop breeding and agronomy. He is experienced in leading complex programmes, from discovery to commercial application, and has worked in both academia and industry. He built PepsiCo’s crop science R&D capability in support of the company’s portfolio transformation in their nutrition, beverage and snack foods businesses.

Prior to joining PepsiCo Ian led Syngenta’s global vegetable R&D organisation and was responsible for the delivery of new varieties in a range of fruit and vegetable crops. He has led several multi-disciplinary projects aimed at delivering enhanced consumer benefit from unprocessed agricultural products. Ian has built collaborative R&D programmes with a range of technology and academic partners over his career to support delivery and foster innovation, including the establishment of a crop improvement centre for PepsiCo in the University of Minnesota.

Ian’s current interests are in the application of genomic breeding to orphan crops for the elevation of nutritional quality in grains and adaptation of new cultivars of grains and potato to high temperature environments. He is an honorary professor of life science at the University of Warwick and a visiting professor at Cranfield University. Ian holds a PhD in horticulture from the University of Nottingham and is an Applied Biology graduate of Coventry Polytechnic.