Brendon was brought up in Nelson on a mixed enterprise farm consisting of dairy cows, a stone fruit and pip fruit orchard, and boysenberries. From a young lad he had a strong interest in farming and was putting cups on cows when physically able.
Brendon went to Lincoln University in 2004 and studied a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours. His initial intention was to become a dairy consultant and eventually go farming, but a taste for research during his final honours year, looking at the effect of DCD (‘Eco-N’) on pasture nitrate concentrations, saw him continue on in research and gain a PhD under the supervision of Professor Keith Cameron looking at the effects of pasture species composition on nitrate leaching losses. This led to a postdoctoral position at Lincoln University where he joined the Pastoral 21 research team, with a focus on dairy systems research for high productivity and reduced environmental impact.
In 2014 Brendon began a permanent scientist position at Plant & Food Research in Lincoln, which is where he currently resides. His area of research is nitrate leaching losses from forage crop systems, which largely involves quantifying nitrate leaching losses from grazed winter forage crops and identifying mitigation technologies (e.g. catch crops, soil amendments) that immobilise N and improve environmental outcomes.
Outside of work, Brendon has a love for the outdoors and sport in general; in particular, a keen hunter-gatherer both on the land and in the sea.
Brendon considers it a privilege to be on the NZSSS council and hopes that he can promote the importance of soils to a wide range of people.