John Redman Bovell (1855-1928) was a scientist and agronomist and is credited with saving the sugar industry in Barbados.
In the 1880s the industry was being threatened by competition from European countries (sugar beet) as well as by drought conditions and disease that were affecting the sugar cane crop in the West Indies. In response to the threat, Bovell conducted experiments at his own expense on different varieties of cane, abandoning the Bourbon variety, which was the most commonly used at the time, and working with the White Transparent variety.
His genetic experiments established Barbados as perhaps the leading cane breeding station in the Caribbean. In addition to his work with sugar cane, Bovell developed several strains of Sea Island cotton.
In 1908, John Redman Bovell was awarded the Imperial Service Star for his contribution to tropical agriculture.