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2015 Speakers
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Read below about all the exciting speakers at the 2015 Algae Biomass Summit!


Be sure to review the Summit agenda to see which session you can see presentations by these algae industry leaders. 


 Toby Ahrens Toby serves as BioProcess Algae’s Chief Technology Officer, where he directs product development, process development, and R&D activities. Toby oversees BPA’s patent portfolio development and is the Principal Investigator for BPA’s Integrated Biorefinery award from the Department of Energy. Prior to his appointment as CTO, he served as a Senior Scientist for BPA for four years after joining BPA in 2010. He has held various scientific advisory and consulting roles for a number of biotechnology companies and worked as a scientist for GreenFuel Technologies. Toby holds a Ph.D. in Biogeochemistry and a Master’s degree in Engineering from Stanford University.


Mark Allen

Mark P. Allen, P.E. is the Vice President of Integrated Carbon Solutions for Accelergy Corporation, a global leader in clean alternative and renewable fuels and chemicals. He is a licensed professional engineer with more than 30 years experience in the design, construction, and operation of large-scale engineering, infrastructure, and environmental projects. In the algal biomass industry he focuses on process engineering, systems integration, and systems architecture for scalable algal biomass production and deployment. He is a thought leader in carbon capture and reuse employing algal TerraSyncTM biofertilizer for terrestrial carbon sequestration integrated with large scale industrial processes. He holds a Civil Engineering degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology and is a founding Board member of the Algal Biomass Organization and past Chairman and President of ABO. He is also a former Adjacent Professor of Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology and has extensive project development experience in China.
 Roberto Armenta Dr. Armenta leads the most advanced R&D program of algae fermentation to produce renewable oils in Canada. He focuses on critical issues, including yield coefficients, strain development, oil extraction and process scale-up. Roberto has extensive experience in bioprocesses to produce both high-value products and commodities. He also directed the R&D at Ocean Nutrition Canada to produce nutritional lipids from microalgae. Roberto is also an Adjunct Professor at Dalhousie University’s Department of Processing Engineering and Applied Sciences in Halifax, Canada.


Mohamed Ashour

Ph.D. Researcher, Invertebrates Aquaculture Laboratory, Aquaculture Division, National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Egypt. Born in 2nd November 1980, Alexandria, Egypt.

Interested in microalgae isolation, optimum growth conditions, nutrient limitation, biochemical composition, mass production, production cost, biodiesel production, and marine larval feeding. Also, interested in microalgae and seaweeds culture, uses and biotechnology. I believe that the algae language, concept and fact enable us to have a healthier, cleaner and a better world.  

B.Sc. (2000-2004) in Science of Agriculture

M.Sc. (2007-2011) and Ph.D. (2011-2015) in microalgae research field.


Maria Barbosa

Dr Maria Barbosa is Director of AlgaePARC ( at Wageningen University and Research Centre, the Netherlands. She  holds  a Ph.D in Bioprocess Engineering obtained at Wageningen University. She has worked at ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Switzerland and at EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation), Germany. She presently coordinates several large research programs with more than 50 industrial partners and 20 academic partners, covering the entire microalgae production chain. Her scientific interests are on microalgae cultivation, scale up and biorefinery. 


Amha Belay

Dr. Amha Belay is senior Vice President and CTO of Earthrise Nutritionals, a company that has been producing Spirulina for over 30 years. He has extensive academic and industrial experience in microalgae biomass production in natural lakes and in mass culture outdoors. In his current position, he is in charge of all scientific, technical and regulatory activities and collaborative research with other institutions. He is a member of the Board of Technical Advisors of many organizations and has acted as expert reviewer for important projects. Dr. Belay has recently received the Distinguished Applied Phycologist Award from the International Society for Applied Phycology for his contribution to the science and commercialization of algae, and for his continued contribution to furthering the society's goals. Prior to Earthrise, he was Associate Professor at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, a Senior Fulbright Fellow at UC Santa Barbara and a visiting scientist in other institutions overseas.


Alexander Beliaev

Dr. Alexander Beliaev is a Senior Staff Scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Over the last decade, his research has been focused on understanding natural design principles that function across different biological scales for effective and predictable engineering of living systems. Dr. Beliaev currently leads genomics-enabled research on microbial phototrophic systems emphasizing the development of quantitative, predictive knowledge of energy homeostasis and carbon partitioning processes. From a practical standpoint, he uses the obtained systems-level information to expand the range of engineering platforms for next-generation biomanufacturing technologies and to improve effectiveness of the “design-construct-test” cycle through application of predictive simulation. Outcomes of his research have been published in top-tier journals, including Nature Reviews Microbiology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, and Public Library of Science. Dr. Beliaev received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


 Tisza Bell

Tisza Bell is a Ph.D candidate and NSF IGERT fellow at Montana State University, continuing the university's lineage of algal research focused on lipid accumulation for biodiesel. Tisza's research, funded by both the NSF and DOE, employs progressive microbial techniques and classic ecologic principles to the production of algal biodiesel with publications in "BioScience", and "Applied Microbiology & Technology". Recently, her work investigated the lipid potential of algae cultivated in an open mixed community in conjugation with wastewater treatment. Due to her training in several analytical techniques including sequencing, microscopy, GC-MS, and the downstream processing/analysis of sequence data she carries projects from field collection to the final statistical analysis. Upon graduation (2016), Tisza aspires to apply her skill set to a scientific career in the biotechnology industry. She received her M.S. from the University of Colorado, Boulder and her B.A. from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. 


John Benemann

B.S. Chemistry and Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of California Berkeley; postdoctoral fellow, Chemistry Department, U.C. San Diego; Associate Researcher and Principal Investigator, Department of Civil Engineering, U.C. Berkeley. In 1980, with Dr. Joseph Weissman, founded EnBio, Inc., a microalgae technology venture, and later SeaAg, Inc., a Florida aquaculture company. Associate Professor, Dept. Applied Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology. After 1990 independent consultant, Associate Researcher, U.C. Berkeley; Adjunct Professor, University Hawaii. With Mr. Don Augenstein, founded the not-for-profit Institute for Environmental Management, Inc., developing the Controlled Landfill Bioreactor. Since 2007, CEO of MicroBio Engineering, Inc., San Luis Obispo, California, a consulting engineering and R&D company in microalgae technologies and wastewater treatment, founded with Prof. Tryg Lundquist, Cal Poly. Founding director, Algae Biomass Organization (ABO). Consultant and advisor to U.S. and international agencies and companies. Author of many publications. 


Doruk Beyter 

Doruk Beyter is a Ph.D student in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He received his M.S. degree in Computer Science from UCSD and his B.S. degree in Computer Engineering from Bilkent University, in Turkey. His research interests include metagenomic, metaproteomic and marker genome sequencing data analysis pipelines of varying degrees of complexity, and exploring phenotype-genotype associations in ecological data via modeling and learning.
 Brenna Black Brenna Black currently is a postdoctoral researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Alberta in Canada specializing in food microbiology and lipid analysis. Through her graduate work, Brenna was able to collaborate with various nutritional, biological and lipid bioprocessing groups to further facilitate the development of her analytical skills and ultimately lead her to algal compositional analysis at NREL. Her main research interests lay within the capabilities and developments of mass spectrometry for characterization of lipid components within complicated mixtures. Brenna’s ongoing work at NREL primarily involves developing and optimizing spectrometric methods for rapid and direct characterization of algal lipids.


Pieter Boelens

Pieter is a consultant in the Bio-based industry. Pieter studied Econometrics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. After graduation he joined Accenture Accenture, the leading global IT and management consulting company. At Accenture he made a 20-year career up to executive partner. He has significant project and leadership experience across multiple industries and disciplines. In recent years, Pieter has shifted focus to sustainability, technology and innovation. For 3.5 years, Pieter worked at Evodos ( as COO with a primary focus on the development of the global algae market. Pieter is a strong supporter of bringing integrated solutions to the algae market. To realize this vision, Pieter helps Liqoflux ( to position their Capillary algae pre-concentration solution and Capillary water recycling solution in the global algae market. Recently, Pieter also joined NewFoss ( an innovative company developing and managing processing methods for organic (waste) materials.
Pavlo Bohutskyi   Pavlo Bohutskyi is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Biological Sciences Division. He jointed the Microbiology group at summer 2015. Pavlo’s current research focuses on understanding the principles regulating the structure and function of microbial consortia and providing the foundation for their resistance and resilience.
Pavlo holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. His dissertation was focused on increasing efficiency and sustainability of microalgal biofuels and included projects on:
- Enhancing biomass productivity by screening of microlgae for robust and fast growing species; application of mixotrophy/heterotrophy; and co-cultivation of multiple species;
- Sourcing organic carbon and non-carbon nutrents from the low cost and waste biomass such as wastewater, sewage sludge, or filamentous periphytic algae;
- Increasing energy yield and reduction of the fertilizer application by anaerobic digestion of post-extracted or whole microalgal biomass to generate methane and recycle algal nutrients
 Susan Boland Dr. Boland is an environmental engineering consultant with Life Cycle Associates, LLC, with a diverse combination of experience in the field of analytical chemistry, biochemistry and environmental sustainability. Susan has carried out research on the extraction of oil and other high value products from microalgae, since 2012, has performed fuel cycle analysis studies with Life Cycle Associates. There she developed analytical approaches that take into account the environmental constraints that apply to California. She has developed models of well-to-wheel energy impacts and emissions including criteria pollutants, air toxics, greenhouse gases, and global energy inputs. These analyses have included assessing the resource mix and transportation modes for fuel production, process modeling of fuel production plants, and vehicle drive cycle analysis. She has developed spreadsheet and database models that enable the calculation of regional specific emissions as part of a full fuel cycle analysis and can be applied to microalgae production.


Laura Carney

Laura Carney is currently the Molecular Ecology Team Lead at Heliae Development, LLC where she is developing the PhycoTerraTM line of agricultural products from algae biomass. She is a professional phycologist with 15 years of experience conducting applied algal research. Her skill set includes developing crop protection strategies for algae in mass culture, optimizing algae biomass and the production of target end-products, genetic assay development, ultra-high throughput sequencing and biochemical analysis and algae community ecology. Before Heliae, Laura received her Ph.D. from University of California, Davis and completed post-doctoral research at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and Sandia National Laboratories. 
Chris Cassidy Chris Cassidy is National Business Renewable Energy Advisor for USDA National Office in Washington D.C. He formerly served as Regional Renewable Energy Coordinator for Western & Pacific Region, Director of Business & Cooperative Programs for USDA Rural Development, and USDA Renewable Energy Coordinator for Washington State. He served on task forces that designed, implemented, & provided technical reviews for Renewable Energy Sections of 2002, 2008, & 2014 Farm Bills.

Cassidy has been engaged in business, agriculture, technology, and renewable energy development activities for three decades. He served the U. S. Government, the United Nations, the Cooperative Bank, and the World Bank in technical management capacities in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. He served the indigenous people of the Native American community in economic & agriculture development and remains active in community development activities.

Cassidy completed his studies, undergraduate, & graduate degrees in business, international development, & agriculture in Louisiana, Europe and California.


Lillie Cavonius 

Lillie Cavonius has previous experience of food industry R&D and is currently a Ph.D student of Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. Lillie is exploring microalgal lipids and proteins for food and feed applications. Her studies have so far included microscopy of lipid droplets in Phaeodactylum tricornutum under different growth conditions, comparison of methods for total fatty acid determination in microalgae, and the application of the acid/alkaline solubilization and precipitation technique (also known as the pH-shift process) on Nannochloropsis oculata. Currently, she is investigating the bioaccessibility of crude and processed Nannochloropsis and hopes to defend her thesis in February 2016.


Alice Chen

Alice Chen joined Keller and Heckman in 2010 and focuses on EPA, FDA, and USDA issues related to the production of food, fuel, and other chemicals in genetically modified and unmodified microorganism and plants.

Prior to joining Keller and Heckman, Dr. Chen was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) working on science and policy issues related to the sustainability of biofuels with a focus on algae-derived products. She was a faculty member in both the biology and environmental science departments at American University and a staff scientist at Edenspace Systems Corporation, working on genetically engineering plants for a variety of industrial purposes. Dr. Chen's Ph.D. work focused on the molecular mechanisms of heavy metal tolerance and accumulation in plants.


Andre Coleman

For the past 15 years, Andre Coleman has served as a senior research scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Wash. He brings 22 years of experience in the fields of geoinformatics, hydrology, and computer science with an emphasis in spatial and numerical modeling, spatial optimization, water resources, climate analysis, resource assessments, data fusion, machine learning and evolutionary computing, high-performance distributed computing, real-time data harvesting and remote-sensing (airborne and satellite). These specialties have been applied to numerous local, regional, national, and global scale environmental, hydrologic, climate, and energy-related projects including high-resolution domestic and international bioenergy-based resource demands, production assessments, techno-economic analysis, and waste resource utilization. To date, he has authored or co-authored 27 peer-reviewed publications. 


Jim Coons

Dr. Jim Coons is a chemical engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). He attended the University of Missouri for B.S. and M.S. degrees and finally the University of Queensland in Brisbane for a Ph.D. His research interests include bioseparations, sustainable energy, thin film stability, adsorption and reaction in heterogeneous systems, and materials aging. He was engineering lead on the LANL team that designed and tested the worlds largest ultrasonic harvester array as part of the National Advanced Algal Biomaterials and Bioproducts consortium, and continues to develop ultrasonic technologies for renewable algal biofuels.


Rodney Corpuz

Rodney Corpuz is Lead Scientist and Plant Manager for Global Algae Innovations Inc. He is responsible for overall site management, operations, and production at the 30-acre Kauai Algae Farm. He has 7 years of algae-to-biofuel/co-product experience and 16 years of science and engineering development. He is currently participating in several projects at the Kauai Algae Farm, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Longitudinal Test program, a DARPA diatom project, and a DOE Algae Biomass Yield project. Prior to joining Global Algae Innovations Inc., he was a technical lead for General Atomics supporting various technology divisions that included Advanced Process Systems, Chemical Demilitarization, Space Power, Alternative Fuels, and Inertial Confinement Fusion. His experience ranges from laboratory-scale through piloting and commercial implementation. Originally a native of South Texas, Rodney completed his B.S. in Chemistry at Texas A&M University.


Mark Crocker

Mark Crocker received BSc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the University of Bristol in the U.K., and spent two years as a NATO postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Thereafter he spent 15 years working in industry for first Shell Research and then Degussa’s automotive catalyst division. In 2003 he moved to the University of Kentucky (UK) where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and an Associate Director of the Center for Applied Energy Research. At UK he leads a research group focusing on biofuels and environmental catalysis.


Braden Crowe

Braden Crowe is a staff engineer at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He is the Cal Poly ATP3 site lead, where he coordinates test bed site operations and assists in experiment design and data analysis. Prior to joining Cal Poly, he helped develop and validate a biomass growth model at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where he designed and built a temperature control system for climate simulated cultivation. His research interests include algal based wastewater treatment, biomass growth modeling, and biomass productivity optimization. Braden holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 


 Taraka Dale

Taraka Dale received her B.S. in Biochemistry (Magna Cum Laude, Honors) from Allegheny College in 1999 and her Ph.D in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2005. After postdoctoral appointments at the University of Utah and LANL, Dr. Dale became a staff scientist at LANL in 2011. She has been involved in algal biofuels research since 2009 and currently is principal investigator on a project aimed at generating and characterizing algae strains improved for lipid and biomass production. Dr. Dale has given numerous presentations in the algae biofuels field and is a reviewer for "Algal Research", an Elsevier journal.

Bruce Dannenberg


Mr. Dannenberg Founded Phytonix Corporation in 2009, an industrial biotechnology company that is a global leader in the development and commercialization of low cost solar chemicals and solar fuels production technology and carbon dioxide utilization (CDU). He is currently President and CEO of Phytonix. Bruce's industrial career has focused on the management of the innovation and technology commercialization process. He has been involved in the semiconductor industry, the biotechnology industry, and the capital markets arena. He holds a Master's of Science degree in Industrial Management from Clemson University, a Master's of Business Administration degree, and a Bachelor's degree in Zoology.


Al Darzins

Dr. Al Darzins is currently the 2015 Algae Biomass Summit Program Chair and is a member of the Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) Board of Directors. His previous positions include R&D Director at the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), Research Manager in DuPont’s Biofuels group where he managed biobutanol technology development and ARPA-e funded macroalgae to biobutanol project and Principal Group Manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) where he managed a multidisciplinary research team responsible for developing and integrating chemical and biological technologies for the conversion of biomass to transportation fuels. He was instrumental in helping to organize the National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap workshop and contributed to the DOE National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap document. Dr. Darzins began his career as a faculty member in the Department of Microbiology at The Ohio State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Ryan Davis

Our group is focused on sustainable production and processing of algae biomass for liquid fuels and bioproducts in order to achieve impact for diversification of energy resources, reducing petroleum consumption, and generating new economic opportunities. We are interested in partnering with companies and research institutions throughout the biomass value chain, and are specifically interested in collaboration for solving problems in national interest at the water-energy nexus.


Ninoska Andrea Delgado Palma

I am a Biochemist and I am finishing my Ph.D program in Biotechnology in Chile. During my working career, I used molecular markers such as CAPs, SSR, SNPs for the genetic improvement of tomatoes, cherries and peaches. As a graduate student, I have been focused on the genetic engineering of microalgae. Specifically on the genetic modification of Haematococcus pluvialis aimed to the expression of the phytase enzyme widely used in animal feed. Currently, we have a collaboration agreement for the production of a large scale algae in order to produce enough biomass for animal feeding trials for poultry and fish species. Microalgae are an attractive alternative system for the production of recombinant proteins used as supplement in feed pellets as well as oral vaccines, among others 


Scott Edmundson

Scott Edmundson is a research scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory working with Michael Huesemann's algae biofuel R&D lab in the Marine Sciences Laboratory in Sequim, Wash. His current research is focused on characterizing species-specific physiological aspects of microalgae, nutrient recycling after fuel production, and facilitating algal photosynthetic biomass production under sub-optimal environmental conditions. Scott attended the University of Florida, studying Botany (B.S.) and Interdisciplinary Ecology (M.S.). While at UF, Scott was a research assistant in the BioEnergy and Sustainable Technology Laboratory under Dr. Ann Wilkie. Scott's interdisciplinary curriculum focused on the practical and sustainable cultivation of algae as a bioresource and bioremediation tool.


Rebecca Efroymson

Rebecca Efroymson is a senior scientist at the Center for BioEnergy Sustainability at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her work includes identifying environmental and socioeconomic sustainability indicators for algal biofuels, evaluating sustainability effects of current and future national potential biomass supply, evaluating best practices for bioenergy, and developing a causal analysis framework for bioenergy and land-use change. She developed conceptual ecological risk assessment frameworks for several agencies, with topics including wind energy development, petroleum exploration and production, wastewater treatment systems, and managing rare species and their habitats. She was a member of the National Research Council Committee on the Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels. She was recently Editor-in-Chief of the journal "Environmental Management". She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has a B.A. in biology from La Salle University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental toxicology from Cornell University.
 Richard Engler Rich Engler is a Senior Chemist with Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) and The Acta Group (Acta®). Before joining B&C this year, he worked at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for 17 years, where he was a senior staff chemist in the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. At EPA he reviewed numerous chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), lead the Green Chemistry Program, including the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge, and worked on a variety of other projects, including the Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators, Marine Debris and Trash-Free Waters, and cheminformatics.


Jeremiah Frueauf 

Jeremiah Frueauf counsels industrial biotechnology clients on the preparation, prosecution, procurement, and protection of worldwide patent portfolios. He has worked closely with companies to strategically prepare portfolios for biofuels, bioproducts, and nutritional supplements. He also provides strategic advice to assist clients in freedom-to-operate, validity, infringement, and patentability analyses, as well as in district court litigation, patent office litigation (reexaminations, inter partes reviews, and oppositions), and Section 337 investigations before the U.S. International Trade Commission. Jeremiah is a contributing author of Patent Office Litigation, a two-volume set focused on the new contested proceedings under the America Invents Act. He has written several articles on topics important to industrial biotechnology, including what companies in the industry need to know about the changing landscape of patent eligibility.


Michael Gilbert

 Michael Gilbert has deep domain expertise, as well as public and private sector experience, in cleantech, sustainability and energy. He consulted in the areas of business strategy, algae, biomaterials, renewable energy, energy management, micro-grids, green buildings, carbon capture, remediation and sustainability. Michael is currently Business Development Manager for Con Edison's energy efficiency and demand management programs. He served earlier as VP of Strategy and Business Development for Global Green Solutions' biomass and algae production businesses. Michael was previously the Director of Sustainability at Maine Pointe LLC, and was a reviewer for several rounds of DOE funding. At Pitney Bowes, he was the company's Energy and Environmental manager, and began his career at EPA working on hazmat remediation. Michael holds a PE and CEM. At Cornell he earned a B.S. in Ag & Bio Engineering and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering, and a MBA in Finance from the University Of Connecticut.


Michael Gretz

Michael R. Gretz is Professor and Director, Biotechnology Research Center at Michigan Technological University. He is a world expert on algal cell walls and extracellular polymers, investigating the molecular, biochemical, and cell biological processes involved in maintenance, assembly and function of the remarkably diverse algal extracellular matrix. A current emphasis on the importance of this matrix in development of viable technologies and identification of renewable products from algal biomass follows studies of biofouling, biofilm physiology/ecology, evolution of the land plant cell wall and systematics. Continuing investigations of cellulose chemistry and biosynthesis began during his Ph.D at Arizona State University and at the University of Texas at Austin with R. Malcolm Brown, Jr. He has served as director of several university research centers and instrumentation facilities, was Associate Professor at George Mason University and a Visiting Scholar at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. 


Hywel Griffiths 


Hywel Griffiths was educated at Cambridge and moved to New Zealand where he became Chief Scientific Officer for Photonz, a company developing microalgal products through fermentation. As part of his work he became intimately familiar with industrial scale fermentation and the needs of downstream processing in such an environment, and in 2013 he was awarded Young Biotechnologist of the Year by NZBio. He is now Chief Scientist for Fermentalg, a French company with novel technology for mixotrophic microalgal production, and is once again helping to co-ordinate the development and industrialisation of algal fermentation processes.


Martin Gross

Martin Gross is a Ph.D. candidate co-majoring in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and Food Science and Technology at Iowa State University and is scheduled to graduate Fall 2015. Martin is also the facility manager at the Iowa State University Algal Production Facility. During his time at Iowa State he has conducted extensive research on biofilm based algal cultivation. His major focus is on the implementation of biofilm based algal systems to treat wastewater. He has 3 patents and has published his research in several journals including Bioresource Technology, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, and Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology and Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering. He has also presented at several national and international conferences including Algal Biomass Biofuels and Bioproducts, Algae Biomass Summit, ASABE Climate Change, ASABE Annual International Meeting, and AlChE Annual International Meeting. 


 Huiya Gu

Huiya Gu is currently studying at Colorado School of Mines as a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry. She joined Dr. Posewitz’s research group in 2010, focusing on microalgae based biofuel production. Her projects involve studying nutrient recycling from biomass residues, in collaboration with Arizona State University and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), as well as carbon partitioning in starchless mutants and genetic modification of microalgae for medium chain fatty acids production. Gu will graduate in 2015.



Ben Hankamer

1994: PhD Imperial College London
1994-2002: Post doc/Research Lectureship Imperial College London
2002: Group Leader Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland
2007: Director of the Solar Biofuels Consortium


 Valerie Harmon

Mrs. Harmon has 27 years of experience in microalgae production. Most recently, she is Principal at Harmon Consulting, a business in support of microalgae biotechnology industry development. Prior to this she served as Sr. Director of Research and Development for Cellana LLC, overseeing Cultivation, Quality and Research. She served as Director of Cultivation, Environmental and Safety Systems for Aurora Algae Pty Ltd in Western Australia, where she was in charge of Cultivation, Quality, Safety and Environmental Systems. She worked in multiple roles of increasing responsibility for Cyanotech Corporation, a world leader in microalgae products: Technical Sales/Animal Feed Sales Manager, Director of Business Development, and Director of Cultivation. Before working exclusively in microalgae, Mrs. Harmon worked in the Shellfish Hatchery Management. Mrs. Harmon holds a Masters in Agriculture, with an emphasis on Aquaculture, Fisheries Economics and Business Strategy from Oregon State University and a B.S. in Biology from Davidson College.



David Hazlebeck

Dr. Hazlebeck is a proven leader and innovator in the algae industry. He has over 30 years experience in chemical and biological research and development from laboratory-scale through piloting and commercial implementation. Dr. Hazlebeck is Founder & CEO of Global Algae Innovations, specializing in the development of low cost algae production technologies. The company has operations in California and Hawaii and currently operates the only large-scale open raceway system in the world with the CO2 supply exclusively from power plant flue gas. Dr. Hazlebeck’s biofuel experience includes leading the development of large-scale photosynthetic algae-derived biofuels, sugar and waste conversion via heterotrophic algae and oleaginous yeast, cellulosic conversion to drop-in fuels, and conversion of plastics to fuel. He is the inventor or co-inventor on 21 patents. Dr. Hazlebeck earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of California, San Diego.  


Berat Haznedaroglu

Berat Haznedaroglu is an assistant professor at the Institute of Environmental Sciences at Bogazici University in Istanbul. Berat's research focuses on understanding the fundamental biochemistry of non-model algae and cyanobacteria by coupling with systems biology tools including next-gen DNA sequencing, metabolomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics. His group investigates the relationship between the expression and interaction of anabolic and catabolic reactions with the goal of maximizing the synthesis of novel nutritional supplements, biofuels, and other value-added chemicals. Recently, he has been awarded with Newton Advanced Fellowship from the UK and also granted to construct the first algae test-bed in Turkey to develop algal applications for Food:Energy:Water nexus. Berat completed his postdoc at Yale and received his Ph.D. from UC-Riverside. His M.S. is from Villanova University. Berat holds a B.S. in Biology from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. More information on his group can be found at or followed @HaznedarogluLab



Björn Heijstra

 Dr. Björn D. Heijstra has been part of LanzaTech since 2009 and is currently the Director of Process Validation. As a microbiologist (MSc - Free University Amsterdam, The Netherlands and PhD - University of Auckland, New Zealand) he has been involved in the development and implementation of the LanzaTech technology during lab, pilot and more recently, demonstration scale (20.000L) in China. His research team currently focusses on strain optimization, specific site related tests and also on-site fermentation/gas testing as part of new customer gas composition validations. Together with a number of LanzaTech scientists who developed LanzaTech’s Gas Fermentation Process, Björn is a recent recipient of the 2015 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for Greener Synthetic Pathways awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Derek Hess

Derek Hess is a mechanical ngineering graduate research student at Utah State University. Originally a native of southeast Idaho, Derek completed his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Brigham Young University-Idaho and is now a graduate student at Utah State University. He is currently performing research on the effects of using flue gas as the carbon dioxide source for microalgae, on the growth of the microalgae and the production of biodiesel and other coproducts.


 Jennifer Holmgren

Dr. Jennifer Holmgren is the Chief Executive Officer of LanzaTech, leading scale up of novel gas fermentation technologies for the production of fuels and chemicals. Jennifer has over 20 years of experience in the energy sector including a proven track record in the development and commercialization of fuels and chemicals technologies. Prior to joining LanzaTech, she was Vice President and General Manager of the Renewable Energy and Chemicals business unit at UOP LLC, a Honeywell Company. Dr. Jennifer Holmgren holds a B.Sc. degree from Harvey Mudd College, a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the University of Chicago. She currently serves on multiple external advisory boards. She is the author or co-author of 50 U.S. patents, 20 scientific publications and is the 2003 recipient of the Council for Chemical Research (CCR) Malcolm E. Pruitt Award.


Geoff Horst

Geoff Horst is the CEO and co-founder of Algal Scientific. Geoff received his B.S. (Oceanography) from the University of Michigan and an M.S. (Marine Biology) from California State University where he researched the effects of climate change on coral reefs. His Ph.D. at Michigan State University (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) focused on the nutrient physiology of toxic algal blooms. As an adjunct instructor at Michigan State University, Geoff taught courses in environmental sciences, ecology and marine/freshwater biology. As a result of his expertise in algal biology, Geoff developed the concepts leading to the company’s Hypertrophic™ wastewater treatment process and beta glucan fermentation platform. Geoff continues to engage with the research and development team and works closely with customers and strategic partners on both the beta glucan (animal and human health) and water treatment divisions.


Qiang Hu

 Dr. Qiang Hu is a Professor and Director of Center for Algal Biotechnology and Biofuels in the Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan, China. Prior to this position, Dr. Hu was a Professor and co-Director of the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation at Arizona State University. He has over 30 years of experience in fundamental and applied research on algae in topics ranging from photosynthesis, biosynthesis of lipids and carotenoids, growth physiology of high-density algal culture, photobioreactor system design, and applications of algal mass culture technology for biofuels and chemicals, and for environmental bioremediation. He is an Associate Editor of the journals Phycologia and Algae and an editorial board member of Journal of Applied Phycology and Algal Research.


Michael Huesemann

 Dr. Michael Huesemann (Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Rice University; MBA, Arizona State University) is a staff research engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Marine Sciences Laboratory) and has conducted both experimental and theoretical research in environmental and marine biotechnology for more than 25 years. Dr. Huesemann's recent research has focused on climate-simulated culturing of microalgae in LED-lighted and temperature-controlled ponds, predictive modeling of microalgae growth in outdoor pond cultures, recycling of HTL waste nutrients, photosynthetic hydrogen production, fermentation of macroalgae, and optimization of microalgal lipid production. In addition, Dr. Huesemann has published journal articles on the metabolic regulation of solvent production in anaerobic fermentations, critical analyses of mitigation responses to global climate change, environmental policy analysis, sustainable development, and professional ethics. He currently also serves as editorial board member of Algal Research and Progress in Industrial Ecology.


Ryan Hunt

Ryan W. Hunt, CTO of ALGIX, LLC, holds a B.S. in Physics and a M.S. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from the University of Georgia. Mr. Hunt was involved with research in the UGA, Biorefining and Carbon Cycling Program since 2006. He has over five years of research experience investigating the use of bioremediation-coupled microalgae cultivation for the use of renewable biomass and biofuel production and helped build the microalgae bioenergy lab at UGA. He has published six research papers on various aspects related to algae biotechnology and has filed for four patents related to algae production and product conversion. Mr Hunt helped develop the first algal bioplastic prototypes at UGA in 2009. Mr. Hunt spun-off ALGIX from his research at UGA along with the CEO of ALGIX, Mike Van Drunen, in 2010 with a focus towards biomaterials generated from algae biomass for the sustainable plastics market.  


Marlena Hurley

Marlena Hurley is a senior underwriter of political and sovereign risk insurance with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Her focus at OPIC is investments in the renewable energy sector, and she has a strong interest in the bioeconomy, especially algae production. She worked for OPIC Insurance in the mid-1990s and then moved to Russia and Hungary to work in project finance and investments with investment funds and companies in the natural resources and financial services industry. She returned to OPIC in 2015. Ms. Hurley holds an MBA in International Business Finance from the George Washington University, an M.A. in Russian Studies from the University of Graz, Austria, and a Certificate in Biofuels Processing from the UC San Diego. She speaks fluent German, Russian and French.


Matt Hutton

Matt Hutton is an environmental engineer specializing in algae mass cultivation and wastewater treatment at MicroBio Engineering Inc., where he contributes to engineering and business consulting projects for clients in the oil, aviation, aquaculture, nutriceutical, and wastewater fields. He currently manages research operations for a joint algae project with Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, California. The project centers on a pilot facility with 300 m2 of raceways with harvesting and anaerobic digestion units. Matt attended Cal Poly, majoring in civil and environmental engineering, with a thesis on the characterization of lipids from microalgae grown on dairy and municipal wastewaters.

After graduating from Cal Poly, Matt worked in the building efficiency division of a large engineering company, tracking patterns of energy production, distribution, and consumption for private and public clients. During this time he also studied chemical and biomolecular engineering at Johns Hopkins University, focusing on microalgal physiology.


Tom Jensen

Mr. Jensen provides leadership in the areas of investment, business development, strategy, communication and commercialization. He has an 18-year track record of success in corporate and business development across multiple sectors, including oil exploration and production (E&P), upstream bauxite, alumina, aluminum and energy development and production, as well as biological high performing agricultural solutions. Prior to Joule, Mr. Jensen served as the CEO of Agrinos, a biological crop input provider based on microbial products and fermentation for improving the productivity and sustainability of modern agriculture. He has previously held senior management positions in finance, strategy and business development at Norsk Hydro, today one of the world’s largest aluminum companies. Mr. Jensen holds a MSc degree in Finance and Macroeconomics from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration.

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Rick Johnson

Rick Johnson is currently Vice President of Business Development for Clearas Water Recovery, a company focused on the improvement of water quality and availability through the recovery of nutrients in municipal and industrial waste streams. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, prior to joining Clearas, Mr. Johnson has held a number of senior level research and commercial development positions with several Fortune and Global 500 Corporations. Mr. Johnson is recognized as a technical facilitator and has authored numerous ASTM Standards and co-authored several industry-specific Codes of Practices and is a co-inventor of two issued patents and two filed patents. In addition to his corporate positions, Mr. Johnson has also started two separate companies involved in the algae biomass market and also owns and operates a small family farm in northeast Ohio.


Zackary Johnson

Located at the Duke Marine Laboratory, the Johnson Lab broadly studies the abundance, diversity and activity of marine microbes from both ecological and biotechnological applications, focusing phytoplankton (microalgae) as key players. Dr. Zackary Johnson received engineering and botany degrees from MIT and Duke University and has held faculty positions at the University of Hawaii and Duke University. He is PI for the DOE funded Marine AlGae Industrialization Consortium (MAGIC) which is using biochemical specifications for biofuel and bioproducts (animal and human foods) provided by industrial partners to identify algae strains, growth and extraction approaches to demonstrate production and efficacy at successively larger scales to reduce uncertainty in TEA/LCA and develop a market transformation / commercialization plans to achieve the Renewable Fuels Standard.


Hyun Soo Kim

Hyun Soo Kim received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, in 2006, and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA, in 2014. He is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas A&M University. His current research mainly focuses on the development and application of lab-on-chip microdevices for microalgae study, but also includes solving grand challenge problems in the broad area of health and energy through microfluidic systems technology. 


Peter Kipp

Peter Kipp is the Vice President of OpenAlgae. Dr. Kipp is an accomplished entrepreneur and innovation manager with diverse management experience in the biotechnology and biofuels industries. He has multi-disciplinary expertise spanning corporate strategy, innovation, technology development, portfolio planning, alliance management, business development, intellectual property development, and business consulting. At OpenAlgae, Dr. Kipp refocused the company on the commercialization of the oil demulsification technology, created opportunities to deploy the technology in the oil and gas and renewable fuels sectors, and identified and developed the key intellectual property to secure commercial opportunities in distinct markets. Prior to OpenAlgae, Dr. Kipp led the portfolio planning and project management functions at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals. In this role, he managed more than 4000 projects responsible for more than 80 percent of the company's revenue. During his career there, Dr. Kipp envisioned, developed and led multiple strategy innovation projects from within Lexicon that saved the com


Deepak Kirpalani


Deepak M. Kirpalani is a Senior Research Officer with the Energy, Mining and Environment (EME) Portfolio at the National Research Council of Canada (NRCC), where he holds the position of Team Leader for the Process Development and Separation Technology Team. His research over the years has been devoted to the development of energy efficient process systems for laboratory and industrial multiphase applications. Since 2001, he has conducted cross-disciplinary research for the development of novel processes using industrial acoustic and hydrodynamic cavitation systems. He has also developed complex multiphase numerical models to explain process and flow dynamics for multiphase flow and cavitation engineering applications. In 2010, he was invited to participate in the Algal Carbon Conversion (ACC) Program at NRCC and has applied solid-fluid shear and multiphase cavitation engineering principles for direct wet extraction of lipids from algal culture without harvesting and de-watering. 


Sandeep Kumar

Dr. Sandeep Kumar, a chemical engineer, is currently working as Assistant Professor and the Director, Energy Cluster, in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Old Dominion University, VA. He earned his Ph.D in chemical engineering from Auburn University. Dr. Kumar possesses more than 15 years of professional experience prior to academic appointment in industry, R&D, and academic research in the area of carbon black, nuclear fuels, and biofuels. Dr. Kumar's current research focuses on the application of sub- and supercritical water technology for the conversion of biomass/algae to advanced biofuels and bioproducts. His expertise is in high temperature and high pressure reactions involving biomass components such as proteins, lipids, cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin. Dr. Kumar has served as reviewer/panelist for several scientific international journals and grant agencies. He has successfully maintained external research grants since year 2011 including the prestigious NSF CAREER award, EPA/P3 and private industries.
Frederic Laeuffer Frederic Laeuffer is Aquatic Phototrophs Coordinator in the biotech R&D department at TOTAL New Energies. Since 2010, he played a leading role in initiating, building and managing the R&D activities in the microalgae field at TOTAL. He has contributed to R&D collaborative projects on strain engineering and process development within a network of partnerships in France, Netherlands or China.
Before joining Total, he worked at LGPM lab on starting a company as CEO to develop an innovative microalgae process.
He holds a master's degree in Process Engineering from Ecole Centrale Paris.
 Michael Lakeman Michael Lakeman is a Regional Director of Biofuel Strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes and an Associate Technical Fellow for The Boeing Company.
Lakeman leads and executes Boeing’s biofuel strategy across Australasia, South East Asia and Japan/Korea and also is responsible for shaping Boeing’s biofuel technology strategy. In 2012, Boeing recognized Lakeman as an Associate Technical Fellow, a program that awards the top 1% of Boeing Employees for their technical vision, leadership and impact across the enterprise. In 2014, he began leading the Boeing enterprise strategy to continue to reduce disease transmission on commercial aircraft and serving as the technology integration focal for company efforts related to sustainable aviation biofuel and bio-based materials.


 Peter Lammers

 Peter Lammers is Research Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University. Current funded research addresses renewable energy production combined with the use of mixotrophic algal extremophiles for wastewater treatment. Lammers is Principal Investigator of a $5M Department of Energy award “Realization of Algae Potential” (2014-2016) and the Chief Scientist for the Algae Testbed Public Private Partnership (ATP3). He serves as associate editor of the journal Algal Research. Previous positions include Vice President for Biotechnology at Solix Biosystems (2009-2010), Research Professor at New Mexico State University (2010-2014) and Asst., Assoc. and Full Professor of Biochemistry at New Mexico State University (1985-2009).
CG (Choul-Gyun) Lee  Dr. Choul-Gyun Lee is currently a professor in Department of Biological Engineering, Inha University, Incheon, Korea. His field of expertise is on culture of microalgae in various types of photobioreactors and on molecular/biotechnological studies of the microalgae based on whole cell genome-scale in silico modeling. On top of his research work, he has held a number of administrative positions in the University, in the Korean Government and in academic societies. He is the leader (Director) of Marine Bioenergy Research Consortium funded by Korean Government and is the Head of Institute of Industrial Biotechnology as well as Lipidomics Research Center. He is the President of the Korean Society of Marine Biotechnology. He got his Ph.D. in the Department of Chemical Engineering at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, USA in 1994 and he worked for NASA, Kennedy Space Center in Advance Life Support Team before joining Inha University.


James Lee

James Weifu Lee is a well-established scientist on bioenergy and environmental sustainability. After completion of his Ph.D training in photosynthesis, physical chemistry, and biochemistry at Cornell University in 1992, he joined the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) initially as a postdoctoral research associate and then as a staff scientist in BioEnergy research. His science work at ORNL received numerous awards including the 1999 and 2004 U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, signed by the President of the United States and honored at the White House (1999). He was subsequently promoted to ORNL Senior Scientist and served there until 2008. He initiated a designer-algae synthetic biology approach for photoautotrophic synthesis of advanced biofuels such as hydrogen and ethanol from water and carbon dioxide. Dr. Lee currently serves as a faculty member at Old Dominion University with continued interest in helping move the fields forward.


Kim Lee Chang

Kim Lee Chang graduated in 2007 from the University of Tasmania (UTAS) with BBiotech (first-class Hons) studying genes associated with acid stress in Listeria. He then worked with the UTAS School of Plant Science honing his skills in thraustochytrid culture techniques and biodiscovery. He completed a PhD in 2013: ‘Microalgae – A Renewable Source of Biofuels, Omega-3 Oils and Other Co-products’. The project was joint with UTAS and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Kim has identified new endemic strains of highly productive thraustochytrids and by optimising growth conditions has been maximising their potential for biofuels and Omega-3 oils production. Kim was the State winner of the 2012 AusBiotech-GSK Student Excellence Award for his research of evolving new Australian heterotrophic thraustochytrids for biofuels and omega-3 oils. His research to date has been published in several international journals.


Olivier Lépine 

Olivier Lépine one of the founders and partners, is the Managing Director of AlgoSource, a group of companies dedicated to microalgae. The company provides integrated consultancy services for microalgae projects from competitive production technologies up-to biomass biorefining and products marketing. Olivier therefore also acts as the managing director of Alpha Biotech, a company that produces and sells microalgae products to the cosmetic and nutraceutical industries since 1993.
AlgoSource's mission is to develop a microalgae industry that will help fulfill the needs of our planet for us and the coming generation.

We think microalgae are the basis of a sustainable development: local aquaculture, safe products, positive environmental impact, that can make people proud of their jobs.
Because we believe in science and technology we have signed a long term partnership with the University of Nantes and we work with many research groups in Europe. Our products are evaluated with Lyfe Cycle Analysis practices and we work on improving our impact on a daily basis.
 Stephen Leu

Ph. D. in Biochemistry, University of Bern, postoc and research work on chloroplast molecular biology of C. reinhardtii, in Beer Sheba and Bern, Switzerland.

Since 2005 staff scientist at the Microalgal Biotechnology Laboratory, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boker;
Major research fields:
Genetic engineering of microalgae for high value products and biofuels; Integrated biosystems for sustainable microalgae biomass production; Microalgae-parasite interactions; Biorefinery of microalgae for fuel and bioproducts; Integrated technologies for emission free bioproducts;
Recent functions include the scientific management of EU project GIAVAP (, and managing BGU participation in European projects BIOFAT (, Fuel4ME ( and Aquafuels (; recent work is summarized in "3. Leu S. and Boussiba S. (2014) Advances in the production of high value products by microalgae; Industrial Biotechnology, 10(3): 169-183".


James Levine

James Levine is President, CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of Sapphire Energy Inc., a venture capital backed company founded in 2007 for the purpose of growing and processing micro-algae into products that serve large and diverse markets. Sapphire's world-leading technology uses sunlight, CO2, non-potable water, non-arable land, nutrients, and novel strains of algae in outdoor ponds to produce renewable biomass which is converted into high-value oils, aquaculture and animal feeds, fuels and other valuable products. Prior to Sapphire, Mr. Levine was CEO of Verenium Corporation, a NASDAQ-listed industrial biotechnology company based in San Diego and a Managing Director in the investment banking department of Goldman Sachs & Co. 


Yantao Li

Yantao Li is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, the University of Maryland, where he leads the Algal Biology and Biotechnology Lab. Li's research aims to understand lipid synthesis, turnover, and lipid body biogenesis in microalgae, to rationally engineer algae for biofuels and high value products, and to biochemically convert algae feedstock into biofuels. Li got his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Nanjing University and the University of Hong Kong, respectively.  
 Anthony Marchese  Anthony Marchese is the Director of the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory and Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University. Marchese holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University and B.S. and M.S. degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His research areas include internal combustion engines, alternative fuels, combustion, chemical kinetics, microgravity experiments, methane emissions and biomass cookstoves. He is on the editorial board for the journal Algal Research and is the Principal Investigator on a $1.9 Million study organized by the Environmental Defense Fund aimed at quantifying the total emissions of methane from the gathering and processing sector of the natural gas supply chain. From 2010 to 2013, he served as the fuel conversion team leader for the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts, a $50 Million DOE algal biofuel consortium.
 Babetta Marrone  Dr. Babetta (Babs) L. Marrone is a Senior Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and LANL Biofuels Program Manager. She is a cell biologist and has been involved for the past 30 years in the development of flow cytometry assays and innovative instrumentation for new applications in the biosciences. She is currently the Principal Investigator (PI) on the Algae Biotechnology Partnership project sponsored by the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), a part of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE); and PI on a LANL-funded project on single cell analysis for bioprocess monitoring. She led the Ultrasonic Harvesting and Extraction project for the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB), an algae consortium of over 30 organizations sponsored by BETO, from 2010-2013; and was also a Team Leader for the multi-lab NAABB Harvesting and Extraction research team. Dr. Marrone was the Director and PI of the NIH-sponsored National Flow Cytometry Resource from 2009-2014 and has led past projects sponsored by NIH, DOE-OBER, DHS, and the FBI.


Gregory Martin

Dr. Gregory Martin is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, and the head of the Algal Processing Group at The University of Melbourne. The Algal Processing Group has focused on the development of efficient and scalable processes for conversion of microalgal biomass into products. The group combines fundamental understanding of biological and physical science, with process engineering expertise, to develop efficient microalgae production strategies and downstream processing technologies.


Teresa Mathews

Teresa Mathews is an environmental scientist in the Aquatic Ecology Lab at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Her research is focused on understanding energy and nutrient transfer through aquatic food chains, and she is specifically interested in the ecological interactions between algae and grazers. She has worked on large scale projects to mitigate toxic algal blooms and to remediate contaminated sites using ecological manipulation approaches. She is currently using these approaches and concepts to increase algal biomass productivity and stability for the biofuel industry through the use of algal polycultures. She received her Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography from the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2007.


Joshua Mayers

Josh gained his Ph.D in Biological Sciences at Swansea University, studying the physiological and biochemical responses of marine microalgae to culture conditions, nutrient regime and stress, in large-scale systems. He is currently involved in several multi-disciplinary projects, including investigation of microalgal metabolism and biochemistry, alongside process design for integrated biorefinery scenarios. In most areas of his work, the topic of sustainability is a critical consideration, in particular that of nutrient resource usage. On this theme, much of his empirical work has focused on the use of phosphorus in algal cultivation, and the effects of phosphorus starvation on algal growth and biochemistry.  


Robert McBride

Dr. McBride is the Director of Product Development for Triton Health and Nutrition. Previously, he was an Associate Director at Sapphire Energy, a leading algae biofuel start-up company based in San Diego. In his most recent role, he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of cultivation process development and strain selection, including evaluation, platform development, and cultivation growth and process model development. Prior to this role he managed all and oversaw all research activities at Sapphires field R&D site, which is involved evaluating and optimizing algae strains and cultivation processes across multiple scales, with the ultimate goal of delivering a strain and process for commercial deployment. Dr. McBride received his graduate and postdoctoral training in evolutionary microbiology at University of Houston and Yale University respectively.
Margaret McCormick  Margaret McCormick is the Chief Executive Officer of Matrix Genetics. Dr. McCormick was appointed to the Washington State Life Science Discovery Fund Board and Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation Board, is a director of the Algae Biomass Organization, is the treasurer/ executive committee member of the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association and is an Associate Trustee of the Memorial Union Building Association. Previously, she held positions with Targeted Growth, Inc., Integra Ventures, BCM Technologies and McKinsey & Company. Dr. McCormick earned a Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


John McGowen

Currently serving as Director of Operations & Program Management for Algae Testbed Public Private Partnership (ATP3), a $15 million project funded by DOE, and is responsible for identification, coordination & implementation of projects for customers at ASU's Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation's (AzCATI) algae testbed facility and those of our partners, as well as identification & implementation of best practices in algae growth and processing, standardization methodologies and implementation of long term cultivation feedstock trials experimental framework. As portfolio manager and founding member of ASU's Project Management Office, key responsibilities center on developing, adapting, and integrating project management best practices into an academic translational research and development environment. Specific focus is on large scale proposal development, teaming, collaboration & relationship management, project execution. Over 18 years of project/portfolio management & technology development experience and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) since 2008.


David Mohler

 David Mohler is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Clean Coal and Carbon Management within the Office of Fossil Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. He is responsible for the DOE’s R&D program in advanced fossil energy systems, large demonstration projects, carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), and clean coal technology deployment.

Previously, Mr. Mohler served as senior vice president and CTO for Duke Energy where he was responsible for the development and application of technologies in support of Duke Energy’s strategic objectives. He also served as vice president of strategic planning for Duke Energy.

Mr. Mohler has operational experience in nuclear and fossil power generation, as well as corporate marketing, human resources and business development. He earned a B.A. from Indiana University, a B.S. from the University of New York at Albany, an M.A. from Xavier University of Cincinnati, and an M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed Columbia University marketing management program and the Penn State University executive development program.


Bob Mroz

Bob Mroz is the founder and current President & CEO of HY-TEK Bio, LLC., a small “early stage” technology company located in Howard County, Maryland. HY-TEK Bio has developed a clean energy technology that will eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil fuels and will also reduce nutrient loading effects of waste water runoff using their patent-pending system. Bob has put together a first class team for HY-TEK Bio and has a strong history of successfully managing projects, successfully leading people and building successful businesses.


Nick Nagle

Nick has expertise in microbiology, large-scale fermentation, and thermochemical pretreatment of biomass, plus pilot- and engineering-scale experience with anaerobic digestion processes and has worked on a number of projects from biodiesel production in microalgae to high solids anaerobic digestion. Additionally, he has worked with the pretreatment team on the installation and shakedown of pilot-scale pretreatment reactors for biomass fractionation. Nick has been awarded two U.S. patents and one European patent and is an author of several peer-reviewed publications. He holds a B.S. in Microbiology from Colorado State University and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Colorado School of Mines.


Jakob Nalley

Jakob Nalley is entering his final year as a Ph.D Candidate at Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station advised by Dr. Elena Litchman. Nalley's research addresses how ecological principles can be applied to assemble resilient and productive algal communities for outdoor mass cultivation under fluctuating environmental conditions. Through employing a trait-based approach, his research aims to use eco-physiological information (traits) collected from algal species to piece together diverse algal assemblages that are tailored to local environments. Some of Nalley's previous work has investigated the impact of fluctuating light and temperature on the stability, growth, and overall productivity of algal mono- and polycultures. A new venture has led to research investigating the feasibility of coupling algal biofuel production with brewery wastewater remediation. Jakob is active in scientific outreach and communication and has a deep interest to work at the interphase of the production, sustainability, and policy construction of alternative energy sources.


Franklin (Lynn) Orr

Dr. Franklin (Lynn) M. Orr was sworn in as the Under Secretary for Science and Energy on December 17, 2014. As the Under Secretary, Dr. Orr is the principal advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on clean energy technologies and science and energy research initiatives. Dr. Orr is the inaugural Under Secretary for the office, which was created by Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to closely integrate DOE’s basic science, applied research, technology development, and deployment efforts. As Under Secretary, he oversees DOE’s offices of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Fossil Energy, Indian Energy Policy and Programs, Nuclear Energy, and Science. In total, these programs steward the majority of DOE’s National Laboratories (13 of 17). 


Miguel Olaizola

Dr. Miguel Olaizola brings 30 yrs. of international algal research and production experience. He started his career as a graduate student at Stony Brook University while conducting research on algal physiology at the Oceanic Institute (Hawaii) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (New York). Next, he worked for the European Commission (Italy) on remote sensing of algal productivity parameters. Later, he worked at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, CA before moving to Kona, HI to commercially produce astaxanthin from Haematococcus. Since then he has worked with multiple companies (Greenfuel Inc., Cambridge, MA; Sapphire Energy Inc., San Diego, CA; Synthetic Genomics Inc., La Jolla, CA) to develop algal production systems for use in biofuel production, CO2 sequestration and production of high value products. At present, Miguel directs Heliae’s efforts in producing transgenic algae in Gilbert, AZ, as well as directing the company’s startup efforts of their test facility in Saga, Japan.


Ron Pate

Ron Pate is a Principal Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., where he has worked the past 29 years leading and contributing to numerous Sandia programs and projects. His work has spanned a wide range of technologies and systems research & development efforts related to renewable energy, pulsed power and directed energy, national security, and the interdependencies of energy, water and land use in the context of climate change. He spent two years on assignment with the DOE/EERE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) in Washington, DC, where he provided technical and planning support to DOE's then-emerging algae biofuels program, including contributing to the development of the National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap Report published in 2010. Ron is currently engaged in several algae biofuels projects funded by BETO, including serving as Deputy Director of the Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP3) project, which is a five-year team effort led by Arizona State University initiated in FY13 with competitive FOA funds.


Representative Scott Peters (CA)

 Congressman Scott Peters serves California’s 52nd Congressional District, which includes the cities of Coronado, Poway and most of northern San Diego. First elected in 2012, he currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee & the House Judiciary Committee. He formerly served on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. He is also Co-Chair of the Congressional Algae Caucus.


Philip Pienkos

Philip Pienkos earned his B.S. at the University of Illinois and his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin. He had more than 25 years of experience in various biotechnology sectors before coming to NREL in 2007. He is Principal Group Manager for the Bioprocess R&D Group, serves as Algal Biofuels Platform Lead, and is the PI for a number of biofuel-related projects. He helped organize and participated in National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap Workshop in 2008 and was a contributor to the subsequent National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap. Philip is a founding member of the Algae Biomass Organization and has served as a member of the board of directors for that organization from 2008 to 2013. He is currently on the board of directors of the Algae Foundation. He has been named in Biofuels Digest's list of the top 100 people in biofuels every year since that survey was established. 


Juergen Polle

Dr. Polle is a professor in the Department of Biology at the City University of New York, Brooklyn. He received his diploma degree and his doctorate degree in biology from the Georg-August University at Gottingen in Germany. For over two decades Dr. Polle worked with algae of different lineages, but his focus is on unicellular green algae. His current fundamental research investigates the regulation of transition from primary to secondary stress metabolism. Known for using the halophilic alga Dunaliella salina (Chlorophyceae) as a major model organism, Dr. Polle now applies a comparative systems biology approach including other recently isolated green algae to identify common and specific molecular mechanism involved in regulation of cellular stress biology. Complementary, Dr. Polle's applied research regarding renewable energy focuses on an algae-to-biofuels program. Following years of isolation and analysis of new algal strains, several promising species are now being investigated and developed with the aim of strain improvement.


Kunal Poorey

Kunal Poorey has a Ph.D in biochemistry and molecular genetics from University of Virginia. He has authored several high impact publications including a first author publication in Science. Currently he is working in Sandia National Labs in Systems Biology department and working extensively on algae pond metagenomics and host-pathogen interactions in bacterial infections. He has developed several software pipelines to analyze sequencing data and apply machine-learning techniques for RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, CLK-ChIP-seq, Tiling arrays, expression arrays, Metagenomics and Amplicon sequencing. His current research interests are: New method developments in Biology, Biofuels and Biomass production, Metagenomics and Amplicon sequencing, Pathogenesis, Host pathogen interactions, Antibiotic Resistance, Transcription Initiation, Chromatin Structure and Function, Transcription Control, Transcription Precision, DNA-protein interactions, Sequencing.


Jérémy Pruvost 

 Jérémy Pruvost is Full Professor in the University of Nantes, France. His research activities are conducted in GEPEA laboratory (around 200 people, UMR-CNRS 6144,

Jérémy Pruvost is the head of the Marine Bioprocess and separations group in GEPEA laboratory (around 40 people) and the manager of the AlgoSolis facility, a new R&D facility devoted to the setting of industrial exploitation of microalgae ( Jérémy Pruvost is also a scientific councelor at AlgoSource Technologies (

His expertise is in photobioreactors engineering (biomass production, lipids production for biodiesel use, development of solar technologies of photobioreactors…). In 2015, he was author or co-author of more than 60 articles in International peer-reviewed journals, 7 book chapters, 10 patents, and he supervised 17 Ph.D students mainly in the field of photobioreactor engineering and biofuel production by microalgae.


Laurie Purpuro

 Ms. Purpuro is a government affairs advisor in the K&L Gates Public Policy and Law group. She focuses on energy policy and represents the Algae Biomass Organization on federal policy issues in Washhington, DC.

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Ms. Purpuro served as senior policy advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy. She has more than 10 years experience on Capitol Hill working for Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI) as Deputy Chief of Staff, and for Congressman Jim Saxton (R-NJ) and Congressman Bob Davis (R-MI) as Legislative Director. Ms. Purpuro has advised members of Congress on issues including the environment, energy, tax, interior, agriculture, and appropriations.

In addition to her Capitol Hill experience, Ms. Purpuro served as Director of Government Relations for the American Forest and Paper Association, where she lobbied Congress on environmental and transportation issues.


Jason Quinn

Dr. Jason Quinn is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Utah State University working on microalgae to biofuel evaluation and optimization through experimentally validated modeling. Jason's research areas include lifecycle assessment, GIS resource evaluation, systems engineering, economic modeling, and design optimization. He is currently working on research projects focused on microalgae growth modeling and experimentation for model validation, emissions from microalgae cultivation, growth sensitivity to temperature, and economic evaluation of large scale microalgae to biofuels. Jason received a Ph.D in mechanical engineering from Colorado State with his research focused on microalgae biofuels, a M.S. in nuclear engineering and engineering physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he worked on a high temperature plasma science research program focused on fusion energy and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University.

Carlos Quiroz-Arita 

Carlos Quiroz has more than 12 years of experience in wastewater engineering, residuals management, water resources, environmental assessments, and bioenergy technologies. Carlos had the position of Environmental Coordinator for almost six years in Zamorano University in his home country, Honduras. Carlos served as an International consultant in 39 projects located in Africa, Asia, and Latin America including municipal sewer systems and wastewater stabilization ponds, sanitary landfills, greenhouse gas emissions, waste to energy conversion by anaerobic reactors for the palm oil industry and swine farms. Since the year 2012, Carlos has research experience in anaerobic digestion and photoautotrophic-based biofuels. Carlos holds a Bachelor degree in Environmental Engineering from the Catholic University of Honduras, a Master degree in Geoenvironmental Technology from the Central America Technologic University, a Master of Science (MS) in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University, and he is currently studying a PhD in Mechanical Engineering in Colorado State University.


Mark Randall

Mark Randall has more than 20 years in a variety of executive positions in companies in multiple markets. In addition he is the founder or co-founder of a number of companies. Prior to founding T2 Energy, Mark was President/CEO of Quantum Remediation, an engineering service company that processed over 500,000 tons of oil contaminated soil and sludge throughout the US. He was also the President of Enviro-Insure, an environmental service company that used his patent-pending technology to minimize environmental exposure at dry cleaners, a process that is still in use in many dry cleaners in the U.S. Mark is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology.


Dan Robertson

Dan Robertson is Chief Scientific Officer at Joule Unlimited. He joined the company at its inception in 2007 with a mandate to build the company's platform technologies for molecular and synthetic biology. Joule's technology uses engineered cyanobacterial production organisms for synthesis of fuels and chemicals. The company is currently operating a pilot facility in New Mexico for scaled production of ethanol and paraffinic diesel. Prior to Joule Robertson was Vice President of Biofuels R&D for Verenium Corporation. Dan received his Ph.D degree from the University of Pittsburgh in biochemistry and spent a postdoctoral fellowship studying chemiosmotic mechanisms at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology. He spent 13 years at the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Biochemistry studying fundamental energy conversion mechanisms of photosynthetic and respiratory systems. He is the author of more than 70 scientific papers and over 40 patents in enzyme discovery, metabolic engineering and industrial catalysis.
Michael Rust  Dr. Michael Rust is currently serving as the NOAA Aquaculture Science Coordinator where he supports the agency’s portfolio of research on all things aquaculture. He also evaluates and uses the products of aquaculture science to communicate complex issues to non-scientists and inform policy and decision-making. Prior to his current position, Dr. Rust lead the Marine Aquaculture Research Program at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines, worked for NGOs on aquaculture development in Haiti, taught and supervised graduate students at the Universities of Washington and Idaho, and generally kept his hands wet trying to raise all manor of aquatic life in captivity.


Martin Sabarsky

Mr. Sabarsky has served as CEO of Cellana since 2011 and was CFO and COO from 2008 to 2011. Prior to Cellana, he led the corporate development function at Diversa as Vice President of Corporate Development and a member of the Executive Committee. Before Diversa, Mr. Sabarsky worked as an investment banker with Bear Stearns, focusing on financings and mergers and acquisitions within the life sciences industry, and was a lead banker on Diversa’s $200 million IPO. Prior to joining Bear Stearns he worked as a transactional attorney with Latham & Watkins. Mr. Sabarsky has an A.B. in Biology and Political Science from Brown University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an M.B.A. from the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Algae Biomass Organization.



Pallab Sarker

Dr. Sarker is an expert in fish nutrition for sustainable aquaculture. His current research at Dartmouth College investigates the digestibility of different microalgae and their incorporation in fish feed formulae to replace fishmeal and fish oil towards improved sustainability of aquafeeds. He was previously a postdoctoral researcher at the Laval University, Canada. He awarded the Japanese Government Fellowship for his M.Sc. and Ph.D. He employed as a Scientific Officer in Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute. He has supervised over 26 M. Sc., Ph. D., interns, and undergraduate students. He is the author or co-author of over 30 scientific publications, two book chapters, 10 popular articles, extension products and webpages. He has authored or co-authored over 20 presentations at scientific conferences. He is the member of the editorial board of the Journal of Aquaculture & Marine Biology. He is a member of the manuscript review committee of seven peer-reviewed journals.


Niko Schultz


2010 - present: SCHOTT AG, Germany. Corporate R&D (since 2001), Project manager product development: Development of Closed Tubular Photobioreactors at SCHOTT from idea to production, including business and hardware development of tubes (longer, thin walled, oval geometry) U-bends and couplings, field tests and quality topics.

10/2011-03/2012: Visit at SCHOTT Suzhou, China, for evaluation of market attractiveness of tubular-glass photobioreactors.

2001-2010: Schott AG, scientist for thin-film, optical coating development


Postdoctoral research at University of Linz, Austria, on conducting polymers for solar cells (2000), Post doctoral research at Univerity of Utah, USA, on III-V semiconductors (1999), Ph.D. from University of Utah. Research on optical properties of amorphous silicon with outstanding research award (1999), Diploma in Physics from University of Aachen, Germany (1995). 


Anthony Siccardi 

Dr. Anthony Siccardi is an Associate Research Scientist at Texas A&M AgriLife in Corpus Christi, Texas and a Professional Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Anthony's current research focuses on mixed microalgal cultures, nutrient optimization and recycling, and outdoor production strategies. He has worked with microalgae for more than 10 years in research for the mariculture and biofuel fields. Anthony received his Bachelor's Degree in marine biology from Long Island University-Southampton, a Masters Degree in Environmental Science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. Degree in Nutrition from Texas A&M University.


Len Smith

As Heliae’s Chief Business Officer, Len is responsible for business development, sales, and commercial partnerships as well as managing Heliae’s quality, regulatory, legal, and information technology operations. For nearly 20 years Len has worked with innovative organizations to develop and commercialize innovative products and technology, primarily in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Before joining Heliae, Len held positions as Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs for Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Corporate Counsel for Novo Nordisk. Len holds a J.D. from Washington University. He also holds undergraduate and graduate level technical degrees in biology, environmental science, and information systems management. Len previously completed internships with the Office of the Vice President of the United States, the US Patent and Trademark Office, and the US District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. His academic laboratory research focused on the characterization of non-Mendelian inheritance patterns in leguminous plants.


Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a Visiting Research Fellow at the J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla, California where she is supervised by Dr. Andrew E. Allen. Sarah got her M.S. in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and her Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography studying gene expression during neutral lipid accumulation in a model marine diatom. Her current work is focused on deciphering controls on metabolic regulation through -omics based dissection of gene regulatory networks in model algae.

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Stephanie Smith 

Dr. Smith is the Co-founder and Chief Scientific/Operations Officer of Beagle Bioproducts, Inc. Beagle provides products and services to people who study, mitigate, and otherwise encounter harmful algal blooms (HABs). Dr. Smith developed a patent-pending biorefining process that yielded Beagle's first products, cyanotoxins, which originate from toxic blue-green algae. She oversees all technical operations and continues to develop new products and services that are offered through Beagle's HAB Marketplace. Beagle has been built upon Dr. Smith's expertise in photosynthetic microbiology and bacterial physiology, having earned her doctoral degree in microgiology at The Ohio State University (2002). She has served as a Senior Scientist and Associate Manager at Battelle Memorial Institute, as an officer in professional organizations such as the Ohio Branch of the American Society for Microbiology, and as an expert on a panel testifying before Congress regarding the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA).


 Val Smith

Dr. Smith's research program focuses on relationships between resource supplies and the structure and function of aquatic systems. During the past four decades he has developed objective, predictive empirical models that are used worldwide in water quality management. He has authored state-of-the-art reviews of eutrophication science, and he has also developed models to predict the effects of nutrient enrichment (eutrophication) on nuisance algal blooms. His 1983 paper on cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) published in the journal Science was awarded the John Martin Award by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography in February 2013, and this paper was judged to be one of the most important contributions to eutrophication science during the entire 20th Century. His current research focuses upon ecological stoichiometry; the ecology of infectious diseases; and the ecology of biofuels production, with an emphasis on crop protection.


Ruth Spierling


Ruth Spierling is an expert in anaerobic digestion and hydrogen fermentation of animal waste, food waste, and microalgae biomass. She graduated from Cal Poly with a B.S. and M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Previously she has worked in environmental compliance for a mining company and was a senior airman in a Civil Engineering Squadron in the United States Air Force. 
 Zachary (Zhiyong) Sun Dr. Zachary (Zhiyong) Sun joined Ocean Nutrition Canada as Senior Research Scientist, later Senior Scientist at DSM, and since 2013 Lead Scientist at Mara Renewable Corp. He led the development and scale-up of highly productive microalgae-based biofuel and nutritional lipid fermentation processes, which formed Mara's core technology platform. He had previously worked on high-cell-density fermentation development and commercialization of renewable and degradable biopolymers (PHAs). Dr. Sun has ten peer-reviewed publications, one US patent, and four patent applications on the topics of microbial fermentation processes. He holds Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University, Canada.


Eric Sundstrom

Eric Sundstrom directs research and development for Algae Systems in the areas of biomass production and wastewater treatment. He received his Ph.D in environmental engineering from Stanford University in 2013, where his research focused on production of renewable biopolymers from biogas methane. Eric also holds an M.E. in environmental engineering and a B.S. in civil engineering, both from Rice University.


Ryo Takeuchi


I am a scientist who is working on multiple research programs including genetic engineering of Arthrospira platensis at Matrix Genetics LLC in Seattle. I received Master and Doctorate Degrees of Applied Biological Sciences from Tokyo University of Science in Japan (addressing the molecular mechanisms of DNA repair in fruit flies). I finished postdoctoral training at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle (focusing on X-ray crystallography, protein engineering and genome engineering in eukaryotes using multiple types of genome-editing endonucleases) under the supervision of Dr. Barry Stoddard, and worked as a staff scientist until joining Matrix.


Henry Taunt

Dr Henry Taunt is a Senior Research Scientist at Algenuity, based just outside London, England. Henry received his doctorate from University College London in 2013 under the supervision of Prof. Saul Purton, where his research focused on the expression of novel antibiotic proteins in the chloroplast of the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. His role at Algenuity is primarily as an innovator and project initiator; however, he is also responsible for the training and supervision of interns and junior staff members. Presently Henry is investigating the application of genome editing tools to a number of microalgal species such to allow precision engineering of strains without the introduction of foreign DNA. He is also involved in on-going work relating to species-agnostic gene trapping in microalgae, and coupled, phenotype driven screens to identify novel genetic targets for strain improvement and metabolic engineering.


Serge Tchuruk

 Mr. Tchuruk is the former chairman and CEO of Alcatel and Total SA. He started his career in the Mobil Corporation, where he held various management positions in France and the US from 1964 to 1979, then with Rhône-Poulenc, where he was named CEO in 1983. He served as chairman and CEO of CDFChimie/Orkem from 1986 to 1990, then as chairman and CEO of TOTAL, one of the world's leading oil and gas companies, from 1990 to 1995. In 1995, he became chairman and CEO of Alcatel, a global telecommunications company, leading Alcatel’s merger with Lucent Technologies in 2006. Following the merger, he served as chairman of Alcatel-Lucent until 2008. He has served on the boards of many companies, including Thales Avionics Inflight Systems, LLC, Institut Pasteur, Société Genérale and Ecole Polytechnique.


Rahul Tevatia


Rahul Tevatia, Ph.D., is currently working as a Post Doctoral Researcher in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Baltimore. His projects involve studying algae-fungi co-culture; chloroplast engineering of microalgae for production of Nano-bodies (VHH), and characterizing microalgal ubiquitination E3 ligases. Before joining JHU, he has worked as a Research Associate in Synaptic Research Company, Baltimore where he concentrated on screening F-box proteins using a high-throughput mammalian system. He completed his Ph.D. (2014) from Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL), focusing on synthetic biology, kinetic modeling, scale-up, techno-economic analysis. His research involved continuous, fed-batch, and batch fermentations, high-resolution imaging, flow cytometry, genomics, and proteomics.


Laurenz Thomsen

Dr. Thomsen completed his doctorate in Kiel, Germany on the subject of biological oceanography. After his post-doctoral qualification on the theme of Particle and Fluid dynamics at Continental Margins and research stays in Norway and the Netherlands he was a guest professor in Seattle, USA as Heisenberg fellow of DFG (German Science Foundation). Since 2001 he is Professor of Geosciences at Jacobs University Bremen. Since 2002 he is Adjunct Professor of Biological Oceanography at the University of Washington, Seattle. Thomsen has carried out more than 30 research expeditions in the North Atlantic and Pacific, was PI or coordinator of 18 international research programs and published more than 70 papers in international journals. He is reviewer for international science journals and various research councils. Since 2012 he is member of the Senate Commission on Oceanography of DFG which plans and coordinates the activities of the DFG (marine research).


Eric Torres

Eric Torres, originally a native of southeast Idaho, is currently pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Utah State University. He completed his undergraduate degree at Utah State University in mechanical engineering. His interests are in renewable and sustainable energy. He is currently studying the end fate of heavy metal contaminants introduced in microalgal growth systems and their effect on biomass growth. The results of his study can be applied to heavy metal remediation in addition to growing microalgae in heavy metal contaminated wastewaters for biofuel production. Previous undergraduate research includes nucleate boiling heat transfer in microgravity and thermal management of electronic and mechanical devices at high altitudes.


Peter Valdez

Dr. Peter Valdez is the Lead Chemical Engineer of Algae Systems. He is responsible for research and operations related to hydrothermal processing of microalgae and other biomass at Algae Systems pilot facility in Daphne, Ala. He has extensive experience studying the hydrothermal reactions of biomass. In addition to research related to hydrothermal conversion, he manages research projects for upgrading all of the hydrothermally processed products into valuable co-products. He received his B.S. at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and his M.S.E. and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, all in chemical engineering. As a graduate student he received a STAR fellowship from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Walter J. Weber Jr. Graduate Student Award for Environmental and Energy Sustainability in recognition of his research contributions.  


Steven Van Ginkel


Dr. Steven W. Van Ginkel got his first Bachelor's Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology at Iowa State University. He then received a bachelors and masters in environmental engineering and a graduate minor in environmental studies. While working with Dr. Bruce Logan at Penn State, he got his Ph.D in environmental engineering focusing on biohydrogen production and high-rate anaerobic digestion. He later became a fellow at the National Research Council and a postdoc at the Environmental Protection Agency. He then worked with Dr. Bruce E. Rittmann at the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology where he worked on the H2-based membrane biofilm reactor and wastewater treatment projects. Currently, Steve is working with Dr. Yongsheng Chen at Georgia Tech where he is helping to lead the Algae Testbed Public Private Partnership project and developing algae crop protection tools. He is also working on aquaponics where algal meal serves as the fish feed.


Kiron Viswanath

Kiron Viswanath is a Professor at the Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture, University of Nordland, Norway. His research on microalgae is aimed at developing microalgae as sustainable aquafeed ingredients, and as sources of functional components in health feeds. As a member of the DoE-funded Cornell Marine Algae Biofuel Consortium, he has been conducting studies on the application of co-products from biorefinery of microalgae as ingredients in feeds of farmed fish and shellfish. He utilizes his expertise in exploring the nutritional and health promoting potential of microalgae - focusing on gut health, interlinking nutrition, immunology and microbiology. He has over 160 publications in fish nutrition, physiology and immunology. After obtaining his Ph.D degree from Cochin University of Science and Technology, (1989, Fish Nutrition) he specialized in Fish Immunology at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, where he served as Assistant Professor for over a decade until 2004.


Mark Warner

Mark Warner is a registered professional engineer with 30 years of experience in process commercialization, focusing for the last 10 years on taking first-of-a-kind-technologies from bench-top to commercial operation. He has worked for four companies who have held the #1 spot on the hottest company list in "Biofuels Digest", in a range of advanced biotechnologies including biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol, phototrophic algae, heterotrophic algae and innovative food products. He is the founder of Warner Advisors LLC, providing consulting services and acting in interim engineering leadership roles for advanced bioeconomy clients.


Dong Wei

Prof. Dong Wei received his B.Sc. in Biology in 1988 from Xinjiang University, China. He got his M.Sc. in Microbiology in 1993 from Huazhong Agricultural University and Ph.D in Biochemical Engineering in 1997 from South China University of Technology. After that time, he worked in South China Agricultural University and Ocean University of China. During the period of 2001-2002 and 2008-2009, he was doing research in Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and The Ohio State University as a visiting scholar. Currently he is a professor in School of Light Industry and Food Sciences, South China University of Technology. His main research interests focus on microalgal biotechnology for biochemicals and biofuels, biomarker discovery and metabolic engineering with omics technologies (transcriptomics and metabonomics), and bioconversion of biomass waste by microalgal biorefinery.


Steffen Welzmiller

Following a period of research and teaching work at the University, Dr. Steffen Wilzmiller worked in a business group within the investment management. Subsequently, he switched to the branch of renewable energies and acted as Head of International Business Development. Thereupon he became part of the managing board of a power supplier. Since 2013, Steffen Welzmiller has worked for Subitec GmbH in Stuttgart and became Managing Director in March 2014. 


Rebecca White

Dr. Rebecca White is the Site Manager for Qualitas Health's Texas Production facility. Prior to that, she was the Director of Cultivation and Site Manager for Sapphire Energy's Columbus Algal Biomass Farm, in Columbus, N.M. She has a Ph.D in Microbiology from Texas A&M University, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.


Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)

For years, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island has helped lead the fight in Washington for clean energy and to reduce the carbon pollution that drives climate change. As a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, he plays a key role crafting policies that protect our environment and position the United States as the world leader in clean energy. He has worked to extend renewable energy tax incentives that support hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs, including key investment tax credits to help strengthen the American offshore wind industry. In Rhode Island, Sen. Whitehouse helped secure infrastructure upgrades to support the deployment of offshore wind energy and coordinated efforts between developers, state and federal officials, and fishing and environmental interests to ensure that offshore wind projects are sited in areas of greatest energy potential and least impact.


Michael Wilson

Michael Hayes Wilson is a Senior Research Engineer at the Center for Applied Energy Research at the University of Kentucky. Michael has been researching, designing, and operating algae photobioreactors for 6 years; investigating their application for CO2 mitigation and beneficial re-use at coal-powered energy plants since 2009. As part of the UK team, he has designed, built and operated a full-scale, pilot photobioreactor, which is currently installed at a Duke Energy Power Station, located in Rabbit Hash, Ky. Michael holds a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky, while working as a full time researcher. His research focuses include interfacing algae systems with power plants, systems integration, and techno-economic analysis.  


Ian Woertz

Ian Woertz graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is a registered Professional Engineer in California and has seven years of engineering experience on the design and operation of algal lipid production systems and biodiesel facility operation. He created and maintains a major engineering model of algae biofuels production, originally produced as part of a Berkeley Energy Biosciences Institute study (Lundquist et al, 2010). He recently designed and constructed an experimental facility for algal biofuels and wastewater treatment research, which is now part of the U.S. Department of Energy National Algae Testbed program. His on-going work and research includes life cycle assessment modeling of algae biofuel processes, pilot facility engineering, construction, and laboratory coordination and management. He is a volunteer for Engineers without Borders.


Paul Woods

Algenol was awarded the Global Leadership Award for biofuels from Platts and honored with the first Presidential Climate Change Award. Algenol's Direct to Ethanol® Technology has begun production of ethanol, gasoline, diesel and jet fuel using proprietary algae, sunlight, non-arable land and CO2 with operating costs of $1.30 per gallon, and production rates 20 times that of corn ethanol. Algenol will be purchasing both coal and NG power plant flue gas as the abundant CO2 feedstock, benefiting electric customers and carbon reductions at the same time. Woods and Algenol currently hold 44 patents and have 74 patents pending. Algenol currently employs nearly 200 employees in Lee County, Florida and in Germany.


Charles Yarish

Professor Yarish received his Ph.D from Rutgers University (1976) and then joined the faculty at UCONN (1976) where he is in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. He has also been an adjunct Professor at the Stony Brook University, visiting Scientist at the Biologische Anstalt Helgoland (Germany), visiting Professor at the University of Groningen (Netherlands), and most recently, a Guest Professor at Shanghai Ocean University. He has served on The Advisory Board of the Institute of Marine BioSciences (Halifax). Yarish received the 1992 Marinalg Award's First Prize, has been a national lecturer, member of the Phycological of America's Executive Committee and President (2001). He has been an invited participant to symposia in Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, The Netherlands and USA. At UCONN, he developed an internationally known laboratory for seaweed research and has been a leader in seaweed aquaculture.


Kangsup Yoon

Dr. Kangsup Yoon is Associate Professor in Center for Microalgal Biotechnology and Biofuels at Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) in China. He received his Ph.D in Biochemistry from Kongju National University in 2006. He completed his postdoctoral training in Laboratory for Algae Research and Biotechnology (LARB) at Arizona State University on algal biology and biotechnology field (2007-2010), and then continued to fulfill his research project with Drs. Hu and Sommerfeld as an Assistant Research Professor in ASU (2011-2013) prior to be recruited to Institute of Hydrobiology. Dr. Yoon's research involves a range of many impressive techniques, including molecular and cellular biology, plant physiological and biochemistry, for addressing fundamental biological questions related to algae-based bioenergy. His current research interests is to better understand structure, function and regulation of genes and protein/enzyme that are involved in lipid metabolism in microalgae for enhanced biofuel production.
 Masaki Yoshida Masaki Yoshida is an Assistant Professor of Algae Biomass Bioenergy Development Research Center at the University of Tsukuba, Japan. Dr. Yoshida received his Ph.D. from the University of Tsukuba, worked as Post-Doctoral fellow at Rikkyo University, and came back to his alma mater in current position to promote R&D of algal biomass.


Tim Zenk

Timothy Zenk is the Executive Vice President of Business Development for Algenol and formerly served as senior vice president of corporate development for Sapphire Energy, Inc. At Algenol, Zenk oversees business development, government affairs, public policy, marketing and communications. Zenk has years of leadership and notable success with public and privately held companies, including Sapphire Energy, Edelman Global, and Telecommunications Systems. In addition, he has held key roles in government, working for presidential administrations, U.S. congressional members and state governors.

Tim Zenk has spent much of his distinguished career shaping public policy – in helping leaders become better leaders and the public become more educated about key issues impacting the nation and the globe. Today, his passion for legacy energy solutions are top on his agenda.

Xuezhi Zhang
 Dr. Xuezhi Zhang is a professor in Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB), Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan, China. Prior to joining IHB, he worked at Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation at Arizona State University Polytechnic campus in Mesa, Arizona. His current main research interest is to better understand the influence of algal morphological characteristics and culture medial properties on algae harvesting and culture media recycling, and to develop cost-effective and energy-efficient algae harvesting processes using advanced membrane filtration, sedimentation, dissolved air flotation and centrifugation techniques.


Yubin Zheng

Dr. Yubin Zheng has served as Chief Technology Officer of BioEnergetics Co., Ltd. since 2013. Prior to joining the company, he led the microalgae research group in Bioprocessing & Bioproducts Engineering Laboratory of Washington State University from 2011 to 2013. Dr. Zheng is experienced in microalgal biotechnology development, such as strain screening and improvement, photobioreactor design and deployment, cultivation strategy and contamination control, biomass harvesting and product extraction. He also has well experience in project management, and participated in several research projects from the U.S. and Chinese government during the past few years. Dr. Zheng received his Ph. D in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from Washington State University.  


Yunhua Zu

Yunhua Zhu, Ph.D., is currently a senior research engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). She began research on clean coal energy conversion systems in 2001 as a Ph.D student at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Since she joined PNNL in 2005. Dr. Zhu’s research is concerned with process simulation and economic analysis for coal and biomass conversion systems. She has participated in multiple biofuel and bioenergy projects as a key contributor and task lead. Dr. Zhu has authored or co-authored journal articles, conference papers, book chapters and technical reports in clean and renewable energy area. She is also a peer reviewer for Applied Energy, Bioresource Technology, and Algal Research.


Algae Biomass Summit

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