OMEGA Advisors

Chairman of the Board

Chief Science Advisor, OMEGA Global Initiative
California, USA
Inventor of the OMEGA concept of integration for sustainability. Founder and Chief Science Advisor of OMEGA Global Initiative.


Jonathan Trent invented OMEGA to grow oil-producing algae on municipal wastewater and leads the multidisciplinary OMEGA team to test the feasibility of the OMEGA concept. Trent’s previous research focused on astrobiology and nanotechnology using extremophiles. Extremophiles are organisms adapted to live in the most extreme environments on Earth. His studies of their lifestyle and adaptations have provided insight into how extremophiles adapt to live in near-boiling sulfuric acid and how their protein structures can be used to construct robust, self-assembling, genetically versatile tools for nanotechnology. His nanotechnology has been applied to developing enzymes arrays to access the sugars in cellulose for making biofuels.

After receiving his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Trent spent six years at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Germany, the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and the University of Paris at Orsay in France. He returned to the United States to work at the Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine at Yale Medical School for two years before establishing a biotechnology group at Argonne National Laboratory. In 1998 he began work at NASA’s Ames Research Center to be part of NASA’s Astrobiology program and established the Protein Nanotechnology Group in 1999. In addition to working at NASA, he is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. In 2006, Trent received the Nano50 award for innovation in nanotechnology. His work on biofuels was initially supported by and is currently supported by the California Energy Commission and NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.

OMEGA Strategic Advisor

Strategic Advisor, OMEGA Global Initiative
Location: San Francisco, CA


Erica Tuten, MBA, is a Strategic Advisor for OMEGA Global Initiative and resides in San Francisco, CA. Her experience spans from serving as Director and Founder of Venture Biosciences Group, Inc. a consultancy that specializes in global business, innovation, sustainable product development, cross-functional program management, strategic operations, product portfolio positioning, international affairs, regulatory/quality, and business development within life sciences, biotechnology and environmental industries. Erica has served as an advisor/consultant for multiple fortune 500 companies including Genentech and Roche. She has also held leadership roles for MedImpact Healthcare Systems, Life Technologies, ThermoFisher Scientific and BioMarin. She has led several large scale, strategically significant global programs and implementations. Erica is passionate about sustainable living, alternative/clean energy and technology, conservation, climate change issues, circular economies, smart cities, green technology, entrepreneurship, animal rights, travel, photography, public policy, women in leadership and start-ups.

Project Advisor for Project Development

Engineer and Project Manager
Location: Monaco


Christophe Sintive, Engineer & Project Manager, brings to OGI 10 years of experience from Offshore Oil & Gas industry and is work based in Monaco. Through its participation to challenging floating platforms construction projects worldwide, he developed his knowledge over Offshore Environment and particularly Systems & Maintenance on different types of assets, by integrating multiple competences, through extended timing zones and involving various work cultures. Combined to project and team management experiences acquired through consultancy missions for major O&G Stakeholders and while setting-up business units, Christophe developed his competences in handling complex organizational, human, cost and timing constraints. He also has competences in Executing Information Management processes and digitalization programs, from framework definition to full project implementation and Client Handover. Recently, Christophe turned green and led a CO2 reduction program whom outcome constituted the basis for an inspirational concept of an Offshore Clean Energies and Aquaculture Neutral Structure, he’s currently focusing his efforts on creating awareness, partnerships and business opportunities. Christophe is passionate about outdoor activities, triathlon, planet preservation, sustainability, challenges, technologies, entrepreneurship, travels and teaching scuba-diving. He will be acting as project advisor and external support for project development aspects.

Commercial Aquaculture

Location: Sequim, Washington


Peter Becker, Ph.D. is interested and experienced in hands on management of medium sized production, research and development groups in commercial aquaculture from start up to reduction to engineering practice.  He has extensive experience in aquaculture systems analysis, design, development and management up to 25 employees. He was a commercial and research diver for 24 years and has experience managing diving operations and teams. Becker is also experienced in description, analysis, and modeling of physical processes in freshwater distribution and transport in coastal waters and estuaries and modeling of aquaculture in coastal waters and estuaries.  He has hands on experience in North and South America, Europe and central Asia.

Director and Co-Founder Sustainable Innovation Lab, UK

Location: United Kingdom


Ichin is director and co-founder of Sustainable Innovation Lab, a consultancy which helps governments and businesses to innovate and become more sustainable. Over 20 years of international professional experience in the field of environment related to green business, climate change, policy response to mitigation and adaption, city climate change action plan development, best practice of low carbon city, green growth and circular economy, supply chain, clean technology, sustainable materials and products, etc. The clients include the EU Commission, UK Defra, Apple, Ihobe (Spain), UL, ARUP, BSI, NIKE, Taiwan ITRI, City of Paris, etc.

She is the advisory board expert of EC Horizon 2020 of Industrial Leadership ( LEIT-NMBP) –‘ Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies, Nanotechnologies, Biotechnology, Advanced Materials and Advanced Manufacturing and Processing’ ( LEIT-NMBP) and the advisory board member for international cooperation 2014-2016.. EC Horizon 2020 is the biggest Research and Innovation programme in the world with nearly €78 billion of funding for 2014-2020. In last two years, she has worked closely with other EU Horizon 2020 Industrial Leadership experts over circular economy industrial strategy.

She has been involved in many international expert committees and advisory boards including EC foresight panels on European Industrial Landscape Vision (2025) & Systemic Eco-innovation/Eco-industries, 2035: Paths towards a sustainable EU economy – Sustainable transitions and the potential of eco-innovation for jobs and economic development in the EU eco-industries 2035,Green Growth Econom, Geen business and sustainable technology: Industrial Sustainable Development Journal, Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy (TAISE) Climate Change Policy Committee, guidance counselor of National Chi Nan University and Global eco-island conference. She was previously the R&D Director for the US/China-based Sustainable Development Technology Foundation and worked in many different countries in EC, US and Asia.

Ichin is also a regular international conference and event speaker. The topics of lectures cover wide range topics from climate change, sustainable business, circular economy, Asia and sustainability, low carbon cities, green growth, clean tech, green procurement.

Ichin co-authored eight books and more than 250 environmental reports and research papers. She holds a Masters degree in Geography and Environmental Engineering from the John Hopkins University in the US and an EMBA fellowship from the Cambridge University in the UK. She speaks English, Chinese, Taiwanese.

Patrick Wiley
OMEGA Engineer
Operations Manager, PERC Water Corp.
California, USA

Dr. Patrick Wiley was an member of the original OMEGA research team that constructed and operated the first system in Santa Cruz, California. Dr. Wiley has extensive experience with wastewater treatment processes, and presently holds the highest level of wastewater operator certification in three states. He also has more than ten years of experience developing automated processes designed to cultivate and harvest algae for a variety of applications. Patrick is passionate about waste-to-energy processes, a subject that has been the focus of his academic research and professional career.

OMEGA econometric and cross-domain modeling

Co-founder & chief scientist, Quantellia
Location: California & Colorado, USA


Pratt is co-founder and chief scientist of Mountain View California-based Quantellia, which offers data, machine learning, and decision intelligence software and services worldwide. The co-founder of the field of Decision Intelligence, Pratt also received the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation for creating the field of neural network transfer learning.  A former professor at the Colorado School of Mines, Pratt’s previous positions also included global director at Frost and Sullivan and operating systems developer at IBM.   She has authored numerous academic papers, as well as the book Learning to Learn and the Decision Engineering Primer.  Today, Pratt spends her time on Deep Learning projects, building decision models, and is a well-known speaker and writer. Her blog is at, and she splits her time between California and Colorado. 

Sasha Tozzi
OMEGA Engineer

Algae Technical Manager, Altech
Kentucky, USA


Dr. Tozzi’s career has been devoted to studying and growing phytoplankton across oceans and continents globally. He has always combined his interest for biology, physiology and ecology with cutting edge new technologies spanning from sensors to field and lab bioreactors and large scale algae cultivation facilities and control systems.
Dr. Tozzi was a research team member of the NASA OMEGA project from its inception and contributed to the original photobioreactor and control design, several subsystem test and selection, and the OMEGA system scale-up demonstration facilities. Dr. Tozzi continued his work in cutting edge technology in Silicon Valley as Vice President of Strain Validation and Field Operations at Aurora Algae where he successfully established a strain validation lab and pipeline, established several test sites and led the construction and operations at the Rio Hondo, Texas demonstration facility. Dr. Tozzi continues his work in large scale algae cultivation as Alltech’s Algae Technical Manager at the second largest algae production facility in the world in Winchester, Kentucky.
Dr. Tozzi graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Naples Federico II in Italy where he was born and raised. Upon graduation, Dr. Tozzi moved to the United States where he obtained a Master of Science degree in Oceanography from Rutgers University and a Doctorate degree in Marine Sciences from the College of William and Mary. Dr. Tozzi is also a courtesy Research Associate at the University of California Santa Cruz and an active team member of the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) headquartered at University of Hawaii.

Pierre Erwes
CEO, BioMarine Organization Ltd
Cascais, Portugal

Pierre Erwes is the CEO of BioMarine Organization Ltd, President of BioTopics S.A.S, founder and chairman of BioMarine. He is an entrepreneur who has over twenty five years of international experience, primarily in the areas of business development in new technologies, biotech, pharmaceuticals, as well as in the marine bio resources. He exercised managerial responsibilities at several companies. From May 2005 to November 2008, Pierre Erwes worked as CEO of BioEvents, a subsidiary of the Scientific Foundation of Lyon, whose goal is to manage and organize international business conventions. This structure has provided help and support in the development of many innovative projects as well as in the organization of events of global significance such as “BioVision – a world forum on life”, “BioSquare” – a business convention, and finally in 2008 : BioMarine. Pierre Erwes is both Canadian and French Citizen.

Business Advisor and Australia Liaison

Co-founder & CEO, Quantellia
Location: California & Colorado, USA


Mark Zangari is co-founder and CEO of Mountain View California-based Quantellia, which offers data, machine learning, and decision intelligence software and services worldwide. The co-founder of the field of Decision Intelligence, Zangari has a multidisciplinary background in both advanced research and commercial software product development.  In 2000, he successfully spearheaded the launch of independent software vendor SPATIALinfo Inc.’s US operations, where he served Chief Technical Officer (CTO), and pioneered one of the world’s largest enterprise-scale GIS systems.

Mr. Zangari’s career includes academic research into the factors leading to effective reasoning in both qualitative and quantitative decision making.   As well as teaching this subject at La Trobe University, he was also principal architect of the STATPLAY software system—a ground-breaking tool dedicated to improving the performance of decision makers when reasoning with statistical data. 

Mr. Zangari holds degrees in physics, philosophy, and computer science.  In 1993, he was awarded the British Council Postgraduate Bursary for his research, leading to a fellowship at Cambridge University. 

The author of several academic journal articles, Mr. Zangari’s research—including a critique of the science underlying the Big Bang—continues to be the subject of scholarly analysis today.     

Based in Denver, Colorado and Mountain View, California, Mr. Zangari works with clients worldwide. 

Mei Lin Fung
CEO, MLF Associates Inc.

Mei Lin Fung is CEO of MLF Associates Inc. and a founding member of the Secretariat for the People-Centered Internet, which is chaired by Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet. She handles Global Network Outreach for ,the 180,000 member organization of future health professionals, with 3200 chapters.  She co-founded and is the Unit Coordinator of the California Health Medical Reserve Corps. As an investigator, thought-leader and social entrepreneur, Mei Lin has been exploring community-based models for innovation and quality of life in the 21st Century. Mei Lin is on the founding team of Innovation for Jobs (I4J) co-chaired by Vint Cerf and David Nordfors. She produced the 40th anniversary celebration of the Mother of All Demo’s, in 2008  for Douglas Engelbart and his memorial in 2013. She led the team producing the 40th anniversary of TCP/IP for Vint Cerf in 2014. As a contractor to the US Department of Defense she served as the Socio-Technical lead for 2 years of the 5-year project on the Future of Health. She worked with the US Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship to set up the first Registered Apprenticeships in Customer Care and Wellness Coaching.

Mei Lin worked at Intel and Oracle in Silicon Valley, and also as an operations research analyst with Shell Australia. She has spoken internationally and written extensively and has been translated into Polish, Korean and Spanish. Her case studies of Singapore’s efforts in e-Government, and Singapore’s National Service Excellence Initiative have been cited in academic peer reviewed journals. Mei Lin has served as international advisor to Singapore’s National Library Board, and was appointed overseas consultant by the China Ministry of Information Industry to the committee on CRM and Contact Centers. She has spoken at the National Defense University in Washington DC, at the People’s Congress Hall in Beijing China and given a talk with Paul Greenberg at the invitation of
the Prime Minister’s Office in Singapore to all the Quality Service officers in the civil service.

Mei Lin serves on the board of directors for the National University of Singapore America Foundation and holds a Master of Science degree from MIT in Management and B.Sc (Honors) in Mathematics from the Australian National University. She is a thought leader in leadership models for the 21st century and designs and implements curriculum for Service Leadership Transformation in a networked world.

Tom: Senior Partner at the law firm Miller Washington & Kim
Nhu: Journalist/Writer
Location: California, USA


Tom and his wife, Tran Tuong Nhu, live in Berkeley, California. Tom attended Yale University and served on the faculty of UC Berkeley training the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers before attending Stanford Law School.  After admission to the New York Bar, he joined the Manhattan firm of Webster Sheffield Fleischman Hitchcock & Chrystie, and is currently  senior partner in the Oakland, California law firm: Miller Washington & Kim.  

In addition to practicing law, in 1966 Tom and Professor Arthur Barsky founded the Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Vietnam to treat war-injured children. It has become a top teaching hospital.  In 1972 he helped UNICEF expand its aid program into North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Tom and his wife, Nhu, help produce documentary films and assisted in the film “Daughter from Danang” which won the Grand Jury Award as the best documentary at the Sundance Film Festival 2002 and was nominated for an Oscar.  He serves as Chair of the Board of the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability (  Tom co-founded Green Cities Fund (, which has established a number of humanitarian projects, including Parwaz, the first Afghan-run microfinance organization providing small loans in war-torn Afghanistan.  Green Cities also established the Vietnam Green Building Council (  As head of Lancaster Miller Publishers, he published over 100 books on Asia and contemporary subjects.  He also has served as Deputy Director of California Rural Legal Assistance, West Coast Director of the Council on Economic Priorities and assisted in the establishment of  Berkeley’s La Pena Cultural Center.  He is co-founder of the award winning Bison Brewing Company, one of the first modern microbreweries in the United States. He is currently developing two humanitarian projects in Cuba: a culinary/sustainable agriculture teaching facility “Cocina Abierta” in Havana and a clean water project in eastern Cuba, which is the subject of a documentary by Cuban filmmaker Carlos Betancourt (See

Harold Leverenz
Research Engineer, UC Davis
California, USA

Harold Leverenz has been involved in the modeling, design, and pilot testing of technologies and processes for sustainable water and waste management for the past 15 years. His studies have included decentralized and satellite water reuse systems, natural treatment systems, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for alternative wastewater systems, and source control systems for nutrient and energy recovery. Harold has a degree from Michigan State University in Biosystems Engineering and doctorate in Environmental Engineering from University of California at Davis (UC Davis). He is a registered civil engineer in California and conducts research in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Davis.

Marine Enginneering
Science Liaison Coast Guard PACAREA
California, USA

As Science Liaison for Coast Guard PACAREA, Dr. Phil McGillivary coordinates science issues for the Coast Guard for the Pacific Ocean in conjunction with Coast Guard Headquarters and the Coast Guard Research & Development Center. His responsibilities include management of science conducted using Coast Guard aircraft, buoytenders, and other assets, as well as high latitude science conducted on icebreakers managed by the Coast Guard. He previously worked in the Office of Secretary of Defense after a post-doc at NOAA in Monterey, California through a joint appointment with the Naval Postgraduate School, and an earlier post-doc at the Marine Science Institute of the University of California, Santa Barbara. His 1988 doctorate in Ecology from the University of Georgia on biogeochemical fluxes at fronts along the Gulf Stream followed three years employment at the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) in Miami, Florida. His experience includes two years at sea on research vessels and submersibles and includes studies in traditional maritime cultures across the Pacific and in Alaska, including aquaculture methods, as well as advising companies on high technology aquaculture methods.

Riad Hartani
Engineer Smart Cities

Xona Partners
Location: California, USA


Riad has been involved in a string of technology startups in the Silicon Valley over the years, from initial venture capital funding to product engineering to global market commercialisation. Most recently, he has been working on early stage ventures in Artificical Intelligence as well as Internet of Things platforms development, and co-founded a global technology, strategy and investment advisory firm – Xona Partners, where he has been spearheading a new model for advanced technology incubation/spin-in to accelerate innovation. Prior to that, he was successively head of worldwide systems engineering at Wichorus (acquired by Tellabs), a venture that pioneered 4G networking systems, head of global technology solutions at Anagran (acquired by Saisei Networks), a venture developing intelligent network optimization/analytics solutions, and chief architect at Caspian (acquired by Sable Networks), a startup developing advanced internet routing solutions, all based in the Silicon Valley.  Earlier, he held senior engineering and business positions with Nortel in Canada, the Canadian National Research Labs in Canada, Hitachi Central Research Labs in Japan and the French National Research Labs in France. He is also a founding member of various technology startups and a technical advisor to several internet and telecom ventures in the North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  He holds two Engineering degrees and a Master degree (applied mathematics and systems/computer engineering) with highest distinction, was awarded a Doctorate in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) with highest honors from the University of Paris, was a doctoral and post-doctoral fellow at University of California, Berkeley and completed the Executive Education in Business at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Riad is an active contributor to various industry fora, such as the IETF, ATMF, ITU-T, OIF, IPv6, IEEE and 3GPP, a frequent speaker, chairman and panelist at international industry and technology events around the globe (with well over 100 published papers and internet technology standards). He is also a frequent university lecturer, an advisor to venture capital firms, startups incubators and technology policy makers and a member of various technology and innovation awards committees, in over two dozen countries. Along with the San Francisco bay area, Riad has also lived in Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, Ottawa, Algiers, Dubai and Hong Kong, and travelled to most countries around our world.

Liz Taylor
Marine Engineering
President, DOER Marine
California, USA

Over the past seventeen years Taylor, along with husband Ian Griffith, have grown DOER from a consulting and field services firm to a full service engineering solutions company, occupying a fifty five thousand square foot historic building in the Alameda Marina.

Taylor oversees business development, government contracts, marketing, writing and educational outreach. Clients include marine contracting firms, commercial diving companies, oil and gas service companies, government, law enforcement, environmental response, search and rescue, offshore wind farm services firms, aquaculture firms, mega-yachts, expedition yachts, film production companies, universities, and marine science institutions.

Project Deepsearch is an endeavor to build a human occupied submersible capable of full ocean depth, providing unlimited ocean access to science. Advanced materials including glass are central to the program. The HOV 1000 design leveraged the Deepsearch R&D program for a smaller, 1000m rated, submersible.

DOER’s applied science ROVs have been used for a variety of tasks The flexible architecture of these systems has allowed them to be deployed from many vessels of opportunity from polar to tropical seas in depths to 6500m.

Taylor’s philosophy for DOER is to “make a dollar but make a difference”. To that end, the company works to implement internship programs and to disseminate findings of research and field projects with the scientific community.

Durwood Dugger
President, Biocepts International
Florida, USA

Mr. Dugger has contributed to commercial biotechnology research and business development (closed system aquaculture food production, nutrient/energy recovery, marine related product development, testing and aquaculture training) during his 43 year career. His most recent and or ongoing professional activities include:

The design and development – including the economic feasibility analysis and modeling – of a fully vertically integrated, economy-of-scale optimized, strategically integrated species, multi-trophic aquaculture business model called VIEOS and its commercial implementation.
The economic feasibility analysis of industrial algae biofuel and particularly for systems using algal based waste nutrient/energy recovery from aquaculture, CAFOs and municipal sewages systems.
The economic feasibility analysis of large-scale intensive on-land spiny lobster production technology development.
During his career he has provided start-up, project management and advisories for Fortune 500 new venture projects: (Ralston Purina, Sun Oil Co., AMFAC, and others). Mid-sized private companies, private investors, Federal and state development and or demonstration programs (AGRO 21, OPIC, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, US Army Corps. Of Engineers, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, City of Eastham, MA, University of FL and the FL Dept. of Ag., and others) and founding several private companies.

In aquaculture, he has worked in the development of successful business models through economic feasibility analysis, research and development, design and construction of semi-intensive to super-intensive aquaculture (crustaceans, fish and algae) production system technologies. He has designed and invented associated production and harvest machinery and products for use in commercial aquaculture production including:

advanced harvesting systems
stocking and harvest enumeration systems
high-volume predator/competitor filtration systems
computer automated feeding distribution systems
harvest systems with precise real time quantification abilities
aquaculture nutrition testing laboratories and test systems
health/therapeutic products
marine environmental impact consumer product testing
As a consultant he has provided professional guidance, training, feasibility analysis, problem solving, technology and environmental audits, and site assessment, layout, design, operation and management services in 21+ countries for over 40 corporations, government agencies and financial institutions around the world.

Forward Osmosis

CEO of Porifera, Inc.


Olgica Bakajin, Ph.D. is CEO, of Porifera, Inc. where she is commercializing advanced forward osmosis technology for water reuse.  Prior to Porifera, Olgica had a successful academic career at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Her patents and publications, have been cited over 10,000 times. Olgica Bakajin is a physicist by training with the degrees from University of Chicago (1996) and Princeton University (2000).  Dr. Bakajin received the NanoTech Briefs Award in 2007, R&D 100 Award in 2010 and has been elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2011. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Forward Osmosis Association.

J Pearse
Marine Systems
Prof. Emeritus, Biology, University of California
California, USA

Professional Preparation
Tucson Senior High School (1954); University of Chicago, Zoology, BSc. (1958), Stanford University, Biology, Ph.D.(1964)

Professional Appointments
American University of Cairo, Egypt: Assistant Professor (1965-1968); ); California Institute of Technology, Pasadena: Research Fellow (1968-1971); University of California, Santa Cruz: Assistant to Full Professor, Biology (1971-1994), Professor Emeritus (1994-present).

Editorial responsibilities
Co-editor, Reproduction of Marine Invertebrates, 7 volumes (1969-1991); Regional Editor, Marine Biology (1974-1976); Editorial Board, Invert. Repro. & Develop (1978-present); Editorial Advisor, Marine Ecology Progress Series (1979-1995); Board of Reviewers, Science (1985-1988); Associate Editor, Encyclopedia of Reproduction, 2 volumes (1996-1998).

Western Society of Naturalists, President (1983); Santa Cruz City Museum Association, President (1985-86); International Society of Invertebrate Reproduction, Vice Pres./President, (1989-98}; California Academy of Sciences, Trustee/President (1994-2003); Sea Studios Foundation, Board Member (1996-2012); Sigma Xi, Univ. California, Santa Cruz chapter, Vice Pres/ President (1996-1999); The Otter Project, Board Member (1999-2011); Soc. for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Program Officer (1999-2002), Pres.-elect./President/Past Pres. (2005-11); Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students (LiMPETS), Founder and continuing volunteer (2000-present); Friends of Hopkins Marine Station, Board Member (2005-present); Calif. Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, Central Coast Regional Stakeholders Group (2005-06); Save Our Shores, Science Advisory Committee (2007-present); Pacific Grove Natural History Museum, Museum Board (City appointed) (2007-present), Chair (elected) (2011-present).

Awards, Honors
Antarctic Service Award, overwintering party (1960-1961); American University of Cairo, Egypt, Student Body Best Teacher Award (1966); California Academy of Sciences, Fellow (1978), Fellows Medal (2011); University of California, Santa Cruz, Alumni Distinguished Teacher Annual Award, (1982), Re-Entry Program Teacher of the Year (1994), Academic Senate Committee on Teaching, Excellence in Teaching Award (1997); American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow (1983); Rugilepus pearsei barnacle on urchin named by Grygier and Newman (1991); National Research Council, Ocean Studies Board, Certificate of Appreciation (1994); Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Annual Recognition Award for Science, then for Education (1994, 2003), Ricketts Memorial Lecture Award (2004); International Society of Invertebrate Reproduction, Life-time Membership Recognition Award (2007); Western Society of Naturalists, Lifetime Achievement Award (with Vicki Pearse)(2008); Odontaster pearsei, Antarctic sea star named by Janosik and Halanych (2010); Monterey County Weekly, Local Hero (2011).

(>140 total in peer-reviewd journals and edited volumes, and co-author two text books on invertebrate biology). Two most cited in Google Scholar: Lessios, H.A., B.D. Kessing, and J.S. Pearse. 2001. Population structure and speciation in tropical seas: Global phylogeography of the sea urchin Diadema. Evolution, 55:955-975. Pearse, J.S., J.B. McClintock and I. Bosch, 1991. Reproduction of Antarctic benthic marine invertebrates: Tempos, modes, and timing. Amer. Zool., 31: 65-80.

Mentored students
>100 undergraduate senior theses, 25 masters students, 17 doctoral students, 5 postdoctoral students.

Engineer Alternative Energy

Engineer, Researcher and Consultant: Sustainable Energy


Shadia Sami Ghadban work experience started at age 24 when she graduated as MSc engineer in electronic designs in 1975. She served in aviation industry for 16 years (1976-1992) and gained experience and education that has been useful  in finding  solutions for sophisticated technical systems and procedures in different engineering and technical management in particular and overall administration of tasks and projects in general. Afterwards she involved herself in all type small private businesses and has been keeping herself abreast, and sometimes specialized, in most various scientific disciplines and businesses. Main focus of her attention is on how scientific research and application enable to provision for sustainable and green way of life and to name but few the renewable and alternative energy and energy efficient systems and applications and examining more concepts to add to environment protection and well being of lives. She conducts her business and provides solutions through her own Arham commercial company and Trade Mark Akwan and with teaming up with renown entities:  THE ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO BE PART NO MATTER HOW SMALL IN THE EFFORTS TO PRESERVE THE ENVIRONMENT AND ALL FORMS OF LIFE.

Jo-Shu Chang
Algae Cultivation

Distinguished Professor in Department of Chemical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University
Location: Taiwan


Dr. Jo-Shu Chang is a Distinguished Professor in Department of Chemical Engineering at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), Taiwan. He received his Ph.D. degree from University of California, Irvine in 1993. His research interests cover biochemical engineering, environmental biotechnology and applied microbiology with a recent focus on microalgae-based CO2 reutilization, biofuels production, and biorefineries.  He plays an important role in Taiwan’s biomass energy R&D and policy making. Since July 2006, he has served as member of National Bioethanol Standard Committee for Bureau of National Standard, Ministry of Economical Affairs, Taiwan. He is the leading PI of National Energy Project working on flue-gas CO2 fixation by microalgae with the subsequent biofuels and bio-based chemical production. He also established 300-ton pilot plants for cultivation of microalgae using flue gas CO2 and wastewater in China Steel Co. and on An-Nan campus of NCKU.

He recently became fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2015 and has received numerous prestigious domestic and international academic awards, including Y.Z. Hsu Chair Professor (2015), K. T. Li Honor Scholar Award (2015), J.D. Ho Distinguished Honor Award (2015), Distinguished Engineering Professor Award (by Chinese Society of Engineering) (2015), and 2014 Outstanding Scientist Award of the International Forum on Industrial Bioprocesses (IFIBiop). He published more than 320 journal papers (including twelve ISI Hi-Ci papers) with a total citation of over 8300 times and a h-index of 47. He also authored seven books and owns more than 30 patents. He is now serving as editor, associate editor, guest editor, and editorial board member for twelve SCI-indexed journals and also serves as executive committee member of Asia Federation of Biotechnology (AFOB).

Rene Wijffels
Algae Engineer
Prof. & Chairholder Wageningen University, Bioprocess Engineering
Wageningen, Netherlands


René Wijffels is professor in bioprocess engineering at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. We teach and do research in the field of biobased economy. Our activities include biobased research projects under the umbrella of  public private partnership programs such as BE-Basic ( and AlgaePARC (, a large program in the field of microalgae as a feedstock for biobased products. The AlgaePARC program has been developed by our group and consists out of large public private partnership programs such as AlgaePARC pilot facilities for the production of algae, AlgaePARC biorefinery and 5 EU projects in which the complete production chain is developed. We developed an R&D in a roadmap for 15 years to bridge the gap between basic research and commercial applications of algal products in a biobased economy.

Jenny Hunter Cevera
Science / Education
Acting Secretary of Higher Education, State of Maryland
Maryland, USA

Dr. Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera is currently serving as the Acting Secretary of Higher Education in the State of Maryland. Her primary role is regulatory and coordinating oversight of higher education that includes public and private four year institutions of higher learning, community colleges and private trade schools.

In 2012, Jennie founded Hunter and Associates, a consulting firm focusing on finding integrative solutions to complex problems in the life sciences arena that include sustainability issues. Her clients ranged from large research universities to start up biotechnology companies and U.S. Government Agencies.

Her 22 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries include work with E. R. Squibb and Sons, Cetus Corporation, GeoBiotics and Universal Foods. She founded both The Biotic Network and Blue Sky Laboratory and spent five years as the head of the Center for Environmental Biotechnology at the E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In addition, she served for ten years as the president of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. From 2009-2012, she was the Executive Vice President of Discovery and Analytical Sciences, Government Relations, Public Relations and Corporate Development at RTI International, a non-profit government contract research institution. She successfully increased revenues by 25% within three years while lowering operating costs by 9%. In addition, she founded two new centers, the Center for Agriculture and Environmental Biotechnology (CAEB) and the Molecular, Epigentic, Genomic, Environment and Health Center (MEGEH) which focused on personalized medicine. CAEB was sold to FMC for ~20X the original investment and MEGEH’s original concept programs continue to grow.

Dr. Hunter-Cevera holds 15 patents and specializes in screen design for the discovery of natural compounds in the areas of human therapeutics, nutraceticals, biodefense, sustainable agriculture, bioremediation and biocatalysis for industrial processes in the food and clothing industries. She is the author of many scientific papers and has presented many keynote lectures and served as both moderator and panelist on various aspects of biotechnology both in the national and international arenas.

She is currently on the board of directors for Aqua Animal Health, a growth protein research company and Patients with Power, a bioinformatics company and previously served as a board director for Entremed, an oncology discovery and clinical research company. She has also served as president of the Society for Industrial Microbiology (SIM), the International Marine Biotechnology Association and the United States Federation of Culture Collections. Most recently, she was chair of the National Research Council’s committee on large-scale production of biofuels from algae. She has chaired two other NRC committees and served as senior editor of the Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology for ten years. She currently is on the editorial board of Industrial Biotechnology and was the guest editor for the October, 2014 issue.

Dr. Hunter-Cevera served on the Maryland Industrial Partnerships Advisory board, MDBio’s board of directors, MDBio Foundation and BioIT Coalition. In addition, she sat on the executive committee of Governor Erhlich’s transition team and his committee on science, technology, engineering and math. She was the technology representative for Governor Glendenning to the Southern Governor’s Association and served and chaired the Maryland Technology Economic Development Corporation board of directors. She currently is the chair of the board of directors for the Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies.

She is the recipient of several awards and honors, including Maryland’s Top 50 Influential People and Top 100 Women. She received the Porter Award from the American Society for Micriobiology (ASM) for distinguished research in microbial systematics and taxonomy. She was also elected as a SIM fellow, a member of the ASM Academy of Microbiology and an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow.

Dr. Hunter-Cevera completed a bachelor’s in biology and a master’s in microbial ecology from West Virginia University. She was named a WVU Distinguished Alumni, Nath Lecturer, and presented with an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences in May of 2012. She received her doctorate in microbial physiology and biochemistry from Rutgers University. In April of 2015, Jennie received the Cook College Alumni Association Dennis Fenton Distinguished Alumni Award.

Strategic Advisor
CEO, reQall, Inc.
California, USA

Rao is a the CEO of reQall Inc. an MIT Media Lab spin off and is responsible for the overall strategy and for driving the direction of reQall. reQall is building software (platform and applications) to bring context aware personal assistance for smart devices. reQall technology is offered on Android OS, iOS and various wearables.

Previously, Rao was a Principal Scientist at Apple. At Apple, he headed various groups including the Learning Lab in ATG. Rao worked on a number of research and development efforts in information retrieval, organizational memory, written a number of papers and lectured extensively in USA, Europe. and Asia. Rao holds eleven patents in computing.

Rao has an interdisciplinary educational background in public health (MS/MPH from California State University at Northridge), general systems and information networks (Certificate from United Nations Institute for Research and Training, University of Stockholm and UCLA), and instructional technology (Doctorate from University of Southern California).

Specialties: Information retrieval, Contextual computing, Mobile applications and Usability

Michael Flynn
Water Purification

NASA Ames Research Center
Location: California


Mr. Flynn was one of the original founders of the OMEGA concept.  He is also the lead of Water Technology Development Laboratory at NASA Ames Research Center. He has over 25 years experience in the development of advanced life support system, astrobiology, and fundamental space biology.  He has over 100 peer reviewed publications in the field.  He has received two R&D 100 Awards, a Wright Brothers Medal, and an Arch T. Calwell Merit Award.  He has received 6 NASA Spotlight awards and four of his papers have been selected republication in the Engineering Society For the Advancing Mobility of Land, Sea, Air, and Space International’s Transactions publication.  He has received an AIAA best space architecture paper award. Mr. Flynn has a BS in mechanical engineering from San Francisco State University.

Founder & President, Wiefling Consulting, Inc.
California, USA

Kimberly Wiefling helps organizations achieve what SEEMS impossible, but is merely difficult. How? By turning managers into leaders and groups of people into real teams.

DEEP EXPERIENCE with GLOBAL COMPANIES: Kimberly has worked all over the US, Europe and Asia, and has been to Japan about 100 times to help Japanese companies globalize. Her superpower is bringing people with diverse backgrounds and cultures together, across borders and boundaries of every kind, to achieve what none could do alone.

A TECHNOLOGIST with HUMAN SKILLS: A physicist by education, she realized long ago the limits of technology devoid of human skills – the so-called “touchy feely” aspects of working in teams so vital to success, and so frequently overlooked. Kimberly’s mentor, Dr. Edgar Schein, has been a guiding influence on her work to transform business results through practical, sensible approaches.

BUSINESS RESULTS FOCUSED: Kimberly facilitates highly engaging organizational change and team effectiveness workshops based on her “Possibilities Toolbox”. Her intensive behavior-changing “learning laboratories”, which she playfully refers to as “workshocks”, directly translate into business results. Her latest book, “Inspired Business Cultures – Discover Your DNA, Engage Your People, and Design Your Future”, is available electronically, and will soon be published in paperback form.

SPECIALIZING in CROSS-FUNCTIONAL AND CROSS CULTURAL TEAMS: Kimberly has worked globally with people from every corporate function, and from over 50 different countries. Her clients include many well-known global brands in diverse industries. She wrote a popular monthly column for ALC Press’s Japan-based “English Journal” for 3 years. Her first book, Scrappy Project Management, was translated into Japanese by the #1 Japanese business publisher, Nikkei Business Press.

FROM STARTUPS to the FORTUNE 500: Kimberly has extensive experience working with global companies, including HP, Cisco, Suntory, Panasonic, Symantec, and Yamaha. In addition, she’s helped to start, run and grow over a dozen startups, one of which was acquired by Google, and another that was bootstrapped to seven figure annual revenues.

MAKING a DIFFERENCE: Kimberly is passionate about making a meaningful difference by working with organizations, individuals and teams committed to solving the problems of Our World – profitably and thus sustainably.

Community Activist
California, USA

In love with the nature; immerse in healthy and green living; support human rights and animal welfare. I believe that individual actions can collectively make a difference. I started making differences in my home in 2002, and am now trying to help to make a difference in my community and across the globe.

My interests includes: Gemology (I am a Graduate Diamond from GIA), Instrumental Jazz music (I play Alto Sax and Trumpet), Western and Asian classical music (I also play piano and Guzheng), Chinese Calligraphy, scuba diving, hiking, Archeology (I once joined a group in Thailand for an archeology dig). I love to travel and I have been to many different places. I am neither a Democratic or a Republican My politics is mainly focus on environmental issues.

My interests in research and analysis kept me busy all day long. I have set up RSS feed for News, Climate Progress, Environmental in policy, Environmental in personal life style, Clean Tech News, Venture Beat, Rapaport, GIA Research News, etc. just to name a few. I have also set up a google alerts to get daily emails on any news that is related to “Electric Car” OR “EV”.

I am a mother of two: Darren is a graduate in Boston College (undergrad) and UCLA (AI in in Computer Science). Candace is a graduate from UC Santa Cruz (undergrad) and did some grad works in the Univeristy of the Pacific (inter-culture) Relations.

I was a volunteer in ‘Project Math’ in Junior Achievement for several years. My goal was to get high school girls interested in math and science. I prepared my own teaching materials. It was very challenging because the boys always raised their hands in my interactive classroom environment. The girls were not responsive even they have the answer.

Family is very important in my life. My older sister, Jenny, lives about 1.5 miles from me. I have a brother in Hong Kong who owes a Goldsmith business. My kid sister Jeanne own two stock brokerage firms in Hong Kong. I have hundreds of cousins and we do see each other from time to time.

I jog every day. I love the nature so I run up and down the hills instead of going to the gym (I never even once ever in my life go to the gym).

I don’t get angry easily but there are sad moments in my life. I tend to weight everything around me equally and therefore if there is one thing upset me, I will think of others that make me happy.

My role models:
‘Genghis Khan’, a charismatic and dynamic leader who united various tribes into one tribe (the Mongols) in the western China.
‘Eliza Doolittle’ who never failed in learning.
‘Wall E’ just join my list. His actions change my living habits.

My unforgettable years:
1975 was my favorite year because this is the year I come to United States, a land of opportunity.
1967 and 1992 are sad years for me because my parent left me.
Year of 2009 is probably the worst year in my life where I lost two of my love.

My concerns:
Pollution: too many people, and too much garbage
Climate Change which causes sea level rise, extreme weather, hurting our eco system and wildlife.

Gabrielle Feldman
Environmental Policy
Founder / Principal, Environmental Policy Solutions, LLC
California, USA

I have combined my passion for environmental conservation and sustainable development with an expert knowledge of state, federal, and international law into a keen ability to strategically plan using an integrated approach to problem solving. By using a systems approach to problem solving, I have successfully led several teams through the complicated planning and implementation processes designed to conserve natural resources while promoting sustainable development practices, in addition to implementing a range of strategic communication programs for several projects from forestry to marine conservation. Similarly, I successfully developed and implemented planning tools to aid in decision-making.

Simon Tannock
Wastewater & Algae Biofuels

Microalgae and Wastewater Consultant
Brisbane Australia


Simon Tannock has worked with microalgae and wastewater for more than 15 years.  He has held management roles in design, construction and commissioning of a range of microalgae production systems for aquaculture, research and start-up companies.

Simon’s PhD was related to the anaerobic treatment of wastewater and solid wastes in a novel system that included biological nutrient removal and water recycling through membrane technology.  By combining his knowledge in these various areas Simon is well placed to accelerate innovation in new and developing areas such as algae culture and wastewater nutrient management in bioreactor systems.  Simon won three Innovation Awards at the University of Queensland during his PhD studies.

More recently Simon has developed a new technology for moving and mixing water in algae and wastewater systems, with energy savings up to 50% compared to traditional systems.  This new technology is currently going through the patent and commercialisation process and has direct application to the OMEGA system.  Simon’s main business is which addresses algae and nutrient management in natural and artificial water systems as well as in Wastewater Treatment Systems.

Niels Larsen
Systems Thinker


I have been a computer biologist since 1984, programming tools for RNA sequence analysis, then structural analyses, phylogeny, genomics and in later years microbiome analysis. I was at two US universities and one genomics-company and now reside in Aarhus, Denmark, in my own consulting firm.

My current biology interests are measurement and analysis of microbes anywhere, including new detection technologies, their computer support and commercialization.

I not too attached to biology, rather interested in any new forward ideas that could better our lives. I am happy to discuss any idea, none too big.

Richard Simpson
Sustainability Designer

CEO / Executive Director at SIBA QLD
Brisbane Area, Australia


His career spans bio-tech, spatial technology, energy, architecture and politics.  He was an early pioneer in New Zealand’s 3D computer graphics industry and for over a quarter century has successfully led development of cutting edge spatial technologies. He has founded a series of successful start-ups in computer graphics, energy storage, modular building, bio-tech and spatial technology.

Richard’s international experience includes lead roles on some of the largest digital urban infrastructure projects ever undertaken.  Since 2006, he has served on the executive committee of the International Society of Digital Earth (ISDE), a global organisation involving many of the world’s leading space agencies and research centres in a big-science initiative for mathematical modelling of earth’s systems akin to what the Human Genome project is to DNA, and the Physiome is to physiology. Richard chairs the ISDE’s working committee on Digital Cities.

He has played a founding role in a number of successful start-up businesses in the fields of modular building, computer visualisation, biotech and energy storage.  He has served as an advisor on eco-village projects in Thailand, and as head of innovation at the Bioengineering Institute at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.  This role involved development of an innovation framework and commercialisation of research outcomes from the  Physiome project.

In 2012 Richard co-authored a paper entitled ‘Next Generation Digital Earth’ published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and co-edited a book on the subject of Digital Cities: .  He led a 3D visualisation initiative with South East Water in Melbourne that won them the International Water Association’s coveted award for innovation in 2012.  Richard served as an elected Auckland City Councillor and Chair of Transport in 2004-7 term and successfully championed the unification of Auckland and its emergence in 2010 as Australasia’s largest single city council.

He recently curated of the opening ‘Big Data: Changing Place’ exhibition for the reopening of New Zealand’s National Library of New Zealand.  His exhibition was opened by the Prime Minister of New Zealand and its themes served as the basis for a series of five expert panel discussions hosted by the Royal Society. This series was broadcasted nationally by Radio NZ.

Richard Simpson currently serves as the CEO of Spatial Industry Business Association (SIBA) in Queensland.   SIBA is the peak body for the spatial industry in Australia and New Zealand. The organisation’s web site is

Niki Siropoulou
Global Marketing & Networking

Alternative iGrow


Niki Siropoulou is the co-founder of Alternative iGrow a Brand Strategy and future development agency that brings innovative tools in our networked society era. Niki is a  global community leader, founder of the acclaimed TEDxAcademy and  ambassador of Network Society Project.

With 20 years of Business development expertise in Europe and the US, Niki  has a proven record working with Companies such as P&G, Estee Lauder, MKB Health Tech Fund, Unilever, Carlsberg Group, The Coca-Cola Company.

– In 2010, 2011 and 2012 has been awarded with the Global distinction from TED with the “TEDxAcademy best breed branding” award and was asked by TED to develop the TEDx Branding Manual.
– In June 2014 Niki led the “Guinness World Record” Initiative in combination with a Social Responsibility Activity for Elite brand in Europe.
– Niki has led the development of Mustang Fragrance that received the “Breakthrough Product of the Year 2007 in the US”.

Ms. Siropoulou has extensive Executive Education from Harvard Business School, and  MIT in Innovation and Business Development and holds an MBA from University of Austin, Texas USA.

Microalgae Expertise

Location: Montevideo, Uruguay



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