Outstanding leaders, companies and innovations recognized by ABO
The Algae Biomass Organization’s (ABO) is pleased to recognize the winners of the 2022 Algae Industry Awards. During ABO’s Annual Algae Biomass Summit, Executive Director, Dr. Rebecca White, announced outstanding leaders, companies and innovations that are at the forefront of efforts to develop new technologies and commercial markets for renewable and sustainable products derived from algae
The Algae Industry Awards recognize excellence in several categories that contribute to the advancement of algae technology and commercialization. The 2022 winners include:
Pinnacle Award – In recognition of exceptional dedication and service, beyond the call of duty, to advance the algae industry
Tom Byrne, Tax Manager, CarlsonSV
Tom Byrne is a tax manager at CarlsonSV and is one of the biomass industry’s most experienced project consultants. He is a founding member of ABO and has supported the organization tirelessly since 2007; Byrne & Co. co-hosted the inaugural Summit in November 2007, and the 2008 Summit as well, which were the foundation for establishing the ABO in 2008. Tom is one of the smartest, kindest, and funniest people you will ever have the fortune to meet. He has served on the Board, as the treasurer and secretary, for many years, and has guided ABO in the best and the roughest of times. He is an eminent subject matter expert, providing service to the industry at many levels – from his Board membership to representing ABO in Washington, DC to serving as a speaker and moderator at the Summit and at stand-alone events such as the recent Carbon Capture Credits webinar. Without Tom, there would be no ABO.
Early-Career Excellence Award – For excellence in scholarly achievements and a record of productive, independent, and impactful peer-reviewed research and creative scholarship activities
Évellin do Santo Espirito
Although Évellin do Santo Espirito is in the early stages of her career, she has already developed two patents, filed in her home country of Brazil – one for obtaining microalgae extract for the substitution of an animal protein source to produce vaccines and biopharmaceuticals, and one for a bacterial extract used as a growth promoter to obtain a higher concentration of microalgal biomass. She is currently seeking funding to pursue her PhD in the Mayfield lab at UCSD, working with CRISPR in microalgae to increase the production of biomolecules of industrial interest.
Mid-Career Excellence Award – For excellence in scholarly achievements and a record of productive, independent, and impactful peer-reviewed research and creative scholarship activities
Kevin Shurtleff, Utah Valley University
Kevin Shurtleff is an associate professor at Utah Valley University and has spent over 15 years growing, harvesting, and researching algae. His research focuses on developing algae harvesting technology to prevent harmful algal blooms, clean water, and produce renewable energy. He has founded multiple startups, including Mountain West Energy, where he currently serves as President and Manager. He has numerous publications and patents and is hailed as a generous teacher and mentor.
Unsung Hero Award – For unheralded dedication and career contributions to the growth of the algae industry
The Gross-Wen Technologies Operations Team
The GWT Operations Team is the backbone of GWT’s project execution core and is critical to the success of the company’s work. The team is lead by Paul Simpson and is made up of an excellent team of operators, technicians and field engineers. (Luke Anderson, Mike Gross, Mark Rogers, AJ Arnold, and Graham Bradbury). This team is frequently on the road headed to numerous pilot and demonstration scale projects across the nation. They put in long hours during crunch time to get projects over the finish line. The work it takes to build reliable systems that can be deployed in the field is often unnoticed and does not get the recognition it deserves. Without the operations team, GWT would not be able to execute its projects successfully and deploy a new algae-based water treatment technology.
Outstanding Contributions to the Industry
Orri Björnsson, CEO, Algalif
Orri Bjornsson, the CEO of Algalif. Algalif Iceland is a world leader in the production of high quality sustainable natural astaxanthin from micro algae using high tech photobioreactor systems and 100% green geothermal energy. The company is a green leader and a role model for biotech and algae companies around the world. Orri has been working in the pharma and nutraceutical industries for nearly 25 years and was selected by CIO Look at one of the ten most inspiring CEOs to watch in December 2021. He has been the Algalif company leader from early days and is the main influencer and the real force behind the creation of this sustainable algae company. His vision for Algalif has helped push the industry forward as a whole.
Lifetime Achievement Award – For contributions to the algae industry over the whole of a career in academia and/or industry, including commercial success, significant research contributions, policy activities, outreach, workforce development/educational activities, and/or mentoring activities.
Paul Roessler, Biotechnology Consultant
Paul has over 35 years of research experience involving algal, plant, and microbial physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology. He has extensive knowledge, publications, and patents in a number of subject areas involving the physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology of plants and algae, and has experience with leadership of internal, external, and collaborative research programs. He has worked with premier organizations such as Dow Chemical Company, Monsanto (now Bayer), Synthetic Genomics (now Viridos), Algenol and the Aquatic Species Program at NREL, among others. He has contributed significantly to ABO, and specifically the Summit over the years, speaking, moderating sessions, participating in the program committee, and serving as Program Chair.
Leadership Through Service Award – For exceptional contributions to the growth of the algae industry through volunteerism and service
Jesse Traller, Senior Phycologist, Global Algae Innovations
Jesse Traller is a senior phycologist at Global Algae Innovations. Jesse’s leadership on ABO’s Food and Feed committee has been phenomenal – from helping drive and plan the inaugural Future of Algae for Food and Feed gathering, to putting together the annual Committee meeting, which includes multiple panels on timely topics, to organizing the recent Algae in Aquafeed workshop, her dedication to the industry and the mission of ABO is evident. She is always graceful, supportive, and friendly while pushing many things forward with numerous stakeholders and participants.
Champion of Algae Award – For exceptional contributions to growing the algae industry through professional service
Robert Andersen, Pravasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae & Microbiota
Robert A. Andersen has remained a Champion of Algae thorough all his impressive algae-focused career. Bob is Emeritus Director, Pravasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae & Microbiota, Senior Research Scientist University of Washington, and Adjunct Professor Biological Sciences Michigan Tech. He has worked on all phases of algae development from concept to creation, from developing ideas with universities to advancing research topics to help commercial businesses like Heliae turn an algae idea into a commercial product. However, beyond the many awards, various titles, published articles, and conferences, what sets Bob apart is his continuous appreciation and love of algae. If you ever talk with him about algae, it will take but a few minutes for his Champion of Algae spirit to come through.
About the Algae Biomass Organization
The Algae Biomass Organization is the non-profit trade association and unified voice of the algae industry. Working on behalf of all sectors, the ABO advocates for algae-advancing policy and funding, serves as a hub for innovation and networking, and drives demand for “made with algae” products and services.
The annual Algae Biomass Summit, ABO’s signature event, is the largest global gathering of algae producers, researchers, investors, suppliers, policy makers, and other stakeholders.
Founded in 2008, the ABO is led by a Board of Directors representative of the industry’s value chain. Together, with the broader membership, they strive to deliver on the shared mission to promote and accelerate the power of algae to create a step-change in the health and well-being of humanity and the environment. More information is at: www.algaebiomass.org.