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ABO Board Chair Mark Allen’s Statement on the Passing of Dr. Robert Gardner

Dr. Robert Gardner

Washington, DC. (October 29, 2019) – The Algae Biomass Organization’s President and Board Chair Mark P. Allen released this statement regarding the passing of Dr. Robert Gardner:

“The Algae Biomass Organization is saddened by the passing of Dr. Robert Gardner, a great contributor to the ABO’s efforts to bring students and young innovators into the industry and showcase their talents at ABO’s Annual Summit conference.  At the time of his passing Rob was an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota but his first engagement with ABO started while he was studying for his Ph.D. under Dr. Brent Payton at Montana State University. At MSU he was also mentored by Dr. Keith Cooksey, an Emeritus Member of the ABO Board of Directors. Rob attended every Summit from 2008 to 2018 and introduced the idea for the Young Innovators Lounge and posters sessions to the Summit. He chaired these events from 2013 to 2015 and also chaired the Summit Biology Track from 2016 to 2018. He also served on the Technical Standards Committee and helped bring IAM v 8.0 to publication.

“I personally began working with Rob in 2008 and throughout the years and at every Summit we would engage in deep discussion over cyanobacteria, an organism we both found immensely intriguing and could talk about for hours. Rob had a unique ability to think deeply into the origin and evolution of an organism, its function, how it interacted with its environment and its impact on the evolution of life on this planet. What we came to call the “Zen of algae”. Rob was a deep thinker and was very generous with what he came to know, he shared it as a gift. I am grateful for the opportunity to have known and worked with Rob, I am sure many others in the algae community feel the same, and we are all grateful for his unselfish contribution to science and ABO. Fortunately, he helped many others on the path of understanding and his spirit will live in a new generation of innovators, young and old alike.”

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