Sunnyvale, California, January 26, 2019 – Oakes provides a unique bridge between two sectors: aquaculture and synthetic biology. In his role at NovoNutrients, he works to develop further links between these industries. This development highlights the increasing importance of bio-strategy for food and ag companies. Oakes has long been popularizing the idea that synthetic biology will dramatically improve aquaculture (the systems around most of the fish and shrimp we eat).
Why unite synthetic biology and aquaculture?
“The old adage that there are always more fish in the sea is simply no longer true. Humankind is at a point where we have to farm the additional seafood we hope to eat. But farmed fish and shrimp are still fed ingredients made from wild caught fish, so we are taking the opportunity to rewrite the menu for the menu. By taking waste streams from industrial emitters and turning them into feed for fish, using advanced biology, we’re taking on an opportunity to keep trillions more fish in the ocean and make the world food system more sustainable.”
– Christopher Oakes
Previous positions: Oakes has dedicated this phase of his career to molecular tools and diagnostics, robotics, and the development of fish-free feeds using biotechnology. He was the Chief Operating Officer at Sustainable Ocean Alliance, focused on their ocean technology accelerator and youth leadership programs. Prior to that Oakes was General Manager at SynBioBeta, the premier innovation network for investors, engineers and thinkers that use synthetic biology to build a better, more sustainable planet. His career started with a stint in corporate business development at LabCorp, where Oakes led teams commercializing diagnostic technology and managed multiple acquisitions including Genzyme Genetics and Monogram Biosciences.
Why Oakes, why now?
“I met Chris at the very same event, two years ago, where I first came across the core technology for NovoNutrients. We’d been talking about working together ever since. After completing the IndieBio accelerator in November 2018, NovoNutrients was better funded than we’d ever been, thanks to Purple Orange Ventures and Joyance Partners. We saw that we had the need and the resources to accelerate our engagement with the animal nutrition marketplace and also with the growing community of folks banding together to save our oceans from a relatively recent group of emerging threats. Moreover, we wanted to reinvigorate our approach to synthetic biology – to take full advantage of the right elements among the dazzling and ever expanding array of synbio tools and partners out there.”
– NovoNutrients CEO, David Tze
Oakes is a marine scientist, biotechnologist and professional scuba diver with an academic background in both marine biology and immunology. As a researcher, he focused on life history studies of nearshore marine fishes, marine environmental monitoring, and time-series analysis and spatial modeling. His graduate thesis evaluated net-cage aquaculture’s value as a fish-attracting device off Catalina Island, and his side projects included morphological studies of a pharmaceutically valuable sea-snail. Oakes also enjoys capturing the diversity of the underwater world through photography.
NovoNutrients transforms waste industrial CO2 into feed and food, through industrial biotech – initially for the fast-growing aquaculture sector.
- Contact: David Tze
- Phone: (917) 512-8464
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org