More announced soon!

Dr Serean Adams

is Aquaculture Group Manager at the Cawthron Institute. Her passionate team is focussed on applied and innovative research that supports and grows NZ's aquaculture industry. The group have been instrumental in establishing hatchery production of shellfish spat in NZ to reduce the industry's reliance on unpredictable wild caught spat, as well as establishing selective breeding programmes to provide spat that have superior genetics. They work with species that are currently farmed (Greenshell mussels, Pacific oysters, and king salmon) as well as emerginghigh value species (geoduck, scampi, and flat oysters). Their research is multi-disciplinary, spanning from reproduction and developmental biology, to post-harvest and bioactives research. This is all with the aim of improving the value, security, and sustainability of NZ's aquaculture industry.


Dr Ralf Schlothauer

gained his PhD from the Technical University of Hamburg in Bioprocess Engineering then became a lecturer with Massey University before accepting a role as a research engineer.  Following a return to Germany to work in the area of functional foods and probiotic bacteria with Danisco, Ralf joined Comvita in January 2006 as Chief Technology Officer with overall strategic and functional responsibility for research and development. Ralf led Comvita’s innovation team (CIL) at the Institute for Innovation and Biotechnology (IIB) at The University of Auckland, During that time he lectured at undergrad level on fermentation, probiotic cultures and functional foods as well as holding seminars and coaching postgrad students in design thinking, turning academic knowledge into business and consumer focussed innovation.

Ralf’s special interest lies in evolving systems research, namely not only looking at isolated factors, but developing a holistic approach for a broader picture. The skill at looking for synergies and broader context was essential for the development of the open educational innovation model CIL. Currently Ralf is working as a consultant for food industry under his own consulting company “Whio-Innovations”, based in Tauranga. 

Dr Mike Packer

Mike is involved in fundamental and applied research projects using the latest biochemical and molecular cell biological techniques, drawing heavily on engineering, physics, chemistry, electrochemistry, and polymer science, to product formation from algae. These include high value products such as bioactives and functional foods. Mike’s interests include:
• Algal biology, high value & commodity products from algae
• Algal and cyanobacterial production and harvesting systems
• Redox biochemistry and bioenergetics
• Algal production systems and photobioreactor technology
• Biological hydrogen production, biomass to bioenergy
• Photosynthetic microbial fuel cells
• Renewable energy, integrated value chain design