OUR
TEAM

FA Bio has a pioneering team of expert scientists who carry out skilled genomic, microbiological and biochemical experiments. Utilising our innovative technology we study soil microbes to develop agricultural bioproducts that can help minimising agriculture’s environmental impact.

FOUNDERS & LEADERSHIP TEAM

OUR TEAM

Previously FungiAlert, was founded in 2015 by Dr Angela de Manzanos Guinot and Dr Kerry O’Donnelly Weaver with the mission of developing tools to support sustainable agriculture and revolutionise disease management practices. They developed the SporSenZ technology for the early detection of soil pathogens whilst completing their PhD studies at Imperial College London.

 

Today, as FA Bio, our mission is to help minimise agriculture’s environmental impact whilst sustainably increasing crop productivity. We focus on discovering microbial bio-products to deliver sustainable farming solutions.

 

Since 2016, the team is based at Rothamsted Research Centre, a world-leading research centre that focuses on agricultural science.

QUALITY
MANAGEMENT

FA Bio is committed to providing an exceptional customer journey, continually improving our products and services to deliver out the vision of revolutionising disease management practices using innovative technology.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
AND RECOGNITIONS

We are working with key stakeholders in the European agricultural market, to ensure our products are suitable for all agricultural crops and for different farming practices, including organic farming. We are pleased to have been awarded top prizes for our innovative technology.

Imperial College London
Venture Catalyst Challenge
CDT Den
The Althea Foundation
Rothamsted Enterprises
Innovate UK
European Union - European Regional Development Fund
Sussex Place Ventures
Ángela de Manzanos Guinot, PhD - CEO and Co-Founder FA Bio

Ángela
de Manzanos Guinot, PhD

CEO and
Co-Founder

Contact

As CEO, Angela leads the scientific direction of the company, nurturing and evolving the business process design and strategy, defining its innovation pipeline and growth.

With more than 16 years experience in agriculture and using innovation to solve the challenges of sustainability, Angela has a strong background in leadership, biotechnology, and agriculture.

Angela studied for her Bachelor’s degree and Master of Science at the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia. She went on to complete her Master Research in Chemical Biology of Crop Protection and Sustainability and was awarded the Lord Porter Prize, and her PhD in Chemical Biology at Imperial College London. Following the completion of her studies, Imperial College awarded her the Medal for Student Outstanding Achievements awards.

Since completing her PhD Angela has focused on developing her leadership skills, undertaking a Women in Leadership programme by IESE, Business Process Design for Strategic Management by MIT Sloane School, and a course on Dynamic Negotiations by INSEAD Business School. Besides, Angela in an Entrepreneur at the Royal Academy of Engineering and have received a tailored Leadership and Executive Training part of the Shott Scale Up Accelerator Award.

Angela is driven by applying biotechnology to help farmers produce more with less using regenerative agriculture. She is also driven to encourage women pursue an entrepreneurial journey.

Ángela de Manzanos Guinot, PhD - CEO and Co-Founder FA Bio

Ángela
de Manzanos Guinot, PhD

CEO and Co-Founder

Contact

As CEO, Angela leads the scientific direction of the company, nurturing and evolving the business process design and strategy, defining its innovation pipeline and growth.

With more than 16 years experience in agriculture and using innovation to solve the challenges of sustainability, Angela has a strong background in leadership, biotechnology, and agriculture.

Angela studied for her Bachelor’s degree and Master of Science at the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia. She went on to complete her Master Research in Chemical Biology of Crop Protection and Sustainability and was awarded the Lord Porter Prize, and her PhD in Chemical Biology at Imperial College London. Following the completion of her studies, Imperial College awarded her the Medal for Student Outstanding Achievements awards.

Since completing her PhD Angela has focused on developing her leadership skills, undertaking a Women in Leadership programme by IESE, Business Process Design for Strategic Management by MIT Sloane School, and a course on Dynamic Negotiations by INSEAD Business School. Besides, Angela in an Entrepreneur at the Royal Academy of Engineering and have received a tailored Leadership and Executive Training part of the Shott Scale Up Accelerator Award.

Angela is driven by applying biotechnology to help farmers produce more with less using regenerative agriculture. She is also driven to encourage women pursue an entrepreneurial journey.
Kerry O’Donnelly Weaver, PhD

Kerry
O’Donnelly
Weaver, PhD

CIO and
Co-Founder

Contact

As Chief Innovation Officer, Kerry leads the day-to-day operations of FA Bio towards the growth and development of sustainable microbial treatments, promoting a paradigm shift in the discovery of superior bioproducts.


Kerry has over 15 years of experience in research, 12 of which have been focused on sustainable agriculture, giving her wealth of expertise in crop sustainability and protection.


Kerry has a strong background in entrepreneurism, receiving multiple awards for her activities and was selected as one of the 175 faces of Chemistry by The Royal Society of Chemistry. As a co-founder, Kerry is experienced in people and process management with strong analytical, communication and leadership skills.


Kerry holds a PhD in Crop Sustainability and Protection from Imperial College London, for which she received four awards for her research and published 3 peer-reviewed research papers. Kerry also holds a Master of Science in Chemistry and a postgraduate in Master of Research of Crop Sustainability and Protection.

Kerry O’Donnelly Weaver, PhD

Kerry
O’Donnelly
Weaver, PhD

CIO and
Co-Founder

Contact

As Chief Innovation Officer, Kerry leads the day-to-day operations of FA Bio towards the growth and development of sustainable microbial treatments, promoting a paradigm shift in the discovery of superior bioproducts.


Kerry has over 15 years of experience in research, 12 of which have been focused on sustainable agriculture, giving her wealth of expertise in crop sustainability and protection.


Kerry has a strong background in entrepreneurism, receiving multiple awards for her activities and was selected as one of the 175 faces of Chemistry by The Royal Society of Chemistry. As a co-founder, Kerry is experienced in people and process management with strong analytical, communication and leadership skills.


Kerry holds a PhD in Crop Sustainability and Protection from Imperial College London, for which she received four awards for her research and published 3 peer-reviewed research papers. Kerry also holds a Master of Science in Chemistry and a postgraduate in Master of Research of Crop Sustainability and Protection.

Steve Headington - FA Bio Chairman

Steve
Headington

Chairman

Contact

Steve is significantly experienced in private equity investment and business transformation operations. He has a strong background improving performance across a variety of businesses working at C-Suite and Board level, and as an intelligent investor.

With over 30 years experience in harnessing data science and analytics to transform performance, Steve adds value through his unique knowledge and combined perspectives and places a strong emphasis on driving positive culture change. His hands-on experience working with many leaders and teams in different situations gives Steve an exemplary understanding of how different teams work and different leaders lead.

Steve is Charmain at FA Bio, Managing Director of Sherfos Limited and an Independent Expert for UK Sport. Steve also holds a number of Board Observer roles in start-up businesses. Prior to founding Sherfos Limited, the financial management company, in 2020, Steve was Operating Partner at TDR Capital LLP for over 15 years. Steve has a Bachelor of Sciences in Physical Education, Sports Science and Management from Loughborough University, and went on to study at Cranfield School of Management.

Steve Headington - FA Bio Chairman

Steve
Headington

Chairman

Contact

Steve is significantly experienced in private equity investment and business transformation operations. He has a strong background improving performance across a variety of businesses working at C-Suite and Board level, and as an intelligent investor.

With over 30 years experience in harnessing data science and analytics to transform performance, Steve adds value through his unique knowledge and combined perspectives and places a strong emphasis on driving positive culture change. His hands-on experience working with many leaders and teams in different situations gives Steve an exemplary understanding of how different teams work and different leaders lead.

Steve is Charmain at FA Bio, Managing Director of Sherfos Limited and an Independent Expert for UK Sport. Steve also holds a number of Board Observer roles in start-up businesses. Prior to founding Sherfos Limited, the financial management company, in 2020, Steve was Operating Partner at TDR Capital LLP for over 15 years. Steve has a Bachelor of Sciences in Physical Education, Sports Science and Management from Loughborough University, and went on to study at Cranfield School of Management.

Nick Atherton, PhD - Director FA Bio

Nick
Atherton, PhD

Director

Contact

Nick Atherton is an experienced advisor on fund raising and specialises in working with technology start-up businesses. With more than 13 years directorship experience, Nick has an in-depth knowledge of raising development capital and increasing profitability for UK start-up businesses.

 

Nick is Lead Partner at Morphose Capital Partners and Director at FA Bio, Infinitesema & Phasefocus. He is also Investment Director at Sherpa Online & Imagine Health. As Director at Morphose Capital Partners, Nick is responsible for the day to day running of the business, from deal origination to delivery. Nick has worked on over 50 successful transactions throughout the Facilities Management, E-Commerce and Tech sectors with many US, European and Asian based clients.

 

Nick studied Economics at Oxford Brookes University.

 

Nick is the son of Dr Paul Atherton, investor and previous Chairman of FA Bio.

Nick Atherton, PhD - Director FA Bio

Nick
Atherton, PhD

Director

Contact

Nick Atherton is an experienced advisor on fund raising and specialises in working with technology start-up businesses.


With more than 13 years directorship experience, Nick has an in-depth knowledge of raising development capital and increasing profitability for UK start-up businesses.


Nick is Lead Partner at Morphose Capital Partners and Director at FA Bio, Infinitesema & Phasefocus. He is also Investment Director at Sherpa Online & Imagine Health.


As Director at Morphose Capital Partners, Nick is responsible for the day to day running of the business, from deal origination to delivery. Nick has worked on over 50 successful transactions throughout the Facilities Management, E-Commerce and Tech sectors with many US, European and Asian based clients.

Nick studied Economics at Oxford Brookes University.

Nick is the son of Dr Paul Atherton, investor and previous Chairman of FA Bio.

Richard Gourlay - FA Bio Investment Director

Richard
Gourlay

Investment
Director

Contact

Richard is Managing Partner at Sussex Place Ventures, manager of venture capital funds that invest in early-stage technology-led businesses.

With 17 years as Managing Partner at Sussex Place Ventures, Richard is an experienced investor in software companies and businesses developing technology with strong patent-protectable intellectual property.

Prior to joining Sussex Place Ventures in 2005, Richard was an Investment Director at Top Technology Ventures for nine years and, prior to this, was a journalist at the Financial Times covering private business and the private equity and venture capital industries.

Richard has a Bachelor of Sciences in Economics from Queen Mary University of London.
Richard Gourlay - FA Bio Investment Director

Richard
Gourlay

Investment
Director

Contact

Richard is Managing Partner at Sussex Place Ventures, manager of venture capital funds that invest in early-stage technology-led businesses.

With 17 years as Managing Partner at Sussex Place Ventures, Richard is an experienced investor in software companies and businesses developing technology with strong patent-protectable intellectual property.

Prior to joining Sussex Place Ventures in 2005, Richard was an Investment Director at Top Technology Ventures for nine years and, prior to this, was a journalist at the Financial Times covering private business and the private equity and venture capital industries.

Richard has a Bachelor of Sciences in Economics from Queen Mary University of London.
Adrian Percy - FA Bio Director

Adrian
Percy

Director

Contact

Dr Adrian Percy is one of the most experienced agricultural leaders in the world today and an advocate for the adoption of technologies that support global food security whilst reducing the impact on our environment.

With over 30 years in the industry, leading the R&D teams of multinational agricultural businesses, Adrian has an excellent understanding of the strategies that are needed to advance innovation in agriculture across the globe.

Adrian is the inaugural Executive Director of the Plant Sciences Initiative at North Carolina State University and a Venture Partner at Finistere Ventures LLC, a technology and life sciences venture capital investor focused on transforming the food value chain.

Adrian serves on the board of directors of FA Bio, BioLumic, HiFidelity Genetics, and Evogene and is a member of the science and technology boards of Oerth Bio, Terramera, Biotalys and Rothamsted Research.

Prior to joining North Carolina State University, Adrian served as the Chief Technology Officer of UPL Ltd a major crop protection company that is a leader in global food systems, and was the Head of Research and Development for the Crop Science division of Bayer. As part of Bayer’s executive committee Adrian had responsibility for internal and open innovation activities in the areas of crop protection chemistry and biologicals, as well as seeds and traits.

Adrian currently resides within the Research Triangle region of North Carolina which is considered one of the most innovative AgTech hubs globally, combining diverse agriculture with new emerging technologies. Adrian has a Bachelor’s degree in pharmacology from the University of Liverpool, as well as a Master’s degree in toxicology and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Birmingham.
Adrian Percy - FA Bio Director

Adrian
Percy

Director

Contact

Dr Adrian Percy is one of the most experienced agricultural leaders in the world today and an advocate for the adoption of technologies that support global food security whilst reducing the impact on our environment.

With over 30 years in the industry, leading the R&D teams of multinational agricultural businesses, Adrian has an excellent understanding of the strategies that are needed to advance innovation in agriculture across the globe.

Adrian is the inaugural Executive Director of the Plant Sciences Initiative at North Carolina State University and a Venture Partner at Finistere Ventures LLC, a technology and life sciences venture capital investor focused on transforming the food value chain.

Adrian serves on the board of directors of FA Bio, BioLumic, HiFidelity Genetics, and Evogene and is a member of the science and technology boards of Oerth Bio, Terramera, Biotalys and Rothamsted Research.

Prior to joining North Carolina State University, Adrian served as the Chief Technology Officer of UPL Ltd a major crop protection company that is a leader in global food systems, and was the Head of Research and Development for the Crop Science division of Bayer. As part of Bayer’s executive committee Adrian had responsibility for internal and open innovation activities in the areas of crop protection chemistry and biologicals, as well as seeds and traits.

Adrian currently resides within the Research Triangle region of North Carolina which is considered one of the most innovative AgTech hubs globally, combining diverse agriculture with new emerging technologies.

Adrian has a Bachelor’s degree in pharmacology from the University of Liverpool, as well as a Master’s degree in toxicology and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Birmingham.
Sarah Atkins - Microbiologist FA Bio

Sarah
Atkins

Molecular Biology Manager

Contact

Sarah assists with the implementation of microbial bioassays for the characterisation of microbial activity, carrying out microbial fermentation and glasshouse trials.

Sarah has 16 years experience in scientific research, specialising in microbiology, plant biology and phytopathology.

Sarah studied Rural Environmental Science at the University of Reading.

Sarah Atkins - Microbiologist FA Bio

Sarah
Atkins

Molecular Biology Manager

Contact

Sarah assists with the implementation of microbial bioassays for the characterisation of microbial activity, carrying out microbial fermentation and glasshouse trials.

Sarah has 16 years experience in scientific research, specialising in microbiology, plant biology and phytopathology.

Sarah studied Rural Environmental Science at the University of Reading.

Leigh Taylor - Office Manager FA Bio

Leigh
Taylor

Operations Manager

Contact

Leigh supports FA Bio by managing essential office and operational tasks and ensures the smooth running of the company on a day-to-day basis. She has over 27 years of experience in office management, with strong organisational skills and an expertise in process implementation. Leigh is a multitasking genius, specialising in problem solving.

Leigh studied her degree in Theology at Westminster College Oxford and went on to achieve a Master in Business Information Technology from the University of Westminster.

Leigh Taylor - Office Manager FA Bio

Leigh
Taylor

Office Manager

Contact

Leigh supports FA Bio by managing essential office and operational tasks and ensures the smooth running of the company on a day-to-day basis. She has over 27 years of experience in office management, with strong organisational skills and an expertise in process implementation. Leigh is a multitasking genius, specialising in problem solving.

Leigh studied her degree in Theology at Westminster College Oxford and went on to achieve a Master in Business Information Technology from the University of Westminster.

Pilar Diez - Microbiologist/ Glasshouse Trials Responsible FA Bio

Pilar
Diez

R&D Project Manager and Glasshouse Lead

Contact

Pilar is involved in research and development projects at FA Bio and assists with the isolation, fungal barcoding and development of microbial isolates that are sampled by FA Bio’s SporSenZ technology.

Pilar has more than 18 years of experience as a biologist and research technician, she has worked at the Environment Institute of Leon, in the R&D department of Antibioticos SAU and at Rothamsted Research before joining FA Bio in 2021.

She is a specialist in microbiology, glasshouse experiments and molecular biology, applying her skills to carry out bioassays and liquid fermentation for the development of bioproducts. Pilar studied for her MSc in Biology at Universidad del Pais Vasco and Universidad de Leon.

Pilar Diez - Microbiologist/ Glasshouse Trials Responsible FA Bio

Pilar
Diez

R&D Project Manager and Glasshouse Lead

Contact

Pilar is involved in research and development projects at FA Bio and assists with the isolation, fungal barcoding and development of microbial isolates that are sampled by FA Bio’s SporSenZ technology.

Pilar has more than 18 years of experience as a biologist and research technician, she has worked at the Environment Institute of Leon, in the R&D department of Antibioticos SAU and at Rothamsted Research before joining FA Bio in 2021.

She is a specialist in microbiology, glasshouse experiments and molecular biology, applying her skills to carry out bioassays and liquid fermentation for the development of bioproducts. Pilar studied for her MSc in Biology at Universidad del Pais Vasco and Universidad de Leon.

Ana
Dionisio

Microbiology Laboratory Technician

Contact

Ana supports FA Bio’s expert team of scientists in their research and development of superior microbes. She performs analytical and experimental procedures, maintains laboratory equipment and safety procedures as well as assisting the team with their research.

 

Prior to joining FA Bio, Ana volunteered at AquAffirm, the innovative digital water sensor developers for rapid measurement of naturally-occurring drinking water contaminants, based at Rothamsted Research. As part of her internship, Ana was involved in biosensing research of water contaminants, analysing enzyme specific activity assays using UV-VIS and large scale preparation of reagents for measuring contaminants’ concentrations.

 

Ana received a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Hertfordshire in 2021 for her studies at the School of Life & Medical Sciences department. Ana’s final project dissertation was focused on the use of biological agents as a sustainable pesticide alternative to fight nematode-related crop losses.

Ana
Dionisio

Microbiology Laboratory Technician

Contact

Ana supports FA Bio’s expert team of scientists in their research and development of superior microbes. She performs analytical and experimental procedures, maintains laboratory equipment and safety procedures as well as assisting the team with their research.

 

Prior to joining FA Bio, Ana volunteered at AquAffirm, the innovative digital water sensor developers for rapid measurement of naturally-occurring drinking water contaminants, based at Rothamsted Research. As part of her internship, Ana was involved in biosensing research of water contaminants, analysing enzyme specific activity assays using UV-VIS and large scale preparation of reagents for measuring contaminants’ concentrations.

 

Ana received a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Hertfordshire in 2021 for her studies at the School of Life & Medical Sciences department. Ana’s final project dissertation was focused on the use of biological agents as a sustainable pesticide alternative to fight nematode-related crop losses.

Andrea
González González, PhD

Research Scientist, R&D

Contact

Andrea is an experienced microbiologist and molecular biologist with a particular expertise in the ecology and evolution of pathogenic microorganisms. Andrea’s role at FA Bio includes planning and executing microbiological testing techniques to discover and identify superior microbes from agricultural soils.

 

Andrea has more than 10 years’ experience in microbiology, conducting projects at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, the University of California, the University of Idaho and the University of Florida. For each of Andrea’s projects she was responsible for the maintenance of the laboratories and risk assessments, planning and executing the experiments as well as mentoring students and preparing scientific publications and presentations.

 

Andrea has a bachelor’s degree in biology and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Andrea
González González , PhD

Research Scientist, R&D

Contact

Andrea is an experienced microbiologist and molecular biologist with a particular expertise in the ecology and evolution of pathogenic microorganisms. Andrea’s role at FA Bio includes planning and executing microbiological testing techniques to discover and identify superior microbes from agricultural soils.

 

Andrea has more than 10 years’ experience in microbiology, conducting projects at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, the University of California, the University of Idaho and the University of Florida. For each of Andrea’s projects she was responsible for the maintenance of the laboratories and risk assessments, planning and executing the experiments as well as mentoring students and preparing scientific publications and presentations.

 

Andrea has a bachelor’s degree in biology and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Vijayalakshmi Gunasekaran, PhD - FA Bio R&D Lead

Vijayalakshmi
Gunasekaran, PhD

R&D Lead

Contact

Vijayalakshmi leads an expanding team of scientists at FA Bio, responsible for microbial discovery through bioassays, fermentation, and in-planta studies. She manages the soil health analysis, plant disease diagnostics and product development at FA Bio.

Vijayalakshmi has 13 years of experience in scientific research, working with a wide variety of microbial systems. She brings strong managerial and leadership skills through project management and team management. Vijayalakshmi’s expertise in biotechnology, microbiology, plant biology and her passion for science has led her to developing microbial bioproducts to replace classical chemical counterparts.

Vijayalakshmi holds a PhD in Microbiology from University Rovira i Virgili, Spain. She studied both her Master and Bachelor in Biotechnology at Bharathidasan University and Madurai Kamaraj University, India.

Vijayalakshmi Gunasekaran, PhD - FA Bio R&D Lead

Vijayalakshmi
Gunasekaran, PhD

R&D Lead

Contact

Vijayalakshmi leads an expanding team of scientists at FA Bio, responsible for microbial discovery through bioassays, fermentation, and in-planta studies. She manages the soil health analysis, plant disease diagnostics and product development at FA Bio.

Vijayalakshmi has 13 years of experience in scientific research, working with a wide variety of microbial systems. She brings strong managerial and leadership skills through project management and team management. Vijayalakshmi’s expertise in biotechnology, microbiology, plant biology and her passion for science has led her to developing microbial bioproducts to replace classical chemical counterparts.

Vijayalakshmi holds a PhD in Microbiology from University Rovira i Virgili, Spain. She studied both her Master and Bachelor in Biotechnology at Bharathidasan University and Madurai Kamaraj University, India.

Young Nam Lee, PhD - Microbiologist/ Microbial Library Responsible FA Bio

Young
Nam Lee, PhD

Microbiologist/ Microbial Library Responsible

Contact

Young Nam is responsible for managing FA BioLab Microbial Collection and Lab Health &Safety. She actively applies problem solving approaches and independent molecular analysis techniques to samples collected by the SporSenZ sensor.

Young Nam has 14 years’ experience in science, including plant metabolism, plant-pest interactions, and plant-associated fungi. She specialises in the fields of plant molecular biology and plant-pathogen interaction. Young Nam is an expert in molecular biology and fungal microbiology techniques.

Young Nam studied for her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in biology at Seoul National University. After graduation she studied plant biology at Michigan State University.

Young Nam Lee, PhD - Microbiologist/ Microbial Library Responsible FA Bio

Young
Nam Lee, PhD

Microbiologist/ Microbial Library Responsible

Contact

Young Nam is responsible for managing FA BioLab Microbial Collection and Lab Health &Safety. She actively applies problem solving approaches and independent molecular analysis techniques to samples collected by the SporSenZ sensor.

Young Nam has 14 years’ experience in science, including plant metabolism, plant-pest interactions, and plant-associated fungi. She specialises in the fields of plant molecular biology and plant-pathogen interaction. Young Nam is an expert in molecular biology and fungal microbiology techniques.

Young Nam studied for her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in biology at Seoul National University. After graduation she studied plant biology at Michigan State University.

Tanaka
Marongwe

R&D Laboratory
Technician

Contact

Tanaka is a skilled laboratory technician with extensive experience culturing fungi and performing field plant assessments. At FA Bio, Tanaka will be supporting the laboratory teams with data collection, development and assessment of bioproducts, evaluating their efficacy and running field trials.

 

Tanaka has 5 years’ experience in microbiology and biotechnology from the Kutsaga Tobacco Research Board (TRB), which carries out tobacco research in Zimbabwe. At the TRB, Tanaka was responsible for developing innovative agro-based products and providing sustainable tobacco production. In his role as a Laboratory Assistant, Tanaka gained experience preparing media for culturing bacteria and fungi, isolating disease cultures, producing biocontrol agents and collaborating with his team members to achieve target results for research trials. 

 

Tanaka has a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Bindura University of Science Education in Zimbabwe.

Tanaka
Marongwe

R&D Laboratory Technician

Contact

Tanaka is a skilled laboratory technician with extensive experience culturing fungi and performing field plant assessments. At FA Bio, Tanaka will be supporting the laboratory teams with data collection, development and assessment of bioproducts, evaluating their efficacy and running field trials.

 

Tanaka has 5 years’ experience in microbiology and biotechnology from the Kutsaga Tobacco Research Board (TRB), which carries out tobacco research in Zimbabwe. At the TRB, Tanaka was responsible for developing innovative agro-based products and providing sustainable tobacco production. In his role as a Laboratory Assistant, Tanaka gained experience preparing media for culturing bacteria and fungi, isolating disease cultures, producing biocontrol agents and collaborating with his team members to achieve target results for research trials. 

 

Tanaka has a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Bindura University of Science Education in Zimbabwe.

Alessandro Pession - Microbiologist/ Fermentation Engineer FA Bio

Alessandro
Pession

Microbiologist/ Fermentation Engineer

Contact

Alessandro assists with the discovery of microbial isolates sampled by the SporSenZ sensor, and with the designing and implementing of microbial fermentation protocols at FA Bio.

Alessandro has over 3 years of industry experience. He is a specialist in microbial fermentation, food science and biotechnology. Alessandro has a deep knowledge of process engineering, microbiology and organic chemistry.

Alessandro studied Chemical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino in Turin, specialising in food science and biotechnology.

Alessandro Pession - Microbiologist/ Fermentation Engineer FA Bio

Alessandro
Pession

Microbiologist/ Fermentation Engineer

Contact

Alessandro assists with the discovery of microbial isolates sampled by the SporSenZ sensor, and with the designing and implementing of microbial fermentation protocols at FA Bio.

Alessandro has over 3 years of industry experience. He is a specialist in microbial fermentation, food science and biotechnology. Alessandro has a deep knowledge of process engineering, microbiology and organic chemistry.

Alessandro studied Chemical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino in Turin, specialising in food science and biotechnology.

Alison Quinn - Office & HR Admin FA Bio

Alison
Quinn

HR Manager

Contact

Alison supports and maintains the HR and operational systems at FA Bio providing assistance to the office and laboratory teams to help optimise the day-to-day running of the company.

 

Alison has 35 years’ experience in business operations and office administration from the investment banking industry.

Alison is a master of organisation and is trained in plants and garden design.

Alison Quinn - Office & HR Admin FA Bio

Alison
Quinn

HR Manager

Contact

Alison supports and maintains the HR and operational systems at FA Bio providing assistance to the office and laboratory teams to help optimise the day-to-day running of the company.

Alison has 35 years’ experience in business operations and office administration from the investment banking industry.

Alison is a master of organisation and is trained in plants and garden design.

Meegan
Scipio

Office & Operations Admin

Contact

Meegan assists FA Bio with its marketing activities and office management, providing support with administration, project management and communications.

 

With over 10 years’ experience, Meegan is a meticulous and creative administrator and is adaptable to dynamic and fast-paced environments. She has strong communication skills and excellent organisation, as well as cross functional skills that make her a valuable asset to the office environment.

 

Meegan has previously worked as an Administrator at the University of Bedfordshire, managing projects and events as well as handling communications. She has also worked as an Administration Assistant at a health and fitness ecommerce company, assisting management with its activities and responsibilities.

Meegan
Scipio

Office & Operations Administrator

Contact

Meegan assists FA Bio with its marketing activities and office management, providing support with administration, project management and communications.

 

With over 10 years’ experience, Meegan is a meticulous and creative administrator and is adaptable to dynamic and fast-paced environments. She has strong communication skills and excellent organisation, as well as cross functional skills that make her a valuable asset to the office environment.

 

Meegan has previously worked as an Administrator at the University of Bedfordshire, managing projects and events as well as handling communications. She has also worked as an Administration Assistant at a health and fitness ecommerce company, assisting management with its activities and responsibilities.

Wallace Rafael de Souza - Microbiologist / Bioassays Responsible FA Bio

Wallace
Rafael
de Souza

Microbiologist / Bioassays Responsible

Contact

Wallace leads the bioassays for the characterization of the microbes’ activities, as biofungicides and biofertilisers, in FA Bio’s research and development projects.

Wallace is an experienced Scientist with over 12 years’ experience in agricultural and environmental research. He spent four years at Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation in the Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology and was awarded Young Researcher in 2011. Most recently Wallace was an R&D Researcher at Oxitec do Brasil where he was assessing and executing experiments with insects. Wallace has a Bachelor’s in Environmental Engineering from the University Center of Jaguariúna and, a Master’s in Biology in Agriculture and Environment from the University of São Paulo.
Wallace Rafael de Souza - Microbiologist / Bioassays Responsible FA Bio

Wallace
Rafael
de Souza

Microbiologist / Bioassays Responsible

Contact

Wallace leads the bioassays for the characterization of the microbes’ activities, as biofungicides and biofertilisers, in FA Bio’s research and development projects.

Wallace is an experienced Scientist with over 12 years’ experience in agricultural and environmental research. He spent four years at Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation in the Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology and was awarded Young Researcher in 2011. Most recently Wallace was an R&D Researcher at Oxitec do Brasil where he was assessing and executing experiments with insects. Wallace has a Bachelor’s in Environmental Engineering from the University Center of Jaguariúna and, a Master’s in Biology in Agriculture and Environment from the University of São Paulo.

Lucy
Rogers

Microbiology Laboratory Technician

Contact

Lucy supports FA Bio in preparing samples for analyses and microbiological testing, providing assistance to the laboratory teams and overseeing the microbiological testing techniques and applications. 

  

Lucy is passionate about environmental microbiology with a particular interest in the role of soil microorganisms in soil health and agriculture. As part of her undergraduate project, Lucy investigated and identified the genetic basis of xyloglucan degradation in plant associated Flavobacterium species, through which she acquired a broad range of technical molecular biology skills. Following her graduation, Lucy went on to become a laboratory technician at Envirolab, part of the RSK Group, analysing soil and water samples for metal contamination.   

 

Lucy received a First-Class Honours Master of Biological Science in Genetics and Microbiology from the University of Sheffield in 2022.  

Lucy
Rogers

Microbiology Laboratory Technician

Contact

Lucy supports FA Bio in preparing samples for analyses and microbiological testing, providing assistance to the laboratory teams and overseeing the microbiological testing techniques and applications. 

  

Lucy is passionate about environmental microbiology with a particular interest in the role of soil microorganisms in soil health and agriculture. As part of her undergraduate project, Lucy investigated and identified the genetic basis of xyloglucan degradation in plant associated Flavobacterium species, through which she acquired a broad range of technical molecular biology skills. Following her graduation, Lucy went on to become a laboratory technician at Envirolab, part of the RSK Group, analysing soil and water samples for metal contamination.   

 

Lucy received a First-Class Honours Master of Biological Science in Genetics and Microbiology from the University of Sheffield in 2022.  

Kathy
Swords

Product Strategy Lead

Contact

Kathy is an experienced professional consultant, offering strategic guidance to early-stage companies in their development of short and long-term business plans and operational activities.

 

Leading the IP strategy at FA Bio, Kathy will seek to maximize the commercialisation opportunities for its existing product pipeline and its growing portfolio of superior products. As well as instilling a culture of intellectual property across the team, she also provides valuable input to the company’s strategic development, with a particular focus on the US.

 

With more than 20 years experience in Business Development, Kathy is an expert in the creation of new business opportunities through the expansion of technology and protection of intellectual property. Intellectual property freedom-to-operate ensures the delivery of customer needs whilst also facilitating the pursuit of strategic collaborations to expand product development.

 

Prior to joining FA Bio, Kathy led Product Development at Agrinos, bolstering its intellectual property portfolio. Kathy also led Syngenta’s North America Quality team to ensure its quality aligned with their integrated Chemistry-Seeds strategy and served as North America Quality Head on Syngenta’s Global Quality team.

 

Following her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Plant Biology, Kathy was a scientist and business development lead at Monsanto, then went on to co-found Simplot Plant Sciences, managing business development and regulatory. As an independent consultant, she has sought to integrate novel business and intellectual property opportunities for new start-up clients. Kathy has a Doctorate in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, a Masters in Cell Biology, and an MBA.

Kathy
Swords

Product Strategy Lead

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Kathy is an experienced professional consultant, offering strategic guidance to early-stage companies in their development of short and long-term business plans and operational activities.

 

Leading the IP strategy at FA Bio, Kathy will seek to maximize the commercialisation opportunities for its existing product pipeline and its growing portfolio of superior products. As well as instilling a culture of intellectual property across the team, she also provides valuable input to the company’s strategic development, with a particular focus on the US.

 

With more than 20 years experience in Business Development, Kathy is an expert in the creation of new business opportunities through the expansion of technology and protection of intellectual property. Intellectual property freedom-to-operate ensures the delivery of customer needs whilst also facilitating the pursuit of strategic collaborations to expand product development.

 

Prior to joining FA Bio, Kathy led Product Development at Agrinos, bolstering its intellectual property portfolio. Kathy also led Syngenta’s North America Quality team to ensure its quality aligned with their integrated Chemistry-Seeds strategy and served as North America Quality Head on Syngenta’s Global Quality team.

 

Following her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Plant Biology, Kathy was a scientist and business development lead at Monsanto, then went on to co-found Simplot Plant Sciences, managing business development and regulatory. As an independent consultant, she has sought to integrate novel business and intellectual property opportunities for new start-up clients. Kathy has a Doctorate in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, a Masters in Cell Biology, and an MBA.

Natália Franco Taketani, PhD - Process and Quality Manager Fa Bio

Natália
Franco Taketani, PhD

Process and Quality Manager

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Natalia manages the process optimisation of FA Bio’s Microbial Discovery Platform, helping to understand the microbial diversity provided by FA Bio’s SporSenZ technology. Natalia brings a strong background in innovation and process optimisation, specialising in industrial quality management practices. She has 21 years of experience developing technologies for sustainability in soil management.

Natalia has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). During her studies she participated as a fellow of several research projects in the area of microbial ecology and undertook an internship at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Natalia also has a Master’s degree from the School of Chemistry in Chemical and Biochemical Process Technology for which she focused on the influence of nickel on soil biodegradation, developing and publishing her research analysis and participating in international scientific events. Natalia went on to achieve a PhD in Chemical and Biochemical Process Technology for her studies of the genetic dynamics of microorganism populations in soil.

Natália Franco Taketani, PhD - Process and Quality Manager Fa Bio

Natália
Franco Taketani, PhD

Process and Quality Manager

Contact

Natalia manages the process optimisation of FA Bio’s Microbial Discovery Platform, helping to understand the microbial diversity provided by FA Bio’s SporSenZ technology. Natalia brings a strong background in innovation and process optimisation, specialising in industrial quality management practices. She has 21 years of experience developing technologies for sustainability in soil management.

Natalia has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). During her studies she participated as a fellow of several research projects in the area of microbial ecology and undertook an internship at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Natalia also has a Master’s degree from the School of Chemistry in Chemical and Biochemical Process Technology for which she focused on the influence of nickel on soil biodegradation, developing and publishing her research analysis and participating in international scientific events. Natalia went on to achieve a PhD in Chemical and Biochemical Process Technology for her studies of the genetic dynamics of microorganism populations in soil.

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