June 15, 2015
DAVIS, California - BioConsortia, Inc., the innovative ag biotech company with the proprietary Advanced Microbial Selection (AMS) process for improving plant traits and increasing crop yields, has appointed Dr. Andrew Jacobs as Head of R&D for its operation in Auckland, New Zealand. He will report to Dr. Susan Turner, SVP R&D for BioConsortia.
Jacobs joins BioConsortia with an extensive history of research management. Most recently he held the position of Manager of Corporate Projects at ITEK Ventures Pty Ltd, an independent technology commercialization company associated with the University of South Australia. In this role he was able to apply corporate research management experience towards the university start-ups being funded and commercialized by ITEK.
During his tenure with ITEK, Jacobs was managing a collaboration between the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) and Dow AgroSciences. He had been a Research Fellow at ACPFG since 2003, and was concurrently an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Adelaide in Australia. His research has focused on abiotic stress tolerance in cereals, aligning well with the current targets for BioConsortia.
Jacobs completed his PhD at the University of Adelaide with six months spent in Germany at The Max-Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research. His PhD work culminated in the isolation of a novel gene for the formation of callose, leading to publication of the research in The Plant Cell. Since then Jacobs has published a number of other papers in the field of plant molecular and microbial science, has been invited to speak at international conferences as an expert, and holds two patents for plant systems.
“What motivated me to join the BioConsortia team was the elegance and uniqueness in the directed selection technology of the AMS process. The ability to rapidly evolve the microbiome through AMS allows for beneficial impact upon multiple traits across multiple species. I think that’s pretty exciting. It really is a technology that will change the way we think about microbes in agriculture” Jacobs said.
Dr. Susan Turner, SVP of R & D welcomed Jacobs saying, “We have recruited another strong and complementary asset to our global team. Andrew’s experience enables him to lead our research efforts in Auckland and help position our work within the context of the global microbial and seed treatment markets”.
Peter Wigley, founder of BioConsortia’s predecessor, BioDiscovery New Zealand, added, “We are pleased to have such an accomplished plant biologist as Andrew Jacobs directing our R & D team here in New Zealand. He brings both an element of research and business talent that will help us deliver valuable results and develop superior products”.
BioConsortia, Inc. is developing highly effective microbial solutions that enhance plant phenotypes and increase crop yields. We are pioneering the use of directed selection in identifying teams of microbes - working like plant breeders and selecting plants based on targeted characteristics, then isolating the associated microbial community. Our proprietary Advanced Microbial Selection (AMS) process enriches the crop microbiome, allowing us to identify microbes that influence the expression of beneficial traits in plants. We are currently focused on products for fertilizer use efficiency, growth improvement and abiotic tolerance, with plans to invest in biocontrol and metabolite expression with the right partner. www.bioconsortia.com