Jonathan Trent (ARC-SCB) to Discuss NASA Ames’ OMEGA Project on February 3rd at the ASL

Jonathan Trent, OMEGA Project Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center and Adjunct Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will present a seminar, “What has become of the OMEGA project?”, at the ASL on February 3rd as part of the ASL and Ames Bio and Syn Bio Talks Seminar Series. The event will be held in Building N239, Room B39 from 12:00-1:00pm.

Refreshments will be provided and you are welcome to bring your lunch.

Dr. Trent’s brief bio and an abstract of his talk follow below. Questions about this event can be directed to the POC, Peter Minogue.


Scalability, economics, and competition with agriculture, are why people have lost faith in biofuels as a long term, sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. In 2008, the OMEGA project began to determine if offshore cultivation of fast-growing, oil-producing microalgae using wastewater could be a pathway to biofuels that could address these challenges and renew interest in sustainable biofuels. With funding from NASA and the California Energy Commission from 2010 to 2013 an OMEGA feasibility study demonstrated that indeed a small-scale OMEGA system can be designed and operated and techno-economic analyses indicated how it can be economically viable (see:…). I will review the OMEGA project and discuss what has been done to bring this technology into the world.

About the Speaker:

After earning a Ph.D. in marine biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Jonathan Trent did postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Germany, the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and the University of Paris in France. He returned to the USA to work at the Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine at Yale Medical School and then Argonne National Laboratory before moving to NASA Ames Research Center. In addition to working at NASA, Jonathan is an adjunct professor at UC Santa Cruz and a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences.

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