USC’s Sustainable Algae Aquaculture Lab lands at AltaSea



LOS ANGELES–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles announced a new partnership with Professor Sergey Nuzhdin of the University of Southern California (USC), Dornsife College, Department of Biological Sciences, to establish a large algae laboratory – the Nuzhdin Research Laboratory – on the AltaSea campus. The 6,000 square foot laboratory will house groundbreaking research in regenerative aquaculture as well as the commercial application of new technologies in aquaculture.

In addition to the research that will be carried out in the laboratory, several projects and initiatives are under development at AltaSea with the algae laboratory, including a bivalve and algae demonstration platform, mentoring programs for students of undergraduate and graduate level, an educational augmented reality seaweed farming experience, and community engagement experiences in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Club of LA Harbor.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Nuzhdin and the impressive USC research team to the AltaSea campus,” said Tim McOsker, CEO of AltaSea. “Regenerative aquaculture, and in particular algae, is an essential part of creating a sustainable future. The fact that one of the world’s foremost experts in the field is conducting this important research on our campus provides an incredible opportunity not only for research and development, but also for the community as a whole to integrate sustainable aquaculture into our daily life.

Dr. Nuzhdin’s lab will conduct research to advance commercial algae production. This work will include breeding improved varieties of non-GMO kelp and establishing cultivation practices, while protecting the genetic diversity of natural kelp beds. Supported by funding from the ARPA-E MARINER program, the breeding center will focus largely on the development of seaweed varieties particularly well suited to the production of sustainable raw materials for biofuels and biochemicals, as well as on alternative foods. for livestock from the ocean.

“This new laboratory is an essential part of a ‘Macrocystis (Giant Kelp) Super-Cluster ‘here in Southern California, which brings together several leading R&D and deployment capabilities to accelerate the growth of the algae aquaculture industry,’ said Dr Marc von Keitz, director of the ARPA-E program for MARINER.

Additionally, supported by NOAA Sea Grant and USDA, researchers will look for ways to sustainably increase the number of aquaculture farms, especially for shellfish and kelp.

“Aquaculture is an increasingly important part of the global seafood market, and the key element of aquaculture will be to make the production of aquaculture systems, such as shellfish, kelp and algae, more sustainable ”, declared Dr Nujdin. “By partnering with AltaSea and its tenants, an important synergy is created to revolutionize the future of aquaculture and at the same time contribute to the growth of the blue economy. ”

AltaSea is at the forefront of growing the blue economy, which is the sustainable use of ocean resources to provide economic opportunities through well-paying jobs focused on preserving the ocean ecosystem. According to a report AltaSea co-wrote with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), the blue economy is expected to create more than 126,000 jobs, for a total of $ 37.7 billion in wages by 2023.

“As a strong supporter of AltaSea and proud Trojan Horse, this partnership is a win-win in my book,” said Dr Melanie Lundquist, LHD, who, along with her husband Richard, is AltaSea’s second-largest donor, after Wallis Annenberg. “AltaSea is a beacon of hope and innovation in our fight against climate change, and a big part of the future is aquaculture. With Dr Nuzhdin’s expertise and AltaSea’s ever-growing network of blue economy companies, this partnership only further excites me about the opportunities that present themselves at AltaSea.

The main tenants of AltaSea include two innovative organizations focused on aquaculture, Holdfast Aquaculture and Carlsbad Aquafarms. The addition of the USC Aquaculture Lab will allow the three organizations to collaborate in research and training the next generation of aquaculturists.

AltaSea recently announced plans to install a solar power array atop its 180,000 square foot ocean research and development facility. The 4-acre facility will become the nation’s largest solar-powered ocean R&D facility and the second-largest solar facility at a U.S. port when completed. Solar energy will help power the 10,000-square-foot interactive research center of famed oceanographer and explorer Robert Ballard on the AltaSea campus, where he is also docking his exploration vessel. Nautilus. Ballard is best known for his historic discoveries of hydrothermal vents, the submerged RMS Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck, and many other shipwrecks around the world.

About AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, located on 35 acres in North America’s premier seaport in terms of container volume and cargo value, is dedicated to accelerating scientific collaboration, advancing an emerging blue economy through business innovation and job creation, and to inspire the next generation, all for a more sustainable, just and equitable world.

For more information on AltaSea, visit: https://altasea.org.


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