“It’s a very exciting time to be in agriculture, and a really great time to be a farmer, I think, and a great time to be an entrepreneur.”
Pam is the founder and CEO of Marrone Bio Innovations, a leader in bio-pesticide research and manufacturing. She is a Ph.D. entomologist, turned entrepreneur. Pam is an inspiration to not only the next generation of microbial Ag researchers but to women in science and business. In addition, her work has helped farmers who are looking for more benign ways to address pest challenges.
Marrone’s career has taken her from Monsanto and Novo Nordisk to entrepreneurial ventures such as Agraquest Inc. and Marrone Bio Innovations.
Her research screening for microbes and their products has yielded a library of tens of thousands of potentially useful microbes, and has given the world several of it’s most widely used Bio-Pesticides. Pam also co-founded the Biological Products Industry Alliance to help growers understand HOW to make the best use of these materials in a combined whole farm program.
Throughout this fascinating conversation you will discover:
• 50% of pharmaceuticals are derived from natural products, but only 15% of pesticides
• Environments where one is more likely to find insecticidal microbes compared to fungicidal microbes
• Technologies that are enabling faster and more effective microbial and metabolite research
• Microbial shifts observed due to different farming practices
• Ecological and profitable advantages of BioControls over synthetics
• The great need for more multi-factor, on-farm, holistic research as opposed to single-factor, silver bullet research
• Why it’s not necessarily the bacteria or fungi themselves, but the compounds they produce that we are looking for