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Fermentation Scientist

Zero Acre Farms

Zero Acre Farms

Software Engineering
San Mateo, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, August 24, 2023

Why We Exist

We believe a healthier world is possible with better oils and fats.

Vegetable oils account for 20% of our daily calories and have been linked to chronic disease, inflammation, obesity, and cognitive decline, as well as deforestation, biodiversity loss, and climate change, with no end in sight.

Vegetable oils are now the most consumed food in the world behind rice and wheat and are the fastest growing sub sector of global agriculture. More vegetable oil is consumed globally than all beef, chicken, cheese, and shrimp, combined.

The world needs an oil change.

Zero Acre Farms is on a mission to replace destructive vegetable oils in the food system with healthier, more sustainable oils and fats made by fermentation. Our first product, Cultured Oil, just launched DTC as we look ahead to retail, foodservice, and food manufacturing expansion.

Our Team

We’re a team of food lovers, nutrition believers, innovators, doctors, sustainability advocates, PhD’s, and problem solvers. We believe in taking care of our health and our planet’s health without sacrificing the foods we love. We started Zero Acre Farms out of concern for what we’re all involuntarily putting into our bodies and the profound effect it’s having on our health and the natural world.

Zero Acre Farms is backed by an incredible group of investors, including mission-driven VC’s, celebrities, influencers, and change makers.

The Role:

Zero Acre Farms is seeking an experienced Fermentation Scientist/Engineer to Lead the Zero Acre Farms’ Fermentation Process team. As lead of the Fermentation Process Team, the incumbent will be responsible for Fermentation Process R&D, lab-scale bioreactor operations, and support of a broad range of R&D goals including strain screening, coordination with downstream and analytical teams, and scale up.

Responsibilities:

Lead and conduct Fermentation Process research & development.

  • Conceive, plan, and execute fermentation experiments at bench scale for bioprocess development.
  • Characterize physiology of engineered microbial strains in collaboration with the Strain Development team.
  • Design and optimize fermentation processes suitable for industrial scale-up, that maximize process performance and product quality while minimizing cost

Lead bench fermentation research team

  • Manage operations of lab stirred tank bioreactors for maximum uptime, minimal contamination and operational deviations
  • Manage, mentor, and coordinate with fermentation staff to maximize data quality, efficiency, and success rate
  • Author, test, and refine SOPs. Conduct hands-on operations as required
  • Oversee on-line and off-line process data consolidation and extraction
  • Ensure team compliance with safety and environmental requirements

Direct and execute pilot-scale fermentation process development at external sites

  • Conduct fermentation technology transfer to external parties
  • Provide on-site monitoring and support to ensure campaign success.
  • Some travel required

Support the overall efforts of the broader R&D organization

  • Work closely with the Strain Development team to conduct screening and conduct experiments that advance development of our production hosts
  • Collaborate closely with our Downstream Processing team
  • Coordinate closely with our Bioanalytical team to ensure collection of appropriate and high quality data
  • Regularly communicate key results to the organization

Requirements:

  • B.S. with 10 years or M.S. or Ph.D. with 2-5 years of industrial experience. Degree in biotechnology, chemical engineering, bioprocess or biological engineering, microbiology, or related field with an emphasis on microbial fermentation.
  • Solid experience in microbial fermentation, including batch, fed-batch and continuous cultivation in stirred tank reactors. Industrial experience, including experience in process transfer and scale-up with internal or external industrial and/or research partners.
  • Experience in a project leadership role
  • Expertise in experimental design and data analysis
  • Self-starting, results-oriented person who thrives in a rapidly changing, fast-moving startup environment
  • Excellent communication skills and a desire to collaborate cross-functionally
  • We are headquartered in San Mateo, California, and are looking for someone who can work full-time onsite in the lab.

Nice to haves:

  • Thorough familiarity with microbial physiology, biochemistry, flux-analysis, and metabolic engineering
  • Experience with analytical equipment, methods, validation techniques
  • Experience with programming/scripting, data management, or data science

The following represents the expected range of compensation for this role: The estimated pay range for this role is $130,000-190,000. Additionally, this role is eligible to participate in Zero Acre Farms benefits and equity programs.

A Note From Our Founders

The majority of Americans are sick. Let that sink in. More people have a chronic disease than not in this country! 6 out of 10. And a hundred years ago, almost no one had a chronic disease. Our healthy life expectancy is decreasing for the first time in recorded history. Our solution so far has been more prescription drugs (in 2018, the average American filled eighteen prescriptions).

Our planet is also being destroyed by the day. The Amazon loses about 2 football fields of rainforest every minute, mostly to grow industrial monocrops like seed oils that make us sick. Species extinction is at an all time high. Some projections say we only have 60 harvests left before our soil doesn't support any more life.

The real issue? These problems are interconnected. We're destroying the planet to grow food that makes us sick.

How is this not one of the most important, urgent, and talked about issues of our generation? We want to change that. We want to slow down and ideally reverse the skyrocketing rates of chronic disease and environmental impact caused by what we eat. We truly believe that we can save millions of lives, as well as millions of acres of rainforest, if we are successful in our mission of replacing destructive vegetable oils in our food supply.

That’s what drives us, and we hope you’ll join us.