Pebble Labs Mission

Our mission is to develop breakthrough disruptive technologies that address the greatest agriculture, aquaculture, and environmental challenges facing the globe.
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Our Teams

Michael Harrison

CEO, Chairman of the Board
Michael has 35 years of experience in investment banking with interests in resource, energy, and biotechnology sectors. Michael has served as CEO of two companies that he led to successful exits totaling in excess of $2 billion. He has been on the board of directors for numerous international publicly listed companies and has raised more than $1 billion in funding for private and publicly traded companies.

Dr. Richard Sayre

Chief Science Officer
Dr. Sayre has extensive biotechnology experience in universities, national laboratories, and the private sector. In Nature journal named Dr. Sayre as one of the top five crop scientists who could change the world. Dr. Sayre is the author of more than 170 biotechnology papers and patents, with over 9,000 citations. He has received over $100 million in grant funding for various projects.

Edward Cheung

Chief Development Officer
Edward has more than 20 years of experience in global investment banking at JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse, advising on equities and derivatives to institutions, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds. He is experienced in setting up new businesses, including a trading division at a U.S. bank, and board member of several startups. He holds a BSc in economics from University College London and a master’s degree in property valuation & law from London Cass Business School.

Kimberly Harrison

Vice President
Kimberly has 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur across multiple industries. Kimberly is experienced in strategy, product development, VC funding, patents, distribution/licensing, and government relations. She has served on numerous international product certifications and standardization committees.

Jon Bloodworth

Chief Operating Officer
Jon has three decades of senior executive management and legal experience in disruptive technologies, with an emphasis on intellectual property protection and licensing, commercial negotiations, finance, and venture development. Jon holds a law degree and is a member of the State Bar of California.
David Smalley

David Smalley

Chief Counsel
David has practiced corporate and securities law, providing legal services for financing private and public companies for 20 years. David is a director of a number of capital pool companies listed for trading on the TSX-Venture Exchange in Canada. David advises CEOs on their financing and business strategies and provides corporate, commercial, and securities legal services.

Ron Deutsch

Chief People Officer
Ron brings more than 30 years of experience in senior leadership roles within the technical and professional service industries, from Fortune 100 organizations to early-stage entrepreneurial companies. Ron holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles, a Juris Doctor degree from Southern Methodist University, and a Fellowship in Labor Relations from the National Public Employers Labor Relations Association at Cornell University’s School of Industrial & Labor Relations.

Chris Courts

Chief Financial Officer
Chris has more than 20 years of executive leadership experience in the biotechnology industry, including a diverse background in leading IPOs, mergers, and public and private financings. Chris has a strong record of building high performance teams, aligning corporate strategy and vision, streamlining financial and budgeting operations, and cultivating investor relations. Chris is a CPA and holds a MBA from Marshall University.

Dr. Tatiana Vinogradova-Shah

VP Research – Mermaid Bio
Dr. Vinogradova-Shah received her Ph.D. in cell biology from the Institute of Experimental Cardiology, Cardiology Research Center in Moscow, Russia. Tatiana’s expertise is in the field of cell and developmental biology.

Dr. Pedro Costa Nunes

VP Research – BenchWorks
Dr. Costa Nunes received his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Lisbon in Portugal. He is a plant cell and molecular biologist with expertise in epigenetics, DNA damage response, and smRNA mediated regulation of gene expression.

Dr. Laura Dickson

VP Research – LittleFly Labs
Dr. Dickson has a Ph.D. from Colorado State University where she studied host-pathogen interactions and the population genetics of the mosquito Aedes aegypti. She is a vector biologist with expertise in mosquito-pathogen interactions, the mosquito microbiome, mosquito field biology, and mosquito genomics.

Dr. Shujian Zhang

VP Research – IronLeaf
Dr. Zhang has a Ph.D. in molecular plant pathology from the State Key Laboratory of Crop Protection at Nanjing Agriculture University, China. He is skilled in molecular plant pathology, plant biotechnology, and microbiology with a focus on plant protection and trait discovery. He also has experience in development of biological and chemical disease control products.

Dr. Erick LeBrun

VP Research – Parallax
Dr. LeBrun has a Ph.D. in biology from Baylor University, where he focused on microbial ecology, metagenomics, and bioinformatics. His expertise is in using genetics to explore microbial community dynamics and novel bioinformatics analyses to turn large genomic datasets into meaningful information for real-world application.

Dr. Omar Holguin

Scientific Advisor
Dr. Holguin is an assistant professor at New Mexico State University, a Research Fellow at the New Center for Genomic Resources, and President at Ealasid Inc. His research interests are largely in discovering, studying, and modifying plant biochemical pathways, as well as with bioenergy/bioproducts and medicinal plant biosynthetic pathway research.

Dr. Tawanda Zidenga

VP Research
Dr. Zidenga brings more than 15 years of experience in advanced studies in plant tissue culture, metabolic engineering, and plant secondary metabolism research. He received his Ph.D. in plant cellular and molecular biology from Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in crop science from the University of Zimbabwe.

Dr. Tichafa “Tich” Munyikwa

VP of Global Regulatory Affairs
Dr. Munyikwa brings more than 20 years of experience as a senior research scientist and global regulatory expert, working within industry-leading agricultural-biotech companies. In prior leadership roles at Monsanto and Syngenta, he was granted numerous patents related to agribusiness development, plant molecular and cell biology, biologicals, RNA interference, genome editing, and synthetic biology. Dr. Munyikwa received his Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Dr. Aristobulo “Tobo” Loaiza

VP of Business Development
Dr. Loaiza brings more than 10 years of leadership experience in commercial roles and technical services, including head of business development and technology evaluation within the Venture Capital/New Business Development Group at BASF. He has extensive insight into the value chains surrounding aquaculture, food, chemicals, and agriculture. Dr. Loaiza received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and chemistry from Purdue University, and a master’s degree in chemistry from UCLA.

Dr. Richard DeRose

VP of Strategic Initiatives
Dr. DeRose brings more than 25 years of experience in agriculture biotechnology from prior roles at Syngenta and Bayer, developing innovation strategies for R&D projects. His background includes serving as co-inventor of the first commercialized Roundup Ready Corn varieties. Dr. DeRose was awarded the American Society of Plant Biologists 2017 Innovation Prize for Agricultural Technology for successfully translating discovery research into demonstrable, real-world outcomes. Dr. DeRose received his Ph.D. in medical microbiology and immunology from Wake Forest School of Medicine, and B.Sc. in microbiology from Clemson University. He also holds a current PMP certification.

Dr. Anne Lo

Director of Strategic Development
Dr. Lo trained as a veterinary surgeon and has worked in a number of clinical positions prior to joining Bain & Co, in London. Dr. Lo held a strategy role with WorldPay and was recently with Horizons Ventures, based in Hong Kong, where she primarily covered science and healthcare investments. Dr. Lo received her B.Sc. and BVM&S degrees from the University of Edinburgh, and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.

Dr. David S. Kerr

Advisor Intellectual Property
Dr. Kerr is an intellectual property lawyer partner at Berg Hill Greenleaf Ruscitti, LLP. Dr. Kerr helps secure and enforce intellectual property rights in countries throughout the world, and specializes in intellectual property litigation, including both enforcement and defense of traditional intellectual property rights such as patent, trademark and copyrights, as well as unfair competition, misappropriation, and trade secret matters. He provides strategic business guidance to emerging bio-technology companies, and has joint JD/MBA and graduate degrees in the molecular biosciences.

Peter J. McDonough

Strategic Advisor
McDonough has driven global success across numerous consumer industries, serving in senior leadership roles at Diageo, Procter & Gamble, Gillette, Duracell, Black & Decker, and Braun. In his most recent corporate role, he served as Diageo North America President, Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer. His professional experience spans seven industries, leading teams on three continents, time as a faculty member at University of Canterbury’s Graduate School of Business in New Zealand, and performing advisory roles at the AdCouncil of America and Effies Worldwide. McDonough is an alumnus of Cornell University, and has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

Thomas Walek

Communications Advisor
Walek is founder of Peaks Strategies in New York and Colorado. He works closely with clients to develop and execute creative, business-driven, integrated communications. From 1998 to 2013, Walek was founder and President of Walek & Associates, an award-winning independent communications firm known globally for its work in hedge funds, PE, VC, asset management, capital markets, fintech, professional services, and financial services. Walek began his career as a financial journalist in Chicago. He graduated cum laude in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Michael Harrison

Chairman of the Board
Michael has 35 years of experience in investment banking with interests in resource, energy, and biotechnology sectors. Michael has served as CEO of two companies that he led to successful exits totaling in excess of $2 billion. He has also served on the board of directors for numerous international publicly listed companies, and has raised in excess of $1 billion in funding for private and publicly traded companies.

Jason Adler

Director
Adler has more than 20 years of experience investing across multiple asset classes as the CEO and co-founder of a New York-based investment firm. Jason is an experienced private investor across both venture capital and early stage businesses and director of a Canadian-listed public company.

Edward Cheung

Director
Edward has more than 20 years experience in global investment banking at JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers, and Credit Suisse, advising on equities and derivatives to institutions, hedge funds, and sovereign wealth funds. Edward is experienced in setting up new businesses including a trading division at a US bank, and has served on the board for several startups. He holds a B.Sc. in Economics from University College London and a Master’s degree in Property Valuation & Law from London Cass Business School.

Kimberly Harrison

Director
Kimberly has 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur across multiple industries. Kimberly is experienced in strategy, product development, VC funding, patents, distribution/licensing, and government relations. She has served on numerous international product certifications and standardization committees.

Eugene Hodgson

Director
Eugene is an accomplished and agile senior executive who has held roles in private and public industry as a banker and a financial and public policy advisor. He has significant expertise in renewable energy, technology, and natural resources, and connecting businesses and financing sources. Eugene is an experienced negotiator with First Nations groups, and a strategic Board member for a number of business and community associations, including serving as the Director and Audit Chair of Pebble Labs Inc., Maxtech Ventures Inc., Rover Metals Inc., Red Fund Capital Corp., and Trait Biosciences Inc.

David Smalley

Director
David has nearly 20 years of corporate and securities law experience, providing legal services for financing private and public companies. David is a director of a number of capital pool companies listed for trading on the TSX-Venture Exchange in Canada. David advises CEOs on their financing and business strategies and provides corporate, commercial, and securities legal services.
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