UC Davis Team is a U.S. Department of Energy AlgaePrize Champion

UC Davis Giant Kelp Team
Dr. Daniela Barile, Truc Pham, Mia Gaiero and Dr. Juliana de Moura Bell with their AlgaePrize award check
Zann Gates
AlgaePrize logo

A UC Davis team composed of master’s degree students Mia Gaiero and Truc Pham, together with their mentors, Drs. Juliana de Moura Bell and Daniela Barile, participated in the in the U.S. Department of Energy AlgaePrize, which was hosted at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO on April 14–16, 2023. The UC Davis team earned one of only five Champion spots (from which one was selected as Grand Champion). 

The team, called “UC Davis Giant Kelp Team” was selected to participate in the competition along 13 other Finalist teams representing 35 states and 14 countries (from a pool of over 60 initial applicant teams)  with their project titled Kelping it Green: Innovative Analytical Tools for Eco-Friendly Giant Kelp Processing”.

Truc and Mia gave an excellent presentation and won the Best Poster Award as well as the title of Champion, earning a $10,000 check to be spent on algae-related work as well as the invitation to present at the upcoming Algae Biomass Summit that will be held October 9-11, 2023 in Madison, Wisconsin. 

The AlgaePrize competition was a fantastic culmination of more than a year of collaborative research between me and Mia. We were really proud of what we were able to produce and present, and winning the awards was just a cherry on top. Thank you to our faculty mentors and colleagues for their support throughout this project. -Truc Pham

I am truly grateful to have been able to participate in the AlgaePrize competition. It was an amazing and rewarding opportunity that challenged me as a researcher and introduced me to the algae community learning about many other exciting projects going on." -Mia Gaiero

Launched in January 2022, the AlgaePrize is a 16-month-long contest organized by the U.S. Department of Energy that encourages students to pursue innovative ideas for the development, design, and invention of technologies within the commercial algae value chain. Fast-growing and able to store energy from sunlight, algae can be transformed into a variety of products, such as fuel, food, fertilizer, industrial compounds, and animal feed.

A big congratulations to the whole UC Davis Kelp Team!  You can view their poster which won the Best Poster Award, as well as their project abstract.