Nematodes in Space with Dr Fatma Kaplan and Cameron Schiller of AstroNematode – Future of Agriculture

Dr. Fatma Kaplan and Cameron Schiller founded Pheronym, an agricultural biotech company that provides safe, non-toxic, and innovative solutions to solve numerous agricultural problems. They also recently become involved in the development of space nematodes under the company AstroNematode. AstroNematode seeks to establish interstellar agriculture for Earth. The first launching experiment will happen this December and provide data to pave the way for sustainable agriculture outside of Earth.

Dr. Fatma and Cameron join me today to share their latest project, AstroNematode, and how it can help provide sustainable solutions for future generations. They describe the origins of this idea and the companies that helped fund the project. They discuss their tie-ins with private companies like Space-X and explain the experiments that will happen in space. They also share what it’s like to work on this project while running Pheronym at the same time.

“If you’re going to colonize the moon and Mars, we need to have agriculture.” – Dr. Fatma Kaplan

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • How the project got started and where they found funding.
  • The best qualities of the project and what it can provide data scientists.
  • Their contingencies when the project doesn’t work as planned.
  • The kind of animals NASA plans to take to Mars.
  • Why they think nematodes can survive and reproduce in space.
  • The upcoming launch and how the nematodes will be packaged.
  • Making sure the experiments are running smoothly while they remain on Earth.
  • How they manage to run a startup and the nematode project at the same time. 

Resources Mentioned 

Connect with Dr. Fatma Kaplan and Cameron Schiller

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Tim Hammerich

Tim is a strategic communications consultant, founder of AgGrad, and the host of the "Future of Agriculture" podcast. Originally from California, he is now based out of Boise, Idaho.