Areas of expertise:
Jon is a biotechnologist by choice, and curious by nature. He is always searching for how, and why, a system works like it does -or doesn’t. He enjoys mentally taking things apart to analyze the pieces, to figure out how the thing works, whether machine, human behaviour, natural phenomenon, or societal complexity. As a biotechnologist he often returns to the natural world to find how nature solves a problem, and applies that to systems designed by humans.
The area where technology touches biology fascinates Jon. He is in his element solving these complex interactive systems. From a young age he was enchanted by the ingenious complex systems that are found in nature. Determined to figure out how it all works, he dedicated his studies to biotechnology. He adopted a broad knowledge base, and learned that interdisciplinary approaches help solve the toughest of problems, and that context and creativity are essential. Jon pursued a Bachelor in Biosystems Engineering, and got his Master’s degree in Biotechnology at Wageningen University. Both studies focused on mathematics and systems design and understanding, based on a wide variety of biological and natural processes.
The world, and everything beyond, is fascinating, and Jon aims to understand it all. But until then, he has dedicated his work to enable society, and human life, to become sustainable on this earth. In the process making sure there is a world left for himself to explore.
While society is struggling with the Corona pandemic, bananas are facing their own, a fungus called Foc-TR4.
It is not the first time that bananas face a serious threat. In 1950, the pathogen Foc-R1 brought the common banana to near extinction. The only surviving production crop was the Cavendish, due to its fungus-resistant genes. This seedless banana was quickly planted across the globe, replacing its diseased counterparts. This single variety is, to this day, the only banana most of us know and love.
Serenity Farms is a concept for a sustainable 100+ ha greenhouse facility for profitable food production in arid climates. The first site is to be located on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, under the vision of the Reza Investment Company. The core of Serenity Farms is a repeatable ‘stamp’ design, producing the annual fresh food nutrition needs for over 60.000 people. It sources and treats water from renewable sources exclusively such as seawater, and is powered by the sun.