Updated: 2 days ago
What's a Smart Insect Farm without the insect expert?
Protenga is working with Roslin Technologies on the genetic development of the best performing Black Soldier Flies that allows our flies to effectively convert biomass.
Introducing Dr Razi Ghazali, our R&D Entomologist. He did his Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where he became interested in genetic studies which led to his postgraduate studies in molecular entomology. Later, he received a postgraduate research scholarship from the University of Melbourne in 2016 to pursue a doctoral degree.
Fun fact: Razi has dissected thousands of fly brains to sequence their DNA!
We had a chat with him to know what he's been up to at Protenga.
Q: Tell us about your role in Protenga
Razi: I work with a team of R&D scientists in planning and performing research and development efforts to improve Protenga’s breeding operation processes and colony productivity. We execute entomological activities and trials to fill in gaps in the genetic and biological knowledge surrounding BSF breeding and farming, especially for large-scale rearing.
In addition to the internal R&D organisation, we also collaborate with external partners to bring improvement to our insect technologies, ranging from BSF genetic performance to potential product development. Overall, the R&D team works to establish efficiency and quality metric baselines for the company, as well as to improve these quality metrics, to produce high-quality insect protein, oil and frass.
Q: Sounds exciting! What do you enjoy most about working here?
Razi: I particularly enjoy working with the team of individuals with diverse background and expertise. It creates a great learning environment especially when we are sharing the same vision. We all support each other and work together to achieve our mission.
Q: What about what's challenging and how do you overcome it?
Razi: Of course working in a relatively new industry or research area, there are always limited knowledge and gaps in what is already known about our work. This can be frustrating but this is also what makes it exciting, to create the opportunity to explore and discover these knowledge and fill in the research gaps. Acknowledging and understanding these gaps is crucial so we can accelerate the research towards closing them.
Q: How did you come across Protenga, and why Protenga?
Razi: As a scientist, I always wanted a career that could make improvement to our quality of life. I came across Protenga a while back when I was still in Melbourne and I become interested in the company’s mission in making insects work towards more sustainable nutrition cycles and waste management.
Later, I decided to move back to Malaysia to start off my career here and coincidentally, I came across the job opening for the Entomologist at Protenga on LinkedIn - straightaway I applied for it. After series of conversation with a few of the lead members of the organisation, I became intrigued to contribute to the mission, and to my surprise, I was offered the position!
Q: Right now, in Protenga, what is your goal?
Razi: I would like to contribute to closing the knowledge gaps in BSF research, and providing scientific insights for our operational processes at Protenga. The main goal is to turn the company’s vision into reality, and in view of this, we are building a team of scientists with diverse skills and knowledge in the related areas to bring over a collaborative effort to address and overcome scientific challenges that arises along the way.
Q: Last question! As you want to create your team, what characteristics do you find important in your team member?
Razi: Someone who is passionate, curious, detail-oriented and a critical thinker.
Razi leads the R&D of Entomology at Protenga. We'll be sharing our employee stories periodically. Follow or subscribe to us for more updates!
Do you want to contribute in our mission to Making Insects Work For You? Check out our Careers Page for more information: http://protenga.com/careers