Nathan Kaufman

As the Aquaponic Program Manager I advance the research and extension goals of Dr. Gross and the Aquaculture Cooperative Extension. I manage our recirculating aquaculture systems and our aquaponic research greenhouse on the UC Davis Campus. Additionally, I work with the extension to extend knowledge to farmers throughout California to demonstrate the utility of using aquaculture effluent to grow hydroponic specialty and commodity crops. I am actively engaged in research activities on-campus and with farms across the state. As an instructor for the UC Davis COSMOS summer program in Sustainable Aquaculture and Aquaponic Food Production, I engage students in an intensive 4-week STEM curriculum in aquaponics.


I have over a decade of experience working with aquaponic agriculture and my work has been featured in publications such as the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Produce Grower Magazine and Vice News. I received my B.S. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and B.A in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz, where I worked in Dr. Jarmila Pittermann’s lab studying the physiology and function of albino redwood trees. I am currently pursuing my MBA at UC Davis to better meet the evolving needs of farmers and establish California as a global leader in regenerative agriculture and sustainable food systems.

Visiting and Post Doctoral Scholars

Dr. Victor Fernández Cabanás

Victor joined our lab in July of 2019  to conduct aquaponic research evaluating vertical farming practices for hydroponic production of basil. Download our publication comparing vertical and horizontal flood and drain basil production.






Dr. Razieh Farzad

I am a food scientist with extensive knowledge and experience in the sustainable production of seafood through aquaculture practices. As a postdoctoral scholar at Bodega Marine Laboratory, I’m was developing a non-invasive methodology using ultrasound to evaluate the gonad development in abalone to assist the recovery effort for endangered black abalone species. I am also working on helping seafood producers and farmers in getting up to speed with Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) by writing advisory extension documents that assist them with building HACCP plans and developing a prioritized road map to comply with FSMA. You can currently find me in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department at the University of Florida as the NOAA Sea Grant Extension Specialist in Seafood Safety.

Dr. Sara Boles

I am a postdoctoral researcher mentored by Dr. Jackson Gross at UC Davis’ Bodega Marine Laboratory where I have collaborated in the development of ultrasound as a non-invasive technique to track gonad maturation and reproductive development in endangered and cultured abalone species (Haliotis cracherodii, H. rufescens, and H. sorenseni). I am also interested in the advancement of sustainable aquaculture production strategies in the face of rapidly changing ocean conditions. I completed my PhD in the Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Group at UC Davis under the direction of Dr. Andrew Whitehead. My dissertation research focused on the effect of ocean acidification (OA) on red abalone (H. rufescens) growth, physiology, and reproduction across multiple generations and different populations. I also developed broodstock husbandry and larval culture techniques to mitigate the negative effects associated with OA. To enhance the molecular resources for red abalone, I assisted in the assembly of the first genome for this species in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Severin at Iowa State University. For my master’s thesis work at San Francisco State University, I investigated the physiological effects of wintertime salinity and warming in Olympia oysters (Ostrea lurida) under the supervision of Dr. Anne Todgham.




California Fish and Wildlife Service:

Laura Rogers – Bennett PhD

US Fish and Wildlife Service:

Matt Powell PhD

Molly Webb PhD

USDA ARS Fish Nutrition Laboratory:

Wendy Sealy PhD

UC Davis:

Crystal Yang PhD

Andrea Shreier PhD

Joel Van Eenennaam MS

Oregon State University:

Bob McGorrin PhD

Luther Burbank High Sacramento CA 

Todd McPherson Burbank Urban Garden