We're a dedicated team working to change the world.

Ryan Powell, Ph.D.


Ryan leads Manta’s operations and brings a unique perspective to the development of algal biofuels. Rare among scientists, he has 15+ years of practical experience in large scale agriculture from working on his family’s 2000 acre grain farm. This experience provides practical judgment on what can and cannot be done when producing a low cost commodity (such as oil) on large tracts of land. His focus on pragmatic, cost effective solutions that scale has been the key to Manta’s success in bringing down production costs. This pragmatic problem solving mentality is backed by a deep knowledge of the field of algal biofuels which was the focus of his Ph.D. research. Since founding Manta, he has led his team through the successful completion of more than ten peer-reviewed awards that the company has received. Ryan holds a Ph.D. in algal biofuels from the University of Maryland, and is the inventor of the company’s magnetic algae harvesting technology and low cost continuous flow hydrothermal liquefaction system.

Onur Unal, MS, MBA


Onur oversees Manta’s business and fundraising activities. A seasoned entrepreneur with 10+ years of biotechnology industry experience, Onur has extensive experience with startups in product and business management capacities. He holds an M.S. in Pharmacology and an M.B.A. from Penn State University.

Brian Ratigan, P.E.

Senior Chemical Engineer

Brian oversees the development and scale-up of Manta’s technical processes. Having spent 43 years working with industrial chemical engineering processes, Brian is an expert in demonstrating and scaling emerging chemical process technologies. He has extensive experience in chemical, petroleum, biotech and biodiesel process development, and he is the author of 8 patents on chemical processes.

John Sturgis

Lead Engineer

John leads the design, manufacture, and testing of Manta’s harvesting technology. He is an expert at designing and implementing practical engineering solutions to novel process ideas. Since being with Manta, he has led the design and implementation of the company’s current algae harvesting system, as well as the design and testing of many complementary technologies. John holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Goucher College.

Kelly Morsey


Kelly runs the lab and field testing at Manta, and also manages the company’s safety standards. She is passionate about sustainability and brings years of lab, field work, and aquaculture experience to the team. Kelly holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Salisbury University.

Tim Masselle


Tim manages the field operations for Manta’s algal growth site. He brings years of renewable energy project management experience. This experience ensures projects at the site run smoothly and efficiently. Tim is committed to workplace safety and holds an OSHA 30 hour safety certificate.

Our Advisors

Steven Davey
Dr. Nick Hammond
Dr. Russell Hill

Our Partners