Diane Kim, Ph.D.
Co-Founder &
Chief Executive Officer

I’m a biological oceanographer and marine microbial ecologist by training, turned kelp biologist by way of a Department of Energy project I began working on in 2017 to explore kelp as a potential biofuel source (you can learn more about the project on NPR’s All Things Considered). I earned my Ph.D. from the Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography department at USC in 2013 and have over 10 years of oceanographic and microbiological research experience that I bring to the HoldFast team. My growing interest in sustainable and regenerative food systems began in 2014 with research, education and outreach efforts using aquaponics (a system that combines aquaculture and hydroponics). And now, I’m excited to combine my love for ocean science with sustainable food production through the work we do at HoldFast. Oh, it also helps that I love to eat shellfish and seaweed! Click here for my full CV.


Kelly Stromberg

Co-Founder &
Chief Operating Officer

Since my college internship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute working with oyster farms around Cape Cod, I became fascinated with sustainable aquaculture. Over the last 9 years in the industry, I’ve worked with numerous species of shellfish (from spawn to grow-out) and finfish, including work to start and install the first aquaculture facility in U.S. Federal waters off the coast of California. I’ve worked with industry partners including seed producers and equipment manufacturers as well as academic collaborators on federally funded grants to advance the field of sustainable aquaculture. Now with HoldFast Aquaculture, I look forward to apply both science and industry skill sets to grow amazing sustainable seafood! Click here for my full CV.


Nathan Churches
Co-Founder &
Chief Science Officer

I am interested in how we can use science to inform sustainable seafood production, and am an all around marine biology nerd who simply wants to know how marine organisms work! During my Ph.D. I built an experimental shellfish hatchery on Catalina, developed a “mock commercial long line”, organized industry:academia conferences, and worked closely with seafood companies to understand how to implement scientific results in industry. Now at HoldFast Aquaculture I apply high level science (genomics, breeding, and hatchery production) to develop sustainable seafood products for the region. Click here for my full CV.