Our Team

Meet the Ruminant BioTech team.

We have a highly experienced and proven management team and a highly skilled and diverse R&D team, with extensive experience in animal health, pharmaceuticals, controlled release delivery systems, innovation, science, and engineering.

Leadership Team

Tom Breen
CEO

Tom is an enterprise leader with a deep knowledge and understanding of international agribusiness. He has held various leadership positions at Monsanto, Bayer and Nutrien across an array of domains including sales and marketing, technology development, supply chain operations, corporate strategy and business transformation.

John Fernandes
CFO

John has experience in strategy, finance, and continuous improvement. He has held roles at NZX, Goldman Sachs, JB Were, Mediaworks, Elevation Capital and Spark.

David Siegel, PhD
Head of Research & Development

David has more than 15 years of international R&D experience in agriculture, human and animal health. He formerly held various leadership roles at Bayer Animal Health and Boehringer Ingelheim in Germany and New Zealand with particular focus on drug discovery, product development and marketed product defence.

George Reeves
Head of Market Access and Strategic Partnership

George has 30 years’ experience as a leader in agriculture, animal and human health, and FMCG. Formerly, he was the Marketing Manager for Farm Animal at Elanco & Bayer Animal Health, Bayer Consumer, Colgate & SC Johnson in NZ, Australia, and the UK.

Product Development

David Colsell
Head Formulation Development

David has 30+ years of experience in Chemical Product Development and Innovation. He is committed to technological progress and thrive on the challenge on taking new ideas from the concept to commercialisation, for which he has proven track-record.

Bishal Adhikari, Phd
Senior Formulation Scientist

Bishal brings over a decade of experience in pharmaceutical research and product development. He previously worked at Argenta, and has a deep understanding of the innovation behind drug delivery and formulation.

Hossein Etemadi, PhD
Formulation Scientist

Hossein has eight years of academic and industry experience with formulation and product development, research and design of novel drug delivery platforms based on hydrogel polysaccharides.

Stefanie Maslek, PhD
Senior Scientist Bolus Chemistry

Stefanie has 10+ years of experience in chemistry laboratories. As a chemist she brings experience in the areas of process development, material functionalisation and laboratory H&S to the business. Her previous work experience ranges from start-up company to crown research institute, dealing with projects improving the circular economy and environment.

Wayne Hu
Laboratory Manager

Wayne has 16 years of experience in pharmaceutical GMP and R&D labs, with a focus on analytical chemistry. He is proficient in laboratory operations, including method development, quality control, regulatory compliance, and waste management.

Erica Yin
Head of Analytical Development

Erica has over 20 years of analytical experience in pharmaceutical and agriculture fields, specializing in analytical method development, validation, and products specification, with extensive knowledge of product characterization, cGMP and ICH guidelines. She holds master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of Auckland.

Maria Mevicci Tenebroso
Senior Laboratory Technician

Maria holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the Cebu Institute of Technology and has demonstrated expertise in process optimisation, materials science, and commercial upscaling experience. She joins our team after working as a research & development engineer at Atlas Fertilizer Corporation, a subsidiary of Sojitz Corp.

Jiaoying Wei
Laboratory Technician

Jia has joined the RBT team in 2021. She is an enthusiastic and skilled laboratory technician with experience in R&D work.

Charlie Jackson
Laboratory Technician

Charlie holds a bachelor’s degree in science, majoring in Medicinal Chemistry, from the University of Canterbury and has experience working with cows and sheep, as he lives on a farm.

Jun Park
Laboratory Technician

Jun holds a bachelor's degree in science with a major in Chemistry and has two years of hands-on experience in a food testing lab with a focus on analytical chemistry.

Global Research and Clinical Trials

Kirsty Kraakman
Head of in vitro & in vivo Studies

Kirsty has experience in the start-up biotech industry, with a background in agritech R&D. Besides her research communication, data organisation and analysis skills, she has a strong track records in leading and managing clinical trials and fields studies.

Neil Gladden, PhD
Trials Manager

Neil is a qualified veterinarian with extensive industry experience, including work with the Ministry for Primary Industries and in animal genetics. He has more than 20 years’ experience in project management, including remote monitoring of animal health and animal trials.

Abigail Chase, BSc(Hons) BVMS PhD
Veterinary Scientific Affairs Manager

Abi is an experienced production animal veterinarian with a strong focus on research. She has worked in various clinical roles in both the UK and New Zealand. For the past 8 years Abi was the Technical Product Manager for a large pharmaceutical company, working with veterinarians and farmers on sustainable treatments for production animals on pasture.

Hans Hockey
Biometrician

Hans has many years’ experience in study design, statistical power, analysis and biometrics in human pharmaceutical drug trials and animal studies. In the past, Hans has worked overseas for global leaders in human pharmaceuticals, the foremost being Pfizer.

Meryem Drief
Science Analyst

Meryem has a background in agronomy, field research, and data analysis, holding a PhD in soil science from Lincoln University. Prior to joining Ruminant BioTech, she served as a field research assistant at Lincoln Agritech. Since her arrival in 2023, she has contributed significantly to data analysis, database management, and the elaboration of scientific reports.

Intellectual Property, Market Access and Strategic Partnership

Caitlin Burnett
Head of Intelligent Property

Caitlin is an established registered Trans-Tasman Patent Attorney with broad commercial experience across numerous technologies and jurisdictions. She handles the complexities of leveraging intellectual property rights including patents, trademarks and brand strategy, copyright, registered designs, and trade secrets across both IP and Common Law.

Mark Vickers, B.V.Sc.
Regulatory Manager

Mark has been a veterinarian and industry consultant for international and startup companies in regulatory affairs for over 30 years. His expertise areas include GMP manufacturing, product development, and the planning and conduct of GLP and GCP clinical trials for veterinary medicines. These trials were conducted for bolus solutions registered and sold in New Zealand and Australia.

Tiffany Siegel, PhD
Market Access Manager

Tiffany is a scientist with 15+ years in analytical development and mass spectrometry, and expertise in drug metabolism research and regulatory aspects. Her strong collaboration skills drive successful external partnerships, enhancing interdisciplinary teamwork and fostering innovation.

Lynley Daley
Quality & Supply Manager

Experienced Quality Manager in the Life Sciences Industry, predominantly Pharmaceuticals, Dietary Supplements, Cosmetics and Food Manufacturing.

Programme management, Finance and Administration

Maggie Sullivan
CERF Manager

Maggie has 19 years’ experience as a project/programme manager with broad experience across several business sectors including pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and government agencies.

Verity Groves
Finance Manager

Verity is an associate Chartered Accountant who takes care of all our financial management, keeping the numbers and processes in order and providing support to the CFO.

Natalie Connell
Executive Assistant

Experienced executive assistant with 5 years of proven success in providing top-level support to executives. Natalie is skilled in managing calendars, coordinating meetings and maintaining confidentiality. Strong organisational abilities, attention to detail and adept at prioritising tasks.