Meet Billie, our BSF Rearing Scientist

June 6, 2022

How do you do at Better Origin?

My official title is BSF Rearing Scientist. However, I prefer to think of myself as a glorified maggot farmer. I manage a small team of entomologists and together we are optimising our black soldier fly breeding process.

How did your background lead you to this role?

I have always loved entomology, and my university dissertation was on insects for food and feed. After leaving university, I began a career in pest control, where I moved into the training department and got to teach other people about my insect obsession.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in pest control but joined Better Origin as I felt I could help make a positive difference in the world, starting with the agricultural sector.

What was your initial reaction to what we do?

I was immediately blown away by the innovation and aspirations of Better Origin. It took me a little while to get my head around the concept of automated insect mini-farms, but I knew straight away that I wanted to be a part of it.

What’s your typical workday like?

My days can be very varied and require a very open mind. Some days I spend planning trials and analysing data in front of a computer. On other days I am literally up to my elbows in maggots and flies. But my time working in pest control half prepared me for this.

What are you most proud to be able to work on?

I am most proud of the work I have done in the rollout of using food waste in the X1 mini-farms. It is such a large step in the right direction for food sustainability and I’m honoured to play a small role in this.

What’s one of your favourite things about working at Better Origin?

I love the fact that the work is so varied so every day is a new adventure. Boredom is not even in the vocabulary of Better Origin.

What’s something people might not know about you?

I am an absolute adrenaline junkie. I have done skydiving and regularly go bungee jumping.

What would you tell those wanting to get involved in this industry?

Do it! It’s a small industry that will be exploding in hopefully the not-too-distant future. The work is interesting, and it’s great to know you’re making a difference.

If working specifically with black soldier flies, I would recommend a strong stomach as they can be a little bit on the fragrant side – but that’s my only complaint.


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