As a sophomore aquaculture and fisheries major—and an aspiring entrepreneur—Brendan Breen decided to make pearls from quahogs, Rhode Island’s official state mollusks. “I spent every waking second studying pearl culture and the biology of mollusks,” he said. “Then I had to be creative and come up with my own method of culturing pearls.”
He did. And by late 2020, the 2018 grad will be ready to harvest his first commercial crop and market the pearls to jewelers and other prospective clients, “bringing something to the market the likes of which there hasn’t been before.”
Learn more about this pearl maker’s work in the University of Rhode Island Magazine, Spring 2019 issue.