Early Detection



treatment optimization



EQO is working to protect your water resources, save you money, and make mitigation efforts more successful in regards to aquatic invasive species through:

EARLY DETECTION using technologies originally developed for microbiome analytics and early cancer detection, EQO offers the earliest possible detection combined with high granularity quantitation of infestation and potential for infestation. 


MONITORING critical points of infrastructure and vectors of infestation utilizing an automated collection and preservation system that can be semi-permanently installed, or single-use collection and preservation kits.

MITIGATION by determining live versus dead, population activity, life cycle, and response to treatment.

TREATMENT OPTIMIZATION through a combination of services that are most beneficial for the client. EQO saves its customers a significant amount of money through supplying the information needed to make management decisions in efficiently treating a population of zebra mussels, whether it's a newly established population or an older infestation.

ERADICATION is an active area of research for EQO as we are actively pursuing the development of a smart drug approach to zebra and quagga mussel eradication. The goal of this project is the creation of a cost efficient, environmentally responsible, low risk product capable of full eradication without negatively impacting the native ecosystem. Contact us to learn more!


Webinars and other media

EQO hosted an informational webinar for aquatic invasive species managers and decision makers in March 2019. Watch the video to learn more about eDNA and how it's being used to monitor and mitigate the spread of invasive species. 

EQO was featured on foundingAUSTIN's Up and Comers podcast this week. March 14, 2019.



John Higley, CEO

“A life well lived is one that requires examination, not one you can chart easily on a graph. It requires some risk.”

Higley was offered a position at Janssen Pharmaceuticals located in Philadelphia but turned down the offer to pursue an idea he had been thinking about for a while. When he made the decision to pursue this idea of starting a company, his wife surprised him with her plan to create a startup of her own. So they started down this new path with two startups, four kids, and three dogs and like all new things, EQO was something very different from what Higley was used to. He had to learn what it meant to be in the business world and navigate the many facets of which a company is comprised.  He found help in the addition of his colleagues, Erika Schwarz Taylor, Stefan Schuster, and Brad Van Schouwen. Each brought with them a diverse skill set but driven by the same passion. With them by his side, Higley is determined to make EQO a success, something big and bold and different.

Stefan Schuster, CMO

"I want to create a vehicle for employment by saving the world and cleaning up the environment. "

Schuster worked as the Mayor’s Appointee to the City of Austin Water Planning Integration Committee, a volunteer position, and began the process of the 100 Year Water Plan the city of Austin has now adopted. This position reinforced in him the passion he always had for water and now he wants to make a direct difference through EQO. Early in 2018 Schuster was ready to start a new chapter in his life and decided to reconnect with Higley. Schuster first saw Higley present at a conference about three years ago and wanted to see where EQO was in it’s growth cycle. They quickly realized during their meeting that they needed to combine their expertise and make connections within the water industry. The rapid change Schuster has seen since joining the team has been more of a drive for him to see this through, not only for himself but for the legacy he wants to leave for his two sons.

Erika Schwarz Taylor, CSO

“To get anything you want you’ve got to work hard and you’ve just got to go for it.”

Schwarz Taylor was getting ready to graduate with her Ph.D. and was looking for an opportunity to make a societal and environmental impact. She found John Higley and decided to contact him. Their first meeting revealed their common goals and interests and soon after, she found herself working alongside him and her new colleagues. Schwarz Taylor works as a professor at both St. Edward’s University and Austin Community College. Life as a professor cannot compare to the work she has done and hopes to do in the future at EQO. Her go, go, go attitude has been her strength through this journey and an example for her daughter who has seen first hand the work Schwarz Taylor is willing to put into her passions. Technology is constantly moving and Schwarz Taylor wants to be part of that world and hopes she can invest more of her time in the coming year.

Brad Van Schouwen, CFO

“Starting a company from nothing is the biggest challenge and we are overcoming it now.”

Van Schouwen has always been intertwined with the startup community. The ever changing and challenging world of startups has always interested Van Schouwen who loves the diversity of experiences that are inherent in the startup community. After 15 years of helping other organizations find the right footing in the world of business and finance, Schouwen decided it was time for him to make his journey. So when Schwarz Taylor, an old friend of his, began to get involved with EQO, Van Schouwen saw the opportunity to fill a need the company soon had. As EQO’s financial expert, Van Schouwen works hard to direct the company’s ability to fund their long term investment; an investment that attracted Van Schouwen to EQO. The bigger and broader goal that EQO has makes it stand out from other entrepreneurs he has worked with in the past and he wouldn’t change any part of his time working with the team.




6101 Highland Campus Dr. Austin, TX 78752



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