Dr. Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera (chair) is an independent consultant specializing in integrating science toward applications in energy, environment, agriculture, and medicine. She has more than 22 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. She was executive vice president of discovery and analytical sciences at RTI International. Before joining RTI, she was president of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and head of the Center for Environmental Biotechnology at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 1995, received the Society of Industrial Microbiology (SIM) Charles Porter Award in 1996, was elected a SIM Fellow in 1997, and was named the Nath Lecturer at West Virginia University in 1999. She was the 2004 recipient of the American Society for Microbiology Porter Award for achievement in biodiversity research and was an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellow in 2007. Dr. Hunter-Cevera holds five patents, has 15 pending patents, and currently serves on the editorial board for International Microbiology and the advisory board for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Dr. Sammy Boussiba received his Ph.D. in physiology and biochemistry of cyanobacteria in 1981 from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. After 2 years of postdoctoral studies at Cornell University, he rejoined the Microalgal Biotechnology Laboratory (MBL) at the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Desert Research (BIDR), Ben-Gurion University, Israel and has served as the head of this group since 1995. Professor Boussiba’s current research interests concern the utilization of microalgae for human health and environmental protection. Among his achievements are the unique development of the biotechnology for the production of astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus, and the successful expression of BTI toxin genes into nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria for combating tropical diseases. As an outcome of this research, commercial enterprises have been set up, one of which is a plant located in the Arava, for the production of the valuable carotenoid astaxanthin produced from the green alga Haematococcus pluvialis, and the second-establishment of a start-up
company, BioSan, which is involved in the commercialization of engineered cyanobacteria for mosquito biocontrol of pest diseases. Professor Boussiba is the author of more than 70 publications, and has supervised about 40 research students (M.Sc., Ph.D., and postdocs). In 2003, Professor Boussiba was awarded “Doctor Honoris Causa” by the University of West Hungary. As a reward for his achievements in microalgal biotechnology, he was awarded in 2004 a Chair in Economic Botany by the Senate of the Ben-Gurion University. In 2008, he was nominated as the Director of the French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He currently serves as the vice president of the International Society of Applied Phycology (ISAP) and the chief scientist of the newly established European Algal Biomass Association (EABA). All of the above has positioned Professor Boussiba among the world’s leading scientists in the field of microalgal biotechnology.
Dr. Joel L. Cuello is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at The University of Arizona, Tucson. He has been teaching and conducting research there since 1995. His research expertise focuses on algal biodiesel and hydrogen production, algal photobioreactor design and scale up, algal CO2 capture, algal lighting strategies, algae alternative nutrient media, wastewater use for algal production, chemical production from plant cell cultures, and design of hybrid solar and electric lighting systems for plant applications. Dr. Cuello’s research studies have received funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), among others. He has written more than 40 refereed journal publications and 9 book chapters, and has been invited numerous times as keynote or guest speaker at institutions and conferences worldwide. On the industry side, Dr. Cuello served on the scientific advisory boards of three biofuel companies in Norway, India, and Africa, and served as a technical consultant for a number of domestic and international biofuel companies. Dr. Cuello obtained his Ph.D. in agricultural and biological engineering (with minor in chemical engineering), M.S. in agricultural and biological engineering, and M.S. in plant physiology from the Pennsylvania State University. He obtained his B.S. in agricultural engineering from the University of the Philippines, and he spent his U.S. National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associateship at NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, conducting research on advanced, biologically based, space life support systems using algal and cyanobacterial culture systems. Dr. Cuello is co-inventor on four patent applications on algal photobioreactor and raceway designs.
Dr. Clifford S. Duke is the director of science programs for the Ecological Society of America (ESA), which promotes the continued development of ecological science and its integration into decision making and education, since 2003. The ESA Science Office, which originated with ESA’s Sustainable Biosphere Initiative in 1992, focuses on the application of ecological science to environmental problem solving. The office works with ESA members, other professional societies, and public agencies to develop workshops and publications on a variety of topics related to ecosystem sustainability, global change, and biodiversity. Current projects include a series of reports on biofuels and sustainability, data sharing and archiving initiatives, and support for ESA’s Emerging Issues Conference Series. Before joining the ESA staff, Dr. Duke worked for 14 years in environmental consulting, managing preparation of environmental impact statements and ecological risk assessments for Department of Defense and Department of Energy facilities. He previously held postdoctoral positions at Northeastern University, Wellesley College, and Harvard University. He
currently serves on the steering committee of the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable and the Service to the Scientific Community Working Group of the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition. Dr. Duke received his B.A. in biology and environmental studies from the University of Vermont in 1977, a Ph.D. in botany (1985) and an M.A. in public policy science from Duke University (1986).
Dr. Rebecca A. Efroymson is a senior scientist in the Environmental Sciences Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her work relates to the interdisciplinary, applied field of ecological risk assessment. She has performed risk assessments for contaminated burial grounds, ponds, streams, and watersheds, with an emphasis on risks to plants, soil invertebrates, and microbial processes from metals and organic chemicals. Her accomplishments include a net environmental benefit analysis framework for remediating contaminated sites. Dr. Efroymson has investigated effects of the application of biosolids to ecosystems. She has developed conceptual ecological risk assessment frameworks for agencies such as the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Bureau of Land Management, with topics ranging from managing rare species and their habitats to petroleum exploration and production to wastewater treatment systems to wind energy development. She has worked in the fields of ecosystem restoration and ecosystem valuation. Lately, she is developing environmental sustainability indicators for biofuels and developing a causal analysis framework to support the modeling of landuse change impacts of bioenergy. Her education includes a B.A. in biology from LaSalle University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University in environmental toxicology.
Dr. Susan S. Golden is a distinguished professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of California, San Diego. She is currently working on a project consisting of the metabolic engineering of cyanobacteria for the production of biofuels and other molecules of interest. In summary, because cyanobacteria grow photosynthetically using water and CO2, and are easy to manipulate genetically, they are attractive organisms for the production of molecules that have industrial applications. One such application is the production of biofuels as a supplementation of, or eventual replacement of, petroleum-based fuels. The project is using the powerful genetic tools that have been developed for Synechococcus elongatus to explore the production of biofuels in cyanobacteria. Dr. Golden is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She received her B.A. in biology from Mississippi University for Women and her Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Dr. Jennifer Holmgren is the chief executive officer of LanzaTech. She has more than 20 years of experience in the energy sector including a proven track record in the development and commercialization of fuels and chemicals technologies. Prior to joining LanzaTech, she was vice president and general manager of the Renewable Energy and Chemicals Business Unit at UOP LLC, a Honeywell Company. In that role, she led UOP’s renewable business from its inception through to the achievement of significant revenues from the commercialization of multiple novel biofuels technologies. Dr. Holmgren holds a B.Sc. from Harvey Mudd College, a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. She currently serves on multiple external advisory boards. She is the author or co-author of 50 U.S. patents and 20 scientific publications and is the 2003 recipient of the Council for Chemical Research’s (CCR) Malcolm E. Pruitt Award.
Dr. Donald L. Johnson is a retired vice president of product and process technology at Grain Processing Corporation. He has also been senior development engineer and manager
of product development groups, and director of chemicals research and development departments at A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company, now at Tate & Lyle. He was a member of the advisory council at the College of Applied Science at Miami University, and member of the Departmental Visiting Committee of the Botany Department at the University of Texas at Austin. His primary interests and expertise are in the utilization and processing of renewable resources for food, ingredients, fuels, and industrial chemicals. Dr. Johnson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has a Sc.D in chemical engineering from Washington University and a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois.
Dr. Mark E. Jones is an executive external strategy and communications fellow for Dow Chemical. Since assuming this role in September 2011, Mark assists the chief technology officer with technical assessments and development of external communications and provides technical support for Dow’s Renewable Chemistries Expertise Center (RCEC). Dr. Jones joined Dow in 1990 following a graduate career studying gas-phase ion molecule chemistry, which was not an area of great industrial interest. He was introduced to catalysis during his postdoctoral studies at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science in Boulder. He spent his early career at Dow in heterogeneous catalysis within what would become core research and development. He participated in a number of catalyst scale-ups, process improvements, and commercializations. Much of his work was in alkane activation and partial oxidation, including the production of vinyl chloride directly from ethane, ethylene from methane, and oxidative carbonylation. From 2006 to 2009, Dr. Jones was technology strategy development scientist for basic plastics and chemical/hydrocarbons and energy R&D. In this role, he was working on a variety of alternative feedstock and sustainability issues. He then spent 2 years focusing on lithium ion batteries, developing processes for the production of battery materials, prior to assuming his current role. Dr. Jones authored over 16 issued U.S. patents and numerous publications. He holds a B.S. in chemistry from Randolph-Macon College and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Dr. Val H. Smith is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. His research program focuses on the relationships between resource supplies and the structure and function of biological systems. His primary area of expertise is in the area of phytoplankton ecology, and he has worked extensively on the relationships between nutrient loading and the occurrence of bloom-forming bluegreen algae in lakes and estuaries worldwide. He has extensive experience in the quantitative comparative analysis of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and has strong interests in the mechanisms that generate and maintain biological diversity, in addition to the mechanisms that regulate the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Recently, he has expanded his research into the area of disease ecology and is involved in both empirical and experimental investigations of the relationships between host nutrition and the outcome of infectious disease in plants and animals. In addition, his team seeks to produce renewable biofuels from algae produced in wastewater-fed, outdoor bioreactors. Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
Mr. Cai Steger is an Energy Policy Analyst at Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) new Center for Market Innovation, focusing on federal and state policies that drive clean technology innovation, investment and deployment, with a concentration on renewable energy—especially solar and algal biofuels. His recent projects include developing a federal
deployment mechanism to encourage large-scale penetration of distributed generation, analyzing impacts of climate legislation on investment in renewables, and managing a yearlong project to understand the sustainability of algal biofuels production. He joined NRDC in May 2008. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School, a B.A. from University of California, Santa Barbara, and 8 years of strategy, research, and business development experience in multiple industries.
Dr. Gregory N. Stephanopoulos is Willard Dow Professor of Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The central focus of his research is metabolic engineering, the improvement of cellular properties using modern genetic tools, aiming at the overproduction of fuels and chemicals, and biomedical research aimed at the elucidation of key physiological differences that characterize disease states and can guide drug and therapy development. He has received numerous awards, including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering (2001), Founders Award (2007), the Marvin Johnson Award of the Biotechnology Division of the American Chemical Society (2000), the E.V. Murphee Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry (2010), the AIChE Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Division Award (1997), the Technical Achievement Award of the AIChe Southern California section (1984), the Charles Thom Award of the Society for Industrial Microbiology (2007), the Amgen Award in Biochemical Engineering (2009), and the George Washington Cover Award of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Dr. Stephanopoulos is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Dr. Larry P. Walker is a professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. He has been involved in a number of biomass to energy and chemical projects in the past 25 years. These include an assessment of New York State biomass resources available for ethanol production, farm-scale methane production and co-generation, the application of nanotechnology to characterizing and studying important biocatalysts for industrial biotechnology, and optimization of solid-state fermentation for the production of biocontrol products. He is the director of the Northeast Sun Grant Initiative, director of Cornell Biofuels Research Laboratory, a member of the National Nanobiotechnology Center Executive Committee that oversees the research activities of the center, and the coordinator of a Cornell faculty cluster that is interested in the development of sustainable bio-based industries. He is a member of the American Council on Renewable Energy, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, Higher Education Committee Steering Committee, and the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science. Some of Dr. Walker’s extramural activities include serving as co-editor in chief for the journal Industrial Biotechnology, adviser for the Renewable Fuels Roadmap and Sustainable Biomass Feedstock Assessment for New York, member of the New York State Climate Action Plan Advisory Panel, and former membership on the National Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. In addition, Dr. Walker is a recipient of a New York State Technology and Advanced Research Faculty Development Program Award for Industrial Biotechnology Research. He also received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from CANR, Michigan State University, and the Outstanding Faculty Award from Cornell College of Agriculture and the Life Sciences. He is a graduate of Michigan State University with a B.S. in physics. His interest in renewable resources and environmental research led him to complete M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at Michigan State University in agricultural engineering.
Dr. Eric Williams is an associate professor in the Golisano Institute of Sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology. His research interests include industrial ecology and life cycle assessment, in particular applied to analyzing information technology (IT) and energy systems. IT-related work includes life-cycle assessment of semiconductors and computers and macro-analysis on relationships between energy consumption, telecommuting, and e-commerce. In the energy domain, he is working on systems assessment of energy supply technologies, using thermodynamics-based measures to characterize long-term trends in energy efficiency, and the effects of development and urbanization on energy demand in industrializing nations. He received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York in physics and his expertise includes industrial ecology, life-cycle assessment, and macroassessment of energy supply and demand.
Dr. Paul V. Zimba is the director of the Center for Coastal Studies at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. He joined Texas A&M from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service, where he served as a research microbiologist in Stoneville, Mississippi, since 1999. Dr. Zimba’s work at the USDA assisted in the analysis of off-flavor metabolites and secondary products being produced by algae in aquaculture systems. Prior to that Dr. Zimba worked as a research assistant professor in the Department of Fisheries at the University of Florida. He is an adjunct at the University of Mississippi and the State University of New York and has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University of New Orleans. His research interests include aquatic ecosystem ecology, algal toxin assessment, harmful algae, wetlands, aquaculture, microalgal taxonomy and physiology, carbon fixation assessment, remote sensing, aquatic ecosystem stressors, and cyanobacteria secondary metabolites. Dr. Zimba received his B.A. in biological sciences from Virginia’s Wesleyan College in 1979. He received his M.S. in biology from Old Dominion University in 1985 and his Ph.D. from Mississippi State University in 1990.