Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center Newsletter: April 2015
Note From GLBRC Director, Tim Donohue:
Tim Donohue
Tim Donohue

We've been busy here at GLBRC as we head into the second quarter of 2015. After receiving complimentary reviews following our U.S. Department of Energy site visit last fall, we presented almost a dozen oral and poster presentations at the 2015 Biological and Environmental Research (BER) contractors meeting. In late February, we also provided an update on science, research collaborations, and intellectual property to the BER advisory committee and Deputy Director of the Office of Science, Dr. Patricia Dehmer.


Now we prepare for a visit from our Scientific Advisory Board in mid-April and our eighth annual GLBRC-wide retreat, to be held May 19-21 in South Bend, Indiana. GLBRC Scientific Director Ken Keegstra and staff have organized another outstanding program, combining plenary presentations from experts inside and outside GLBRC, sessions to report on advances within and between projects, and opportunities to discuss future research activities!


Read on for more highlights, and to learn more about the important work being done at GLBRC.

GLBRC scientists reported the discovery of a chemical compound called poacic acid that could eventually be used as a fungicide in both sustainable and conventional farming. First author Jeff Piotrowski says the discovery underscores the complementary nature of twin pursuits, sustainable energy production and sustainable agriculture. Read more » 

GLBRC's Randy Jackson says "the focus of agricultural biofuel research has changed recently from 'agronomic intensification' to 'ecological intensification.' In other words, it's not just about how much money you can make growing a crop's about how we can grow what we need and nurture the land at the same time." Read more » 

GLBRC researcher Amador-Noguez emanates anticipation, for next week's result, the future of his research, and the future of biofuels. "It's difficult to come up with a biological process that isn't affected by bacteria," he says. "They are virtually everywhere, not just in the environment but also inside our bodies. And if we can improve our understanding of microbes we can do a lot of enormously important things, including improving biofuels." Read more »
Biofuels Part of America's Energy Solution
GLBRC researcher John Sedbrook writes in the Chicago Sun Times, "Biofuels are part of a long-term solution, but they need to be embraced now for that solution to work." Read more »
Gina Lewin Explores How Ants Break Down Cellulose
After originally coming to GLBRC in 2009 as a participant in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, graduate student Gina Lewin has since conducted top-notch research and demonstrated the importance of translating her research into engaging classroom material. "In the six years since her REU, Gina has grown into a real spokesperson for GLBRC," says Director of Education & Outreach John Greenler. Read more »

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