Nano*High - January 12, 2008:
Chris Somerville - "Converting Plants to Fuel"
The plant tissue cellulose is the most abundant fuel material on the planet. But how can we harness it to serve our energy needs? Scientists at the Energy Biosciences Institute at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab are studying the genetics and microscopic structure of plants to find a viable and efficient source of biofuels for the future.
As Director of the Energy Biosciences Institute, Dr. Somerville oversees all open activities at the Institute, including research, communications, education and outreach. He also chairs the Institute's Executive Committee and reports to the Governance Board. Dr. Somerville is a professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a visiting scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His research focuses on the characterization of proteins implicated in plant cell-wall synthesis and modification. He has published more than 200 scientific papers in plant and microbial genetics, genomics, biochemistry and biotechnology.
Somerville has served on the scientific advisory boards of many corporations, academic institutions and private foundations in Europe and North America. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada.
Sally Nasman, Organizer
Nano*High gratefully acknowledges QB3, the California Institute for Quantitative Biosystems for providing the lecture hall on the University of California Berkeley campus.