The essential tools and technologists that serve the full range of research interests in the EBI offer a rich set of core resources unparalleled among bioenergy research centers. These include a farm dedicated to the production and testing of feedstocks, a set of chemical laboratories and analysts to characterize and manipulate samples and products, and academic experts to synthesize broad-based data and help guide the research efforts of the institute. These resources provide EBI’s nexus for discovery.
Meet the manager
Timothy A. Mies
Tim Mies received his B.S. in Agriculture, with emphasis on agricultural mechanization. He has been manager of the EBI’s 340-acre Energy Farm since 2007, where he coordinates research efforts between the institute’s multiple field programs and assists in the design, implementation, and instrumentation of their research. Prior to that, he was senior research engineering in the Department of Crop Sciences and worked as specialist in Controlled Environment Areas for the University of Maryland, Department of Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture.
This photo gallery features not only the depth of research, but the beauty of the Energy Farm. Click through and read captions for more detail.
The Bioenergy Analysis Team consolidates the many aspects of science and sociology within the EBI portfolio and provides scenarios that serve as roadmaps for the work of the programs.
Three academic research fellows consolidate the work emerging from the EBI’s broad research portfolio into pathways for success. These big-picture experts integrate the emerging knowledge of bioenergy science, technology, and the sociological impacts of biofuels into helpful scenarios that serve as roadmaps for the work of the EBI programs.
Meet the team
Dr. Sarah Davis received her Ph.D. in Biology at West Virginia University. She is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Plant Biology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Her specialties include forest and grassland eco-physiology, plant-soil-microbe interactions, and C & N cycling.
Dr. Caroline Taylor received her Ph.D. in Physical/Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Chicago. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University and an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Michigan Technological University, where she remains an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Physics. She has also been a Visiting Professor at Neumann Intitut für Computing, Forschungszentrum Jülich (Jülich Supercomputing Centre).
Her specialties include multiscale modeling of phase equilibria and interfacial dynamics in biological and environmental systems.
Dr. Heather Youngs received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Oregon Graduate Institute (now OHSU) and was an Adjunct Professor of Biology at the University of Portland. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Carnegie Institution Department of Plant Biology at Stanford University (NIH Genome Training Grant) and an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at Michigan Technological University, where she is currently an Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry.
Her specialties include plant cell wall biosynthesis, carbohydrate chemistry, enzyme structure/function, kinetics, heme peroxidases, and lignin degradation.
The Analytical Chemistry Team assists EBI researchers in understanding the form and function of biological and chemical materials that are at the heart of biofuels technology development.
Lead Scientist Stefan Bauer and his team of four accomplished research chemists provide technical support for program and project groups in both Illinois and Berkeley. From determination of feedstock composition, to pretreatment and inhibitor analysis, to fermentation of conversion products, the Chemical Analysis Group uses wet chemistry methods, robotic platforms, and high-end analytical machines to help scientists explore multiple facets of the biofuel value chain.
Meet the manager
Analytical Chemistry Manager, EBI-Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
120A Energy Biosciences Building
2151 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94720-5230
Stefan Bauer is a trained Food Chemist and holds a PhD from the University of Muenster, Germany where he focused on the chemical analysis of cuticular waxes of plants. During his postdoc at the Carnegie Institution of Plan Biology at Stanford, CA, he specialized in cloning and characterization of plant wall hydrolytic enzymes. He was the Head of Analytical Laboratory R&D Enteral Nutrition at Fresenius-Kabi in Bad Homburg Germany before joining the EBI in November 2008 as Analytical Lab Manager. Due to his training and experience he is an expert in capillary electrophoresis and many chromatography spectroscopy and mass spectrometry techniques. He supports EBI researchers along the value chain from feedstock and pretreatment to intermediate and product analysis including the supply of well-characterized substrates.
The lab facilities of the two campuses facilitate collaboration between faculty and staff and the advancement of EBI research.
The multiple laboratories on the Illinois and Berkeley campuses dedicated to the work of the EBI require careful stewardship to ensure the safety of the scientists, the reliability of the equipment, and the efficiency of the operations. These critical responsibilities fall primarily to two individuals, whose oversight of personnel and facilities form the framework around which progress in the labs can be made. Their tasks include ordering equipment and supplies for principal investigators; installing, troubleshooting and training researchers on using scientific instruments; understanding and implementing all the environmental and safety policies as they pertain to research work areas; answering questions on a wide variety of research and administrative topics; and keeping things organized and running smoothly despite the diversity of disciplines, tasks and individuals.
Meet the team
Jing Dong has an M.S. degree in environmental health and science from University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. degree in biotechnology from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China. She also received research training in physiology at University of Miami medical school. Her previous research focused on studying environmental health issues for children living in agricultural areas at molecular and cellular levels. Since joining EBI in 2009, she has developed comprehensive standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the shared research facility and laboratory equipment while managing the laboratory daily operations.