STRAIGHT FROM THE SCIENTISTS: Research Profiles

Matt Plutz: Working on Unconventional Yeast to Produce Valuable Bioproducts

“I like being a part of something big with partners all across the country.”

Under the Microscope: Adina Howe Uses Microbes to Scale Down Sustainability

Howe, who has extensive experience working with biofuels, is excited by the prospect of leveraging microbial data to decode the inner workings of lesser-known bioenergy crops.

Adam von Haden: Digging Through the Roots

Von Haden’s curiosity for what’s in the ground — and how it impacts our planet — led him to move south to Illinois and work for CABBI in the Sustainability Theme.

Nick LaBonte: Genetics with a Green Thumb

For LaBonte, caring for and cultivating plants is more than a hobby, degree, or career — it’s a way of life.

Making Waves: Kelsie Ferin Proves Renewable Energy and Clean Water Go Hand in Hand

When Ferin sits down to code, she has a million square miles of soil, water, and sky at her fingertips: from Iowa’s Corn Belt to the Mississippi River, and all the way to the Gulf of Mexico — the backdrop for her research on how bioenergy crops can help purify the nation’s water.

August Schetter: From Family Farm to University Fields

This M.S. Candidate in Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois works alongside the people he read about as a kid.

Madhu Khanna: Finding the Right Combination of Energy Crops for the Economy — and the Environment

Khanna leads CABBI’s Sustainability theme, which is providing the environmental and economic perspective for developing efficient bioenergy crops.

Shuai Li: A Passion for Plant Physiology

Getting your hands dirty is at the top of a plant physiologist’s job description. Shuai Li knows this better than anyone, but his love for the research makes hard work well worth the while.

Joe Zimmerman: Working in a Field of Dreams

“A lot of my roots and specialties are in setting up field trials and being out in the field and collecting data and harvesting materials. That’s what I’m passionate about.”

Yoel Cortes-Peña: Finding Sustainability in Life & Lab

Master’s student’s definition of sustainability: “Thinking about the future, using resources wisely, and creating diverse possibilities.”

GETTING PERSONAL: Video Clips of our Scientists