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A recent explosion in funding for bioenergy research
promises to uncover a sustainable pathway for energy development. This challenge is daunting given the far reaching consequences of bioenergy that stretch from food security and rural poverty to biodiversity and water quality. Thus, the success of these rapidly growing research efforts will be based on the extent to which scientists from unique disciplines can engage in biofuels research at a fundamental level. In this seminar, I will describe recent advances in our understanding of bioenergy based on inter-disciplinary work between ecologists, agronomists, political scientists, and engineers, as well as emerging issues in bioenergy sustainability that remain to be addressed.
Elliott Campbell is an assistant professor at the University of California, Merced with appointments in the Sierra Nevada Research Institute and the School of Engineering. Campbell works in the area of ecological engineering with a focus on agroecosystem sustainability for food and biofuel production. He has consulted on state, federal, and international policy and has appeared in media ranging from NPR’s “Morning Edition” to The Economist. He received his BS and MS from Stanford, PhD from the University of Iowa, and completed a postdoc at the Carnegie Institution for Science.