Bioprose: Meet Our Bloggers

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Meet the great minds behind the Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO’s) Bioprose blog, a key resource that provides valuable insight into BETO’s early-stage research and development programs as well as the people who contribute to the success of the U.S. bioeconomy. Learn more about our technical bloggers below, including both BETO program and technical managers, as well as the BETO laboratory relationship managers from U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories.

Meet Our Technical Managers

Jonathan Male, Director, Bioenergy Technologies Office

Jonathan Male

Director, Bioenergy Technologies Office

Dr. Jonathan Male is the Director for the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where he leads BETO’s work to lower costs, reduce technical risk, and accelerate deployment of bioenergy and renewable chemicals technologies.

See Jonathan’s full bio and recent blog

Valerie Sarisky-Reed, Deputy Director, Bioenergy Technologies Office

Valerie Sarisky-Reed

Deputy Director, Bioenergy Technologies Office

Dr. Valerie Sarisky-Reed is the Deputy Director for BETO. Dr. Sarisky-Reed holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Georgetown University. She began her BETO career more than 20 years ago, where she helps to address energy and environmental issues faced by the United States and globally.

See Valerie’s full bio and recent blog

Alison Goss Eng, Program Manager, Feedstock Supply and Logistics and Advanced Algal Systems, Bioenergy Technologies Office

Alison Goss Eng

Program Manager, Feedstock Supply and Logistics and Advanced Algal Systems

Dr. Alison Goss Eng is the program manager for the Advanced Algal Systems and Feedstock Supply and Logistics programs within BETO. In this role, she guides a diverse research portfolio, developing technologies to provide a reliable, affordable, and sustainable biomass supply to the growing advanced bioenergy industry.

See Alison's full bio and recent blog.

David Babson, Technology Manager, Conversion Research and Development

David Babson

Technology Manager, Conversion Research and Development

Dr. David Babson is a technology manager, where he oversees several projects for BETO’s Conversion Program and works to understand how to leverage new technologies to advance the emerging bioeconomy and address global energy and climate challenges.

See David's full bio and recent blog.

Daniel B. Fishman, Technology Manager, Bioenergy Technologies Office

Daniel B. Fishman

Technology Manager, Advanced Algal Systems

Daniel B. Fishman is a technology manager with BETO, where he helps to manage the portfolio of applied research projects focused on developing algal biofuels.

See Daniel's full bio and recent blog.

Ian Rowe, Technology Manager, Conversion Research and Development

Ian Rowe

Technology Manager, Conversion Research and Development

Dr. Ian Rowe is a technology manager with BETO. Working out of DOE's Headquarters in Washington D.C., Ian is responsible for a number of projects within BETO’s Conversion Program.

See Ian's full bio and recent blog.

Meet Our Laboratory Relationship Managers

Zia Abdullah, Laboratory Program Manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Zia Abdullah

Laboratory Program Manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Dr. Zia Abdullah is laboratory program manager for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office program. He has extensive experience and accomplishments in thermochemically and biochemically converting biomass to fuels and chemicals include more than 25 years of industrial research and development in biomass conversion, as well as problem solving, new product development, business development, and project management.

See Zia's full bio and recent blog.

M. Cristina Negri, Principal Agronomist/Environmental Engineer, Argonne National Laboratory

M. Cristina Negri

Principal Agronomist/Environmental Engineer, Argonne National Laboratory

During her more than 20 years at Argonne National Laboratory, M. Cristina Negri has conducted and directed laboratory- to full-scale multidisciplinary projects developing technologies and concepts for environmental remediation and stewardship, including soil remediation and water treatment. She has researched sustainable technologies for urban environmental improvement.

See Cristina's full bio and recent blog.

headshot of Padmaperuma

Dr. Asanga Padmaperuma

Senior Research Chemist in the Energy Processes and Materials Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Dr. Asanga Padmaperuma is a Senior Research Chemist in the Energy Processes and Materials Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He serves as the Laboratory Relationship Manager for the Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office, which has oversight of research in sustainable use of marine, terrestrial, and waste biomass for fuels and chemicals via thermal, biological, and electrocatalytic conversion.

See Asanga's full bio and recent blog.

Tim Theiss, Laboratory Relationship Manager, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tim Theiss

Laboratory Relationship Manager, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tim Theiss is the laboratory relationship manager for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Bioenergy Technologies Office program. This applied bioenergy program includes research on feedstock supply and logistics, biomass conversion technologies, and the strategic analysis and sustainability of bioenergy. Tim’s work has involved liquid and gaseous alternative fuels, including biofuels for transportation and stationary power applications.

See Tim's full bio and recent blog.

Meltem Urgun-Demirtas, Laboratory Relationship Manager, Argonne National Laboratory

Meltem Urgun-Demirtas

Laboratory Relationship Manager, Argonne National Laboratory

Meltem Urgun-Demirtas is a group leader of process development research in Argonne National Laboratory’s Energy Systems division, where she brings over 15 years of diverse experience in waste and water treatment, biofuels production, and materials synthesis for energy and environmental applications. She has extensive experience in design and operation of chemical and bioprocesses from bench to field scale, techno-economic assessment, modeling and optimization of processes. She is a fellow of the Northwestern University—Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering.

See Meltem's full bio and recent blog.

a headshot of Richard Hess

J. Richard Hess

Laboratory Relationship Manager, Idaho National Laboratory

J. Richard Hess is Director of the EERE Program Office at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and serves as the Laboratory Relationship Manager to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office. He oversees and leads development of strategic planning between the Energy and Environment Science and Technology (EES&T) directorate and DOE EERE to ensure highly impactful, integrated, and objective-driven EERE programs at INL. Richard has experience managing INL’s Bioenergy Program, which focuses on the cost-effective use of lignocellulosic crop residues in biorefining operations. 

See J.'s full bio and recent blog.

a headshot of amanda barry

Amanda Barry

Algae Program Laboratory Relationship Manager, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Dr. Amanda Barry is a scientist and serves as the Algae Program Laboratory Relationship Manager at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Within the Bioenergy and Biome Sciences Group at LANL, Dr. Barry’s primary research focus is in algal biochemistry and the genetic manipulation of algae for economical biofuel production. Dr. Barry returned to LANL in 2017 from an Intergovernmental Personnel Act assignment at the U.S. Department of Energy, serving as Scientist/Technology Development Manager in support of the Advanced Algal Systems program in the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

See Amanda's full bio and recent blog.

headshot of Babetta L. Marrone

Babetta (Babs) L. Marrone

Laboratory Relationship Manager for BETO programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Dr. Babetta (Babs) L. Marrone is the Laboratory Relationship Manager for BETO programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) since 2012. She is LANL’s Biofuels Program Manager in the Applied Energy Program Office at LANL and a Senior Scientist in the Bioscience Division.

See Babetta's full bio and recent blog.

Headshot of Katy Christiansen

Katy Christiansen

Laboratory Relationship Manager for BETO programs at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Dr. Katy Christiansen is the Biosciences Strategic Programs Development and Implementation Manager at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. In this role, Katy leads program development activities and strategic planning for the Biosciences Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. 

See Katy's full bio and recent blog.

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