Dear colleagues:

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Dorothy Koch will join the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science (SC) as the Associate Director of Science for Biological and Environmental Research (BER), effective October 23, 2023.

As associate director of BER, Dr. Koch will be leading the effort to support transformative science and scientific user facilities to achieve a predictive understanding of complex biological, earth, and environmental systems for energy and infrastructure security, independence, and prosperity. This fundamental research, conducted at universities, DOE national laboratories, and research institutions across the country, explores organisms and ecosystems that can influence the U.S. energy system and advances understanding of the relationships between energy and the environment from local to global scales, including a focus on climate change experimental research and predictive modeling. BER’s support of basic research contributes to a future of stable, reliable, and resilient energy sources and infrastructures that will contribute to evidence-based climate solutions with a focus on environmental justice.

To promote world-class research in these areas, BER supports user facilities that enable observation and measurement of atmospheric, biological, and biogeochemical processes using the latest technologies. These facilities include the Joint Genome Institute, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, and the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement user facilities. Other BER supported research activities, like the DOE Bioenergy Research Centers, are using powerful tools of plant and microbial system biology to pursue the innovative early-stage research that will lead to the development of future transformative bio-based products, clean energy, and next generation technologies.

Dr. Koch is joining SC at a critical time as BER expands its Earthshot research activities which focus on science at the nexus of clean energy production and climate change. This initiative will enhance BER’s biosystems research by continuing the Energy Earthshot Research Centers and bringing together multi-disciplinary teams to more rapidly remove barriers hampering the translation of basic science into innovative technological solutions.

We welcome Dr. Koch and look forward to the leadership and vision she will bring to the Office of Science and Department of Energy.


Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
Director, Office of Science
U.S. Department of Energy

Harriet Kung
Deputy Director for Science Programs, Office of Science
U.S. Department of Energy

Juston Fontaine
Deputy Director for Operations, Office of Science
U.S. Department of Energy