December Luncheon Meeting (Goleta) 12/11/19

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM

Harnessing Gut Microbes to Turn Waste into Energy

Gut Microbes

Grazing animals host a treasure-trove of microorganisms in their gut that convert woody plant biomass (cellulose) into sugars. But, creating biofuels from cellulose at a commercial scale has been a challenge. Dr. Michelle O'Malley is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at UCSB, and her research group works to isolate gut microbes from animal droppings and unlock their bio-degradation secrets. Come learn about the bacterial and fungal communities within poop, and how microbes interact with each other becoming friends, enemies, and even "frenemies" to advance waste conversion to valuable products

Dr. Michelle O'Malley

Dr. Michelle O'Malley, Associate Professor, UCSB Chemical Engineering, earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004, and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 2009. She was a USDA-NIFA postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biology at MIT prior to joining the Chemical Engineering faculty at UCSB in 2012. Prof. O'Malley's research group engineers microorganisms for sustainable chemical production, bioremediation, and drug discovery.

In her research into developing novel microbes for cellulose breakdown for biofuel generation. Dr. O'Malley was recently named one of 10 young scientists to watch by Science News magazine.


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