TCU Place 35 -22nd St. East, Saskatoon, SK    

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Douglas Haefele
Senior Research Scientist - Trait Discovery and Technologies, Pioneer Hi-Bred,
Johnston, IA, USA

International Collaboration in Biofuels Development

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
11:30 - Noon

Abstract:  The raw material for all biofuels, whether directly as in the case of globally important row crops or indirectly as in the case of municipal solid waste, begins with the sciences that make up modern plant breeding. Raw material cost is one of the primary drivers of the cost of biofuels. In so-called first generation biofuels, i.e. the production of ethanol by yeast catalyzed fermentation of simple sugars produced by enzymatic hydrolysis of starch from corn grain, raw material cost exceeds 60% of the total cost of goods. Whether the target is hybrid maize or short rotation trees the development of more productive crops is inherently a global undertaking that requires enormous investment, access to diverse geographies that make possible multiple crop generations a year and agronomic testing in diverse environments, and access to important global markets for seed products.

Doug Haefele is senior research scientist at Pioneer Hi-Bred, A DuPont Business. His responsibilities include identifying opportunities to differentiate the value of corn grain for biofuels production and other end-uses and the development of analytical and bioassay techniques for quantitation of compositional and functional properties of corn grain.

Doug has been involved with several other research projects since joining Pioneer in 1986. These include developing biological controls of soil borne seed pathogens and in situ manipulation of microbial consortia to degrade/detoxify environmental contaminants. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany from the University of Rhode Island where he worked in the lab of Linda A. Hufnagel; a master’s degree from Yale University where he worked with William H. Smith in microbial ecology; and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley where he worked with Steven E. Lindow in molecular microbial ecology. Doug is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.