Dr Elaine Jensen
Please note: The Welsh version of this profile contains additional or more detailed information.
My enthusiasm for plant biology is inspired by environmental issues and a desire to understand and contribute towards sustainability, both within agriculture and life in general. In my final year BSc project I explored the important legume-rhizobia relationship, which provides an environmentally friendly source of nitrogen to plants. I continued this investigation into my PhD, looking at the genetic mechanisms underlying the interaction between the plant and bacteria. Since 2007 I have been part of the large biorenewables programme in IBERS, developing our scientific knowledge of energy crops such as Miscanthus. From 2007 to 2012 I investigated the impact of flowering time on yield and quality traits in Miscanthus, as well as the factors promoting flowering, such as photoperiod and temperature (BBSRC responsive-mode grant). More recently I have received NRN-LCEE funding to develop a network around the phytoremediation of contaminated mine spoil in Wales, using energy crops.
• Phytoremediation (restoration of contaminated land) using energy crops such as Miscanthus and reed canary grass (Phalaris), and the subsequent utility of these crops in sustainable energy provision. • Exploring the qualitative aspects of bioenergy for combustion – determining what is important in feedstock quality to facilitate sustainable energy provision for domestic and commercial power, how feedstock vary in quality and how they can be improved. • Improving/promoting sustainability, including the social science side of our response to sustainability issues • Plants for power, liquid fuels, and as fossil fuel replacements for platform chemicals, including laboratory plastics.