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 and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinaceae). 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). I work within the BEACON programme, details of which can be found here: http://beaconwales.org/en/team/view/elaine-jensen. In 2016 I received NRN-LCEE funding to develop a network around the phytoremediation of contaminated mine spoil in Wales, using energy crops, and am now developing this area through work with organisations such as Natural Resources Wales, and with international collaborations.
• 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.