Speaker Bios

Marilyn A. Buford
Marilyn Buford joined the National Program Staff for FS R&D in August, 1998, serving as National Program Leader for Quantitative Ecology Research, co-lead for FS Global Change Research Program and co-lead for FS Biobased Products and Bioenergy Research Program. In January, 2006, she accepted the position of National Program Leader for Silviculture Research and continues to co-lead the FS Biobased Products and Bioenergy Research Program. She is an active member of the USDA Biobased Products and Bioenergy Coordination Council, the Interagency Woody Biomass Utilization Group (WBUG), and the FS Woody Biomass Utilization Team. Marilyn currently serves as the Chair of the Short Rotation Woody Crops Operations Working Group (SRWC OWG), a public-private partnership to promote collaborative efforts in developing needed operations for SRWC plantations. Marilyn served as Project Leader in Charleston, SC, (Forested Wetlands) and in Research Triangle Park, NC (Southern Forest Productivity). Her personal research and publications have focused on forest stand dynamics, forest carbon management, and forest productivity.


Virginia Dale

Dr. Virginia H. Dale is a Corporate Fellow in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and was selected as the 2006 Distinguished Scientist for the Laboratory. Her primary research interests are environmental decision making, effects of land-use and climate change on forests, landscape ecology, and ecological modeling. Dr. Dale has authored more than 160 published articles, is coauthor of the book Road Ecology, and has edited five books. She has served on national scientific advisory boards for five federal agencies (the Environmental Protection Agency, US Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, and Interior). She is currently chair of the US National Committee of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) and of the EPA Science Advisory Board’s Hypoxia Advisory Panel. She also is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Environmental Management.


Otto Doering

Otto Doering is Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. His responsibilities include teaching, research, and public service on policy issues relating to agriculture, resources, and the environment. His experience includes service on DOE’s Energy Research Advisory Board Biomass Advisory Panel, DOE’s Energy Extension Advisory Board, and Indiana’s Energy Development Board. He was director of Purdue University’s Energy Policy Research and Information Program, was founding director of Indiana’s State Utility Forecasting Group, has served on the Research Advisory Committee of the National Regulatory Research Institute, and was a National Science Foundation Evaluator for the Power Systems Engineering Research Center. He was economic team lead for the National Hypoxia Assessment, served on the National Academies’ Committee on the Mississippi River and the Clean Water Act, the National Research Council’s Committee on Water Implications of Biofuel Production, and serves on the EPA Scientific Advisory Board Committee on Integrated Nitrogen. He has held advisory positions with USDA for the ’77, ’90, and ‘96 farm bills and with the Natural Resources Conservation Service for the design and assessment of agricultural conservation programs. He has been chairman of the National Public Policy Education Committee and is currently president of the American Agricultural Economics Association. Dr. Doering has degrees from Cornell University and the London School of Economics.


Jose Goldemberg

Professor José Goldemberg earned his Ph.D. in Physical Sciences in 1954 from the University de São Paulo in 1954 of which he became Rector in 1986. He has served as the President of Brazilian Association for the Advancement of Science, Minister of State for Education of Brazil and Secretary for the Environment of the State of São Paulo. He has authored many technical papers and books on Nuclear Physics, Sustainable Development and Energy. Read abstract here.


Robin Jenkins

Robin Jenkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. During her 9 years of experience at DuPont, Robin has contributed to a variety of DuPont businesses. In her current role in the Engineering Evaluations and Sustainability group within DuPont Engineering Research and Technology, Robin guides research and manufacturing teams by analyzing new or existing processes from an engineering, economic, and life cycle perspective. Robin has 4 years experience as a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) practitioner and currently leads LCA efforts for Biofuels in DuPont. In previous roles, she aided manufacturing operations as a process engineer for the Packaging and Industrial Polymers business and managed key customer relationships as a technical services engineer for the Nonwovens business.


Catherine Kling

Dr. Catherine Kling is a Professor of Economics at Iowa State University and head of the Resource and Environmental Policy Division of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development. Prior to her Iowa State appointment, she was an Associate and Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Kling holds a B B.A. in Business and Economics from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Maryland. She is a Fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association and has served as a member of their board of directors and awards committee chair. She has also served as vice president and member of the board of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, is a member of U.S. EPA’s Science Advisory Board, chairs the Science Advisory Board Environmental Economics Advisory Committee, and has held editorial positions at several environmental and agricultural economics journals.


Jerry Melillo

Professor Jerry Melillo is the Co-Director of The Ecosystems Center at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA, and a Professor of Biology at Brown University. His center in Woods Hole focuses on environmental research in three areas: global change; management of coastal zone ecosystems; and globalization and transformation of the tropical landscape. Professor Melillo specializes in understanding the impacts of human activities on the biogeochemistry of ecological systems, using a combination of field studies and simulation modeling. In 1996 and 1997, he served as the Associate Director for Environment in the US President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. Professor Melillo just completed terms as the President of the Ecological Society of America and of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), the environmental assessment body of the International Council for Science. He is an honorary Professor in the Institute of Geophysical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, a member of the American Philosophical Society, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His publication record includes more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, two ecology textbooks and three edited volumes on biogeochemistry.


Bill Parton

Dr. Parton has worked extensively during the last 30 years on the development of ecosystem models and the use of these models to evaluate the impact of land use change and global environmental changes on natural and managed ecosystems around the world. He is a Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist at Colorado State University. His recent research has focused on evaluating the environmental impact of biofuel cropping systems on net greenhouse budgets and other environmental impacts.


Donna Perla

Donna Perla is a Senior Advisor in the Office of Research and Development at the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. She leads the Office of Research and Devleopment’s biofuels effort and assists EPA’s representative to the federal Biomass Research and Development Board and participates in several interagency teams related to the development of a National Biofuels Action Plan. Her work focuses on looking at the sustainability of the biofuels system, including environmental and human health considerations of feedstock, technologies, distribution and use. Donna also leads an EPA Waste-to-Energy network, which explores the environmental aspects of conversion technologies for a wide variety of wastes, including disaster debris. Other positions in her 22 years with EPA include: Director of the Innovative Pilots Division in the Office of Policy, Economic, and Innovation; Chief of the Waste Minimization Branch in the Office of Solid Waste, Chief of the Colorado/Montana Permitting and Enforcement Section, EPA, Region 8; Chief of the Economic Analysis and Risk Assessment Section in the Office of Solid Waste; and Special Assistant to the Director of the Office of Solid Waste. She holds a B.S. in Biology, (University of Hartford), and a Masters of Public Health, (Yale University).


Phil Robertson

Phil Robertson is a Professor of Ecosystem Science in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at MSU, with which he has been associated since 1981. Since 1988 he has directed the NSF Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program in Agricultural Ecology at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, where he is a resident faculty. He currently serves as national chair of the U.S. LTER Network’s Science Council and Executive Board. Dr. Robertson’s research interests include the biogeochemistry and ecology of field crop ecosystems, and in particular nitrogen and carbon dynamics, greenhouse gas fluxes, and the functional significance of microbial diversity in these systems. His undergraduate teaching includes Agricultural Ecology, Biogeochemistry, and Soil Biology courses. Dr. Robertson has been a SCOPE-Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1980-1981) and a sabbatical scholar at Cooperative Research Centres in Adelaide (1993-1994) and Brisbane (2001-2002), Australia.His service also includes membership on the U.S. Carbon Cycle Scientific Steering Committee, chairmanships of competitive grants panels at the USDA (the NRI and Fund for Rural America Programs), and membership on several NSF panels in the Biological and Geosciences directorates. Dr. Robertson served on the National Research Council Committee to Evaluate the USDA NRI Program (1998-1999), and he chaired the Environment Subcommittee of the NRC Committee on Opportunities in Agriculture (2000-2002). He has testified before the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Forestry, and Nutrition Committee and participated in briefings for the U.S. House Science and Agriculture Committees. He has also served as an editor for the journals Ecology, Ecological Monographs, and Plant and Soil and is currently an editor for Biogeochemistry. In 2003 he was elected a Fellow in the Soil Science Society of America. In 2005 he received MSU’s Distinguished Faculty award. Dr. Robertson received his BA from Hampshire College and his PhD in Biology from Indiana University.


John Sheehan

John Sheehan recently joined LiveFuels, Inc. as their Vice President of Strategy and Sustainable Development, where he is helping to forge a path to commercial production of biofuels from algae. From 1991 to 2007, he served as an analyst and project manager at the U.S. DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). At NREL, Sheehan has led research on the production and use of biodiesel and ethanol. From 1993 to 1998, he was the project manager for DOE’s Biodiesel from Algae Program. Sheehan is the lead author of the 1998 close-out report that summarized the 20+ years of R&D accomplishments of the algae program. Sheehan has authored groundbreaking life cycle assessment studies related to biodiesel and ethanol technology. From 2002 to 2007, John also led strategic planning and analysis activities for the Department of Energy’s Biomass Program and, more broadly, for the entire program portfolio in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Prior to NREL, John worked as a biochemical engineer at W.R. Grace and Company and Merck Pharmaceutical. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in biochemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and Lehigh University.


Linda Wallace

Dr. Linda Wallace is professor of botany and Director of the Kessler Farm Field Laboratory at the University of Oklahoma. Since joining the faculty at OU in 1981, she has studied grassland ecology in the Great Plains and examining grazing ecology at Yellowstone National Park. While on sabbatical in the Park, the fires of 1988 erupted and working in concert with scientists from across the U.S., Dr. Wallace examined system response to this very large perturbation. This resulted in the Yale Press publication, After the Fires: The Ecology of Change in Yellowstone National Park. She has since been working collaboratively on two large global change experiments and is currently collaborating on a project examining both grassland and feedstock production system responses to global climate change. She was named a Samuel Roberts Noble Presidential Professor at OU in 1999, was panel manager of the USDA Ecosystems Panel in 2000, and has served on numerous advisory panels for both USDA and NSF, including the 20 year review of the LTER network.


John Wiens

John Wiens grew up in Oklahoma as an avid birdwatcher. This led to degrees from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (M.S., Ph.D.). With this training under his belt, he joined the faculty of Oregon State University and, subsequently, the University of New Mexico and Colorado State University, where he was a Professor of Ecology and University Distinguished Professor. He has held Visiting Professor appointments at the University of Oslo, the University of British Columbia, the Tropical Ecosystem Research Centre of CSIRO in Darwin Australia, and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, California. His work, which has emphasized landscape ecology and the ecology of birds and insects in arid environments, has led to over 200 scientific papers and 7 books. John left academia in 2002 to join The Nature Conservancy as a Lead Scientist, with the challenge of putting years of classroom teaching and academic research into conservation practice in the real world. His current scientific work at TNC addresses the broad issue of conservation in a rapidly changing world – “conservation futures.”


Wally Wilhelm

Wally Wilhelm is a research plant physiologist with the USDA-ARS Agroecosystems Management Research Unit and adjunct professor of agronomy and horticulture at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE. He leads the ARS Renewable Energy Assessment Project (REAP), a multi-location effort to develop tools and cropping practices that maximize sustainable harvest of biomass as bioenergy and bioproduct feedstocks. He has worked to help the cellulosic ethanol industry understand that crop residues are not wastes of grain production and that residues play a vital role in maintaining soil functions and preserving the capacity of agricultural lands to produce food, feed, and fiber when remained to the soil.