Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Utility Navigation Skip to Top Navigation Skip to Content Navigation
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory links to site home page
Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability
LANL

Algal Biology Program at Los Alamos gets a star

Richard Sayre, one of the nation’s top specialists in algae and energy-producing plant research, has joined LANL to help boost cutting-edge research.
October 11, 2011
Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on top of a once-remote mesa in northern New Mexico with the Jemez mountains as a backdrop to research and innovation covering multi-disciplines from bioscience, sustainable energy sources, to plasma physics and new materials.

Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on top of a once-remote mesa in northern New Mexico with the Jemez mountains as a backdrop to research and innovation covering multi-disciplines from bioscience, sustainable energy sources, to plasma physics and new materials.

Contact  

  • Nancy Ambrosiano
  • Communications Office
  • (505) 667-0471
  • Email

LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, October 11, 2011—Richard Sayre, one of the nation’s top specialists in algae and energy-producing plant research, has joined the Bioscience Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory to help boost cutting-edge research in this area. Cited by Nature magazine as “one of five crop researchers who could change the world,” Sayre brings a crew of postdoctoral researchers and a range of funding to LANL.

“Bringing Dick to the Laboratory is a great success, as we look to strategic hires to strengthen key capabilities,” said Alan Bishop, principal associate director for Science, Technology, and Engineering at LANL. “Dick's enthusiasm and internationally recognized expertise will catalyze many new collaborations in bioscience and other fields to meet our energy security mission.”

Sayre, who started at the Laboratory the first week of October, is a leading scientist, innovator, and entrepreneur who comes to Los Alamos from Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, where he was the director of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels and the director of the BioCassava Plus program. He is also the chief technology officer for Phycal Inc., a start-up biotechnology company in Highland Heights, Ohio, developing microalgal-based biofuel production systems.

Sayre was formerly Chair of the Department of Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology at Ohio State University. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of São Paulo, Brazil in 2007. Sayre received his doctorate from the University of Iowa and did post-doctoral work at Harvard University.

The scientist will be working under a joint appointment at LANL, sharing a quarter of his time with the New Mexico Consortium (NMC). NMC will be constructing a new building and greenhouse in town to accommodate some of the research activity, with help from Los Alamos County. The consortium is a nonprofit corporation formed by the three New Mexico universities under a teaming agreement with the University of California to partner with Los Alamos National Laboratory to advance scientific research and education in New Mexico.

 “This LANL and New Mexico Consortium strategic partnership allows us to bring in partners and programs we could not otherwise put together,” said José Olivares, LANL Biofuels program manager.  “Dick’s accomplishments as an entrepreneur and scientist will advance our capabilities in this area, helping us develop a new vision for bioenergy and plant science.”

Along with as many as nine postdoctoral assistants, Sayre and other Los Alamos scientists will explore such projects as the improved efficiency of plant photosynthesis, advances in algae production and harvesting, and understanding the biochemical and biophysical processes of algae and other energy plants.

Along with as many as nine postdoctoral assistants, Sayre and other Los Alamos scientists will explore such projects as the improved efficiency of plant photosynthesis, advances in algae production and harvesting, and understanding the biochemical and biophysical processes of algae and other energy plants.

Algae science, whether for biofuel production or other applications, has been a growing field for the Laboratory, with advances made recently in such areas as ultrasonic harvesting, persuading algae to grow in “produced water” from oil and gas wells, and even genetically modifying magnetic algae that could be more efficiently harvested.

The Bioenergy and Environmental Science Group, in which Sayre will work, focuses on discovering the molecular principles that underpin biological diversity, specificity, response, and function. This effort includes research in environmental microbiology, microbial genomics, metabolomics, systematics and phylogeny and can be applied to the advancement of bioenergy technologies and bioremediation as well as to our understanding of carbon cycling.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, and URS for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.


Innovations for a secure nation

Novel rocket design flight tested

Novel rocket design flight tested

The new rocket fuel and motor design adds a higher degree of safety by separating the fuel from the oxidizer, both novel formulations that are, by themselves, not able to detonate.

» All Innovations

Calendars

Contact LANL

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1663
Los Alamos, NM 87545

Journalist Queries
Communications Office
(505) 667-7000

Directory Assistance
(505) 667-5061

All Contacts, Media







Visit Blogger Join Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter See our Flickr Photos Watch Our YouTube Videos Find Us on LinkedIn Find Us on iTunesFind Us on GooglePlay