Elizabeth Hann

Jinkerson lab: I am a plant biology Ph.D. student doing research in Robert Jinkerson’s lab in the chemical and environmental engineering department. I am interested in alternative, sustainable ways to produce food and energy. I work primarily with algae. Marcus Harland-Dunaway, also part of the Plants 3D program, and I published a manuscript in Nature Food titled “A hybrid inorganic–biological artificial photosynthesis system for energy-efficient food production.” We collaborated with electrochemists to grow food-producing organisms heterotrophically on acetate produced from electricity and carbon dioxide. This work was a true collaboration between biologists and engineers and provided a new way to produce food and other bio-based products independent of artificial photosynthesis. SciShow made a short youtube video that explains the work well. Plants 3D has been an excellent opportunity to meet people in different fields and learn about entrepreneurship. It has provided me with space and resources to think about creative solutions to important problems in agriculture and beyond.