Davinia Salvachua has been a staff microbiologist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory since July 2014. Her research is focused on understanding biological lignin depolymerization and catabolism by fungi and bacteria. She is also leading the development of bioreactor cultivation processes for the production of fuels and chemical precursors by a diversity of organisms.
She received a DOE Early Career Award from BER in 2019 to elucidate aromatic catabolic pathways in white-rot fungi. “My time in CBI was invaluable to get to know a lot of scientists in the center and continue collaborations with some of them in different projects,” Salvachua said, adding that she also learned more about the DOE Office of Science and the BER program.
“Successful CBI stewardship promotes a successful center,” she said. “It was really satisfying to see how the leadership team organizes so many moving parts (i.e., science, logistics, administrative work) to elevate the center to the next level.” She also enjoyed working with Bob Hettich’s team on the research side, learning new techniques and how other groups work in the laboratory.
Her advice for other young scientists interested in the field? “Go ahead, follow your heart, and open your mind to the very diverse subjects in bioenergy. We all are working for the same goal and only together, we will have a lasting positive impact on our planet.”