Klein and Ashok win CBI Annual Science Meeting Elevator Talk Competition

Graduate student Marie Klein from UC Davis and Oak Ridge National Laboratory postdoctoral researcher Nandhini Ashok were the winners of the elevator talk competition at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Center for Bioenergy Innovation 2023 annual meeting held in Asheville, North Carolina.

Klein’s presentation, “Genome-wide Associations of Vegetation Indices over Time in Populus trichocarpa,” and Ashok’s titled “Genetic tool development for the thermophilic anaerobe – Clostridium thermocellum” described CBI-relevant research areas, potential barriers, discoveries, advancements in science, and how the work helps support a sustainable bioeconomy.

The competition is part of CBI’s outreach program encouraging students and early career researchers in the field, including the development of important science communication skills. Each competitor submitted recorded presentations to the CBI research council. Presenters had the option of taking subsequent feedback and re-cording their presentations for final judging. This allowed the researchers to improve their presentation skills and to better describe their science—key skills for future success.

The Center for Bioenergy Innovation at ORNL is one of four DOE Bioenergy Research Centers focused on advancing biofuels and bioproducts for a vibrant domestic bioeconomy. The center is accelerating the development of bioenergy-relevant plants and microbes to enable production of drop-in sustainable aviation fuel, bioproducts that sequester carbon and sustainable replacements for plastics and other environmentally harmful products. CBI is supported by the Biological and Environmental Research program in DOE’s Office of Science.