AwardLargus Theodora Angenent
Dr. Lars Angenent has joined the Center of Applied Geosciences (ZAG) at the University of Tübingen in Germany at the rank of Full Professor in Environmental Biotechnology. He has spent the last eight years in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University at the rank of Full and Associate Professor after 6 years on the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis as an Assistant Professor. Lars holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Iowa State University, an M.S. in Environmental Technology/Microbiology from Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands, and a B.S. in Environmental Sciences from Wageningen University. At ZAG he will closely collaborate with Prof. Andreas Kappler on microbial electrochemistry in soils. Lars will continue to work with microbial electrochemical technologies, but he will also focus on C1 biocatalysis such as syngas fermentation and methanogenesis. In addition, he will continue working with reactor microbiomes (open cultures) to elongate short-chain carboxylic acids into medium-chain carboxylic acids. Dr. Angenent also remains to be president of the ISMET. On April 1, 2017 Lars will start his Humboldt Professorship, but he has already started to work at the University of Tübingen on August 1, 2016.
Professor Lars Angenent builds bridges in two different ways. On the one hand, he creates a connection between environmental and medical microbiology; on the other hand, he links up basic research with a problem-oriented, applications-based discipline.
He has worked on microbiome characterization in air, bioreactors, and lungs. For example, he developed a method with which all microbes in the air of a building could be monitored – for instance, to track down the source of airborne disease in a hospital. In the area of environmental technology he was one of the first scientists to work on storing energy from renewables with the help of microbes.
Professor Angenent is also interested in the production of soluble biochemicals from wasted materials and the recovery of carbon from gaseous streams produced by industry. Yet, he is also involved in basic research, which helps us to better understand the biochemistry and energetics of microbial metabolic pathways.