Jenny Mortimer

Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Jenny Mortimer is a Professor of Plant Synthetic Biology at the University of Adelaide, in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, and the Waite Research Institute, an Affiliate Staff Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) USA, and the Director of Plant Systems Biology at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, USA.

After completion of her PhD at Cambridge University, UK, she completed postdoctoral training in the UK (also at Cambridge University), a fellowship at RIKEN, Japan, and then a move to LBNL as a Research Scientist. She relocated to Adelaide in 2021.

Her team’s research focuses on understanding and manipulating plant cell metabolism, with a focus on complex glycosylation. The goal is to develop crops which contribute to a sustainable and renewable bioeconomy. In Adelaide, her new group is using synbio to develop new crops (such as duckweed) for food and novel materials production in controlled growth environments – including for Space settlement. Other projects include engineering glycans to deliver plants with increased (a)biotic stress tolerance. In the US, her group works to reengineer the plant cell wall for the sustainable production of fuels and biochemicals from biomass. Her lab is also developing new synbio and bioinformatics tools for bioenergy crops, and investigating the role of plant cell walls in recruiting and retaining the rhizosphere microbiome, She was selected as a World Economic Forum Young Scientist (2016/17), where she contributed to the WEF Code of Ethics for Researchers (, and she is a Handling editor for Plant Cell Physiology. Twitter @Jenny_Mortimer1, and more about her research here: .

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