Jenny Mortimer

Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Dr. Jenny Mortimer is a Staff Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in California. After completing graduate work at Cambridge University, UK on signal transduction in roots, she began studying the plant cell wall as a postdoc with Prof. Paul Dupree and the BBSRC Bioenergy Centre (BSBEC), also at Cambridge. This was followed by a fellowship at RIKEN Yokohama, Japan, hosted by Prof. Taku Demura.

At LBNL, she leads the Plant Systems Biology Group and is Deputy Vice President of the Feedstocks Division at the Department of Energy (DoE)-funded Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI; Her group ( seeks to understand how plants use the products of photosynthesis – simple sugars – to build complex biological molecules. This knowledge is being used to produce renewable, sustainable, fuels and biochemicals from plant biomass. Her lab is also developing new synthetic biology and bioinformatics tools for bioenergy crops (such as new transformation tools for sorghum as part of the DoE Plant Genomics program), and investigating the role of plant cell walls in recruiting and retaining the rhizosphere microbiome, for example as part of the DoE mCAFEs project (

Dr. Mortimer is also co-leading the LBNL EcoPOD team, which is developing highly-instrumented mesocosms to bridge the scale and complexity gap between laboratory and field plant-microbe-soil research. The EcoPOD project will help researchers to test and model engineered organisms in a secure environment.

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