Conference Title

China-US 2011 Joint Symposium

September 25-28, 2011

Global Sustainability Issues in Energy, Climate, Water, Environment


Discovery Lecture Speaker

Ed Begley, Jr.

Ed Begley is currently one of the hottest speakers on eco-living in America.  His theme, Live Simply So That Others Can Simply Live, has been received by standing ovations at over 125 events in just the last three years, with over 20 bookings already confirmed in 2010.  His empowering and humorous message on sustainable living includes:

How he began his 40-year eco-journey in 1970, including humorous stories about his first electric car and his first attempt at composting

  • "Everything I have done for the ‘environment’ has also been good for my ‘pocketbook’”
  • “Start with the little things – you don’t “run” up Mt. Everest!”
  • The success in California to clean up the smog – it didn’t hurt business…the economy thrived!
  • Global climate change, pollution, dependency on Mid-East oil – these are “challenges” that can be overcome!
  • Products and services that he has used that work!
  • “Our planet is an asset with value – let’s not treat it like a “going-out-of-business” sale!”

As environmental issues become more pressing, there are two possible responses: forget it and hope that government and corporations will figure it out, or take action yourself.

In the “take action yourself” camp, a few individuals are leading the way. One such person in California is Ed Begley, Jr.

Turning up at Hollywood events on his bicycle, Ed has been considered an environmental leader in the Hollywood community for many years. He serves on the boards of The Coalition For Clean Air, The Thoreau Institute, and  the advisory board of the Union Of Concerned Scientists, among many others,

He work in the environmental community has earned him a number of awards from some of the most prestigious environmental groups in the nation, including the California League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Coalition for Clean Air, Heal the Bay, Santa Monica Baykeeper, and the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation.

He currently lives near Los Angeles in a self-sufficient home powered by solar energy. He has his own website at


Keynote Speakers

Jie Bao, Professor, State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering,, East China University of Science and Technology, China

Abstract: Production of cellulosic lactic acid as bioplasticmonomer and the process development for future biorefinery industry.

Ethanol has been considered as the first andalmost the only product option of biorefinery from lignocellulose. However, thelow value and the difficulties to enter the biofuel market made thecommercialization of cellulosic ethanol pretty tough after decades of extensiveresearch and process development with massive investment. Up to now, no ethanolplant using lignocellulose feedstock is operated in commercial way continuouslyand profitably. On the other hand, the production of value added chemicalsusing lignocellose feedstock provided an important option for the futurebiorefinery industry with great commercial potential. L-lactic acid is one ofthe candidate value added building block chemcials in the future biorefineryindustry for its great importance as the monomer chemical of polylactide acid(PLA). The present study gave an excellent process example of lactic acidproduction using corn stover as the starting material. The corn stover wasdilute acid pretreated, saccharified and fermented into L-lactic acid using the"dry lignocellose process" [1] with great reduction of waste water generationand energy consumption. The strain used for lactic acid fermentation was anewly isolated bacterium from the natural environment of lignocelluloseprocessing location, Pediococcusacidilactici DQ2. This unique strain demonstrated an unusually property oflignocellulose dependence. P.acidilactici DQ2 showed an obviously better fermentation performance in thelignocellulose processing environment, which was toxic for majority of thebacteria and fungi. The titer and yield of L-lactic acid reached 110 g/L and87% in the simultaneous saccharification and fermentation under the high solidsloading of 25% pretreated corn stover, 50 oC and moderate cellulosedosage. The preliminary economic evaluation between the ethanol production andlactic acid production showed that the profit for lactic acid production wasabout five folds greater than the profit for ethanol production. This processprovided a practical process strategy for the future biorefinery industryoperated continuously and profitably. The engineering practice of thecommercial lactic acid plant will provide the lessons for ethanol productionusing lignocellulose feedstock.

Jie Bao, professor of biochemical engineeringand chemical engineering, State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, EastChina University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China. Received thebachelor degree in Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China in 1984;the master degree in Zhejiang University, China in 1997; and the PhD degrees inYamaguchi University, Japan in 2001. Dr. Bao currently is the member of theEditorial Board of Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining journal (Wiley). Theresearch focuses on the biorefinery and biomanufacture of liquid biofuels andbiobased building block chemicals using the sugar platform technology,including (1) process development, simulation, optimization, and industrialdemonstration of liquid biofuels from lignocellulose; (2) metabolic pathwayengineering and consolidated bioprocessing cells (CBP) of the energymicroorganisms; and (3) biological conversion and process engineering ofbuilding block chemicals from lignocellulose and inulin biomass feedstock.

Jose Bravo, Chief Scientist, Shell, USA

Abstract: EnergyDensification

Jose L. Bravo is one of 9 Chief Scientists atthe Royal Dutch Shell Group. His role is to advise the Shell leadership onmatters of technology, and technical resources and to represent Shell intechnical forums as well as lead strategic technology developmentprojects.  He has been with Shell since 1995 and has held variousresearch, engineering and commercial positions.  HE has authored more than50 technical papers and one book in the area of Separations Technology. Before Shell he was an independent consultant and ran a Multi sponsor ResearchConsortium at The University of Texas at Austin.

Nancy Ho, Research Professor of ChemicalEngineering, Purdue University, USA

Abstract: An overview oftechnologies for ethanol production from non-food cellulosic materials.

Dr. Nancy W. Y. Ho received herPh.D. from Purdue University's Department of Biological Sciences.  After completing her studies, she remained atPurdue to further research on the methods for the study of DNA.  Since 1980, she has focused her efforts onusing recombinant DNA techniques to improve industrial microorganisms.  Her most noted work has been the development of recombinant Saccharomycesyeast, widely known as the Ho-Purdue yeast, which can effectively produce cellulosicethanol from all types of cellulosic plant materials – such as corn stalks,wheat straws, wood, and grasses.  Her labat Purdue University continuously improves the yeast to make it to producecellulosic ethanol even more efficiently.

Ho foresaw the need to have a global company to produce andmarket the yeast as well as to provide other services for cellulosic ethanolproduction.   Dr. Ho founded Green TechAmerica, Inc. in West Lafayette, Indiana in 2006.  Itsimmediate mission is to commercialize the best Ho-Purdue Yeast developed atPurdue University for the production of low-cost renewable fuel ethanol fromcellulosic biomass. It will also continue to develop and market new co-productsproducing derivatives of the Ho-Purdue yeast, making industrial cellulosicethanol production a prosperous business and making renewable transportationliquid fuel a sustainable reality.  OnMarch 23, 2011, Purdue University launched its the Difference Makers website:  Dr. Ho was honored to be one of the fivedifference makers in energy:>.

Joe Kuczynski, IBM, USA

Abstract: Biobased Materials for High-End ElectronicsApplications

Wally Tyner, James and Lois Ackerman Professor ofAgricultural Economics, Purdue University, USA

Abstract: The Economicand Environmental Impacts of Biofuels

Gui-Rui Yu, Deputy Director, Institute of Geographic Sciences andNatural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.

General Session Speakers

Madhi Abu-Omar, Professor of Chemistry, Purdue University, USA

Abstract:The ABC, Ag, Biology, and Chemistry of Biomass Conversion

 Transition metal catalysts have been an integral part of the success story of the petrochemical industry in the past century. Two of the grand challenges for this century are the utilization of renewable resources and environmental remediation. Approximately 1.4 billion tons of lignocellulosic biomass is an annually renewable source of energy and feedstock in the U.S. alone. The major components of biomass are cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin- all polymeric and contain high percentage of oxygen. I will describe catalytic processes based on cheap and abundant materials that can be employed in tandem to unravel polymeric biomass into soluble components and their subsequent transformation into fuels or high value organics. The described research is a collaborative effort and part of an energy frontiers research center, the Center for direct Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels (C3Bio).

Mahdi Abu-Omar is a professor of chemistry and a university faculty scholar at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Mahdi is a native of Jerusalem. He moved to the U.S. in 1988 to pursue higher education. He received a BS (summa cum laude), 1992, in chemistry from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and a Ph.D. in 1996 from Iowa State University working in the field of chemical kinetics and inorganic reaction mechanisms with Prof. James H. Espenson. After a postdoc in bioinorganic chemistry at Caltech with Prof. Harry B. Gray, Mahdi started his independent academic career at the University of California, Los Angeles, and moved to Purdue University in 2003. In addition to fundamental synthesis and mechanistic investigations, Mahdi’s research interest includes the design and development of transition-metal catalysts for renewable energy and environmental applications.


Dr. Abu-Omar has received several awards including JPP Young Investigator Award from the Society of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines (2010), the College of Science Interdisciplinary Award (2010) and the College of Engineering Team Excellence Award from Purdue University (2007), Faculty Early Career Development Award from NSF (1999-03), and a Beckman Young Investigator Award (1999-02). In 2008, Mahdi was named University Faculty Scholar by Purdue University. Dr. Abu-Omar has supervised 30 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.


Sylvie Brouder, Professor of Agronomy, PurdueUniversity, USA

Abstract: ComparativeAgro-ecological Performance of Perennial and Annual Biomass Systems.

Dr. SylvieBrouder (B.A., Biology, Harvard University; Ph.D., Ecology, UC Davis) is aProfessor in the Agronomy Department at Purdue University, Director of Purdue'sWater Quality Field Station and has an administrative appointment to developand promote Agroecology programming campus-wide. Her area of specialization iscrop mineral nutrition with an emphasis on crop ecology, water quality, andagro-ecosystem nutrient balances and losses; her interests / expertise includedesign and implementation of field and controlled environment experiments onnutrient budgets and plant-soil nutrient cycling processes and thepreservation, curation and repurposing of the datasets from these experiments.Her research focuses on nitrogen, carbon and potassium, evaluating systems andmanagements with respect to their practicality, ecological viability andsustainability, including influences on water quality and greenhouse gasemissions from agricultural soils. A core theme of her program and the WQFSresearch portfolio is quantitative assessments of synergies and trade-offsamong productivity and environmental objectives to inform the development ofpolicy promoting agricultural sustainability. Current research addresses theimplications of the converging U.S. biofuel and food security agendas bydeveloping field-to-landscape analyses of the potential for dedicated energycrops to provide renewable fuel on marginal lands while protecting naturalresources and food or feed productivity.

Nick Carpita, Professor,Purdue, USA

Abstract: Capturing the diversity of maize and sorghum for improvingbioenergy grasses.

Our principalobjectives are to characterize the structural and functional architecture ofthe plant cell wall, to understand the biochemical mechanisms of biosynthesisof its polysaccharides, and to identify the genes that encode the molecularmachinery that synthesizes these components. Specific objectives include theidentification and characterization of cell wall mutants in Arabidopsis andmaize by Fourier transform infrared spectra. Potential mutants identified bythis novel spectroscopic method are characterized genetically to determineheritability. A systematic protocol was devised to use biochemical,cytological, and spectroscopic methods to characterize the function ofcell-wall biogenesis-related genes in Arabidopsis and maize identified throughthe mutant screen. We are classifying mutants by artificial neural networks asa database to classify genes of unknown function. We also develop methods toinvestigate the biosynthesis and topology of cellulose and the mixed-linkage(1→3),(1→4)-β-D-glucan in maize. We use proteomic and immunological approachesto identify the catalytic machinery and its associated polypeptides. We havealso begun a program to characterize the regulation by microRNAs and naturallyoccurring small interfering RNAs of cellulose synthases and suites of similarlyregulated genes in networks that form primary and secondary walls. Finally, wedesire to apply our knowledge of cell wall biology to solve practical problemsin agriculture. Understanding wall composition and architecture and theregulation of the synthesis of its components is an essential tools inenhancing biomass quality and quantity for biofuel production.

Indrajeet Chaubey, Associate Professor, Purdue University, USA

Abstract: Scaling Biomass Production from the Field to the Watershed.

Virginia Dale, Corporate Fellow and Director , Center for Bioenergy Sustainability, Environmental Sciences Division (ESD), Oak Ridege National Laboratory (ORNL), USA

Abstract: LandscapeDesign for Bioenergy Cropping Systems

Dr. Virginia H. Dale is a Corporate Fellow in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and was selected as the 2006 Distinguished Scientist for the Laboratory. Her research focuses on understanding causes and effects of changes in the environment. She has authored more than 170 scientific papers and seven books and has served on national scientific advisory boards for five federal agencies. She is Director of ORNL’s Center for Bioenergy Sustainability.

Renjie Dong, Director of the ChinaAgricultural University (CAU) Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao Affairs, Directorfor International Relations, and Exec. Dir. CAU Biomass Eng Ctr., China

Abstract: Biogas in China: Energy, Ecology, orMulti-Opportunity

Mr.Dong Renjie, Ph D, professor. He had Bsc and Msc degrees from ShandongAgricultural University in 1985 and Beijing Agricultural Engineering Universityin 1988, respectively. He received doctoral degree of AgriculturalBio-Environment and Energy Engineering from China Agricultural University in1997. From 1988-1994, he served as Deputy Director of Laboratory and RuralEnergy Department, was named Young Senior Scientist in Shandong Province. From1997-2006 , he was  an associate professor and then professor (2005) forrenewable energy, at the same time he served as the Deputy Director ofuniversity International Relations Office. Since 2006, he is the Head andprofessor of Energy Engineering and Low Carbon Technology Laboratory of ChinaAgricultural University (EELC), the Executive Director of Biomass EngineeringCenter of China Agricultural University (BECAU) and meanwhile he serves as the Director of International Relations of the university.

Dr. Dong is very active for academic international collaborations and research. Hehas published more than a hundred of articles in international and domesticjournals and on international conferences. He holds more than ten patents.Hehas organized 10 international training programs on agricultural and renewableenergy technologies for developing countries supported by the Ministry ofEducation (MoE) and the Ministry of Commerce (MofCom). He is a life member ofAsian Association for Agricultural Engineering (AAAE) and a life member andboard member of Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering (CSAE). He workedas the Academic Secretary of 2004' International Agricultural EngineeringConference (IAEC2004) in Beijing, and the Chairman of Forum of Renewable EnergyPromotion in Developing Countries (FREPDC). Dr. DONG's research interests arevery broad, mainly biomass conversion to energy (biogas, gasification) andorganic waste resourcilization (energy and fertilizer), rural indoor airquality monitoring and assessment, and biomass cookstoves testing andcertification.

Yuling Fu, Associate Professor of Institute ofGeographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS), China

Abstract: There is clearly a great deal of uncertainty regarding therole of grasslands in the global carbon budget, and the drivers of CO2flux dynamics differ among a range of grasslands under various climaticconditions and management practices. There are evidences that some grasslandcan be significant sources or sinks of atmospheric CO2, while otherof these lands are carbon neutral. Studies have shown that the annual amount and the timing of precipitation remaindominant factors in the CO2 exchange in temperatesemiarid grassland and Mediterranean grassland.There are large areas of temperate and alpine grasslands in East Asia. Thetemperate steppe represents one of the typical vegetation types on the Eurasiancontinent. This ecosystem is more xeric andwater stressed than many other ecosystems and is ecologically fragile andsensitive to climate change (Li et al., 2005; Niu et al., 2008). Anexperimental study has found reductions in CO2 flux under warming,whereas increased precipitation stimulated ecosystem CO2 fluxes andalso alleviated the negative effects of warming on NEE (Niu et al., 2008). Meanwhile,alpine meadow ecosystems also covers a large area with high soil carbon density(Ni, 2002), which may have played an important role in global carbon cycles.Studies have indicated that alpine meadows are highly sensitive to temperature change (Kato et al., 2006) and may have significant potential for releasing CO2 under climatic warming because of the sensitivity offrigid soil to warming (Wang et al., 2002). In our presentation, we will give ageneral overview on carbon budgets in grassland ecosystem and the effects of climatechange and human disturbance on carbon budget of grasslands in eastern Asia,which will help provide scientific support for sustainable management ongrasslands in East Asia.

Bio: Dr. Yuling Fu is anassociated professor of Institute of Geographic Sciences and NaturalResources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, working at the Key Lab ofEcosystem Network Observation and Modeling of CAS, where she got her PhD inecology in 2006. Dr. Fu's research interest focus on carbon and water fluxesin grassland ecosystems with eddy covariance flux measurements, and responsesof carbon exchange to environmental changes in temperature, precipitation andlight.

Paul Glina, B. Sc., Director, Bioenergy Science Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak RIdge, TN, USA

Dr. Paul Gilna is the director of the BioEnergy Research Center (BESC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. As the BESC Director, Dr. Gilna leads a $135 million basic and applied research project underlying the development of more cost effective transformation of biomass products into biofuels. The research focuses on understanding the overcoming the difficulty in converting cellulosic or woody, products into sugars, which are in turn fermented into biofuels. BESC includes 20 research partners form other national laboratories, universities, and private corporations. BESC is in turn a partner with two other centers, the joint Bioenergy Institute at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center at the University of Wisconsin. Together, these institutes are funded form a total investment of $420 million over 5 years from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, Office of Biology and Environmental Research.

Qing-Xiang Guo, Director, Anhui Key Laboratory of Biomass Clean Energy,University of Science and Technology, China

Abstract: Biomass Chemistry for Biofuels

Steven G. Hallett, Associate Professor, Purdue University, USA

Abstract: The Efficiency Trap: Why New Technologies Can Never Save the World (and Why Efficiency is no Substitute for Sex).

It is very commonly urged, that the failing supply of coal will be met by new modes of using it efficiently and economically…[that] the coal thus saved would be, for the most part, laid up for the use of posterity. It is wholly a confusion of ideas to suppose that the economical use of fuel is equivalent to a diminished consumption. The very contrary is the truth.” [William Stanley Jevons. 1856. The Coal Question.]. Increased efficiency seldom leads to conservation, as Jevons realized a century and a half ago. Rather, efficiency usually leads to increased consumption. There are four possible outcomes of an increase in efficiency. First, resources may actually be saved by the efficiency gain: conservation. This appears to be a vanishingly rare outcome. Second, part of the expected saving may be returned by increased use: rebound. Third, the increase in efficiency makes the technology significantly more useful and overall consumption may increase: backfire. Fourth, the increase in efficiency may lead to a systemic change, such as the application of the technology to a new use, increasing consumption considerably: system backfire. Efficiency has been claimed as one of the most urgent needs in a warming world facing peak oil. Efficiency has even been called “the sixth fuel”. It is not. Efficiency is part and parcel of the problem (…and it’s certainly no substitute for sex).

Steve Hallett is an Associate Professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University. His research interests are in sustainable agriculture and the ecology of plant invasions. He teaches various courses in plant science, microbiology and sustainable agriculture. He is the author of the recent book Life Without Oil: Why We Must Shift to a New Energy Future.

Jian Hao, Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, ChineseAcademy of Science (CAS), China

Abstract: Kineticmodel of Klebsiella pneumoniae1,3-propanediol oxidoreductase

Glycerol can be biologically converted to1,3-propanediol, a key raw material required for the synthesis ofpolytrimethylene terephthalate and other polyester fibers. In the 1,3-propanediolsynthesis pathway, the reaction of 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde convert to1,3-popanediol was catalyzed by 1,3-propanediol oxidoreductase. This reaction wasa reversible reaction with double substrates and double products. The kineticmodel of this reaction was constructed following the BiBi PingPang mode.1,3-propanediol oxidoreductase was purified from the lysate of a constructed E. coli, which contain a dhaTover-expressing plasmid. The dhaT gene was cloning from Klebsiella pneumoniae, a 1,3-propanediol producing microorganism.

9 parameters in the model were identified via linearplotting and nonlinear regression step-by-step. First, the model was simplifiedto an un-reversible reaction model, 6 parameters were identified by linearplotting using the data of initial reaction ratio. Second, the preliminaryvalue of Km(NADH), Km(HPA), Kf, Km(PDO), Km(NAD)and Kr got in the first step were fixed in the model, and then the unknownparameters were reduced to 3. Using the data of reaction progress via nonlinearregression, the preliminary value of the last 3 parameter Keq, Ki(NADH)and Ki(PDO) were got. Last step, all the preliminary value of the 9parameter were used as guesses for the final parameters estimation, using thedata of reaction progress via nonlinear regression, the final value of Km(NADH),Km(HPA), Kf, Km(PDO), Km(NAD), Kr, Keq, Ki(NADH)and Ki(PDO) got were 8.47 umol/L, 904.31 umol/L, 358565.18 umol/(L.min),487.12 umol/L, 461.69 umol/L, 769.67 umol/(L.min), 1261.10, 2107975.42 umol/L and7810.24 umol/L, respectively.

Ji-Zheng He, State Key Laboratory of Urbanand Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, ChineseAcademy of Science (CAS), China

Abstract: Ammonia-oxidizingarchaea play more important role than ammonia-oxidizing bacteria to ammoniaoxidation in strong acidic soils.

Nitrification in acidic soils has been substantiallyinvestigated since the early 20th century, but few studies have provided directevidences on the specific microorganism serving as the dominating ammoniaoxidizer in low-pH environments. Previously, the widespread presence ofammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and observation of nitrification activity atlow pH have led to speculation that AOB was primarily responsible for theautotrophic nitrifying activity in acidic conditions, but questions were raisedregarding the tolerance of AOB to low-pH stresses, because most culturedisolates of AOB could not nitrify below pH 5.5. In recent years, increasingevidences demonstrated the involvement of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) inglobal nitrogen cycle, but the relative contributions of AOA and AOB to ammoniaoxidation are still in debate. Previous studies suggest that AOA would be moreadapted to ammonia-limited oligotrophic conditions, which seems to be favoredby protonation from ammonia to ammonium inlow-pH environments. Here, we investigated the autotrophic nitrificationactivity of AOA and AOB in five strong acidic soils (pH < 4.50) duringmicrocosm incubation for 30 days. Significant positive correlations betweennitrate concentration and amoA geneabundance of AOA, but not of AOB, were observed during the activenitrification. 13CO2-DNA-stable isotope probing (SIP)results showed significant assimilation of 13C-labeled carbon sourceinto the amoA gene of AOA, but not ofAOB, in one selected acidic soil. High levels of thaumarchaeal amoA gene abundance were observed duringthe active nitrification, coupled with increasing intensity of two DGGE bandsfor specific thaumarchaeal community. Addition of nitrification inhibitordicyandiamide (DCD) completely hindered the nitrification activity and inhibitedCO2 fixation by AOA, accompanied by decreasing of thaumarchaeal amoA gene. While bacterial amoA gene decreased in all microcosmsirrespective of DCD addition, and showed no correlation with nitrificationrate. Phylogenetic analysis of thaumarchaeal amoA gene and 16S rRNA gene revealed active 13CO2-labeledAOA belonged to groups 1.1a-associated and 1.1b. Taken together, these resultsprovided strong evidence that AOA play more important role than AOB toautotrophic ammonia oxidation in strong acidic soils. This study demonstrated asignificant and previously unrecognized contribution of thaumarchaea to mediatethe autotrophic nitrification in strong acidic soils. It will greatly improvethe understanding of the nitrogen transformation processes in widely-distributedacidic soils, which occupy approximately 30% of the world's total ice-freelands, thus providing possible strategy for sustainable management of globalnitrogen cycle.

Yao Huang, Director, State Key Laboratory of Vegetation andEnvironmental Change (LVEC), Institute of Botany, CAS, China

Abstract: Challengesand Prospects of Biofuels Production in China.

With the rapid economic development, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissionin China has increased over the last decades. Biofuels production is expectedto play an important role in future energy supply but there is conflict betweenfood security and biofuel crop cultivation, because agriculture in China feedssome 22% of the global population with only 7% of the world's arable lands. Thispresentation will review the energy supply, GHG emissions from various sources,food production and demand, and possible land resource for biofuelcrop cultivation in China.

Doug Jacobs,

Abstract: Enhanced carbonsequestration through restoration of American chestnut

Yongqing Ma, Professor of Chemical Ecology, Institute ofSoil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Science (CAS),  China

Abstract: Fighting for the poverty with respect to land useefficiency - Taking the most impoverished place of China, Shanghuang village ofGuyuan City Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region as an Example

Cistanche deserticola C.Y. Ma. is a perennial, parasitic plant native to North America and East Asia. Itis grown on sandy soils in USA and northwest China. C. deserticola is widelydistributed in desert areas in China,including parts of Gansu, Shaanxi, and Qinghai Provinces as well as theXinjiang, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and Inner MongolianAutonomous Region. C. deserticolaparasitizes the roots of the desert shrub suosuo (mainly Haloxylon ammodendron (C.A.Mey.) Bunge) that grows at elevations of 1350–2000meters.  Suosuois a shrubby perennial distributed in many sandy and saline areas of deserts ofNorthwest China. It is an important economic plant used for sand fixation,pasture and fuel. Seed germination is the critical stage for species survival.The seed viability of about 10 months can be extended by cold or ultra drystorage at seed moisture content below 5%. We have cultivated C. deserticola inLinze County of Gansu Province, China. Its cultivation processes will bepresented in the symposium. C. deserticola is an important Chinese medicinal plant and is known in the Chinese herb trade as suosuo dayun. The plant iscollected in the spring when the sprouts have not come out of the ground orhave just come up. Wild C. deserticola isnow almost extinct due to over-harvesting as well as the deterioration of theenvironment and the destruction of the ecological balance in areas where theplant grows. The uses of C. deserticola have evolved over nearly 2000 years. C. deserticola was placed on the CITES (Convention onInternational Trade in Endangered Species) Appendix 2 (this appendix is a listof endangered species which are not banned from trade, but require monitoring).The herb material is only restricted in international trade, and only in itscrude form (e.g., sliced stems, inadvertently listed as roots in the CITESnotation). C. deserticola was described in the oldest surviving herbclassic, Shennong Bencao Jing (ca. 100 A.D.), as follows: Itmainly treats the five taxations and seven damages, supplements the center,eliminates cold and heat and pain in the penis, nourishes the five viscera,strengthens yin, and boosts essence qi. In females, it makes pregnancy possibleand treats concretions and conglomerations. Japanwas the oneof the main consumer of C. deserticola. Japanese scientists had conducted research onthe constitute of Cistanchis herba since 1980's. Cistanchetubulsa is parasitized on Tamrixspp. root. There are 12 spp. of Tamrixin China. It was reported that all Tamrixspp. could be able to host C. tubulsa.On the other hand, several species Tamrixwas reported to be an invasive species in southwestern of USA. It is originallycultivated as ornamental plants, windbreaks,shade cover, erosion control. But there is not report on utilization of theseplants for production of C. tubulsa.  In China they are several Cistanche plants, namely, C. sinensis, C. salsa and C. tubulsa,but only C. deserticola and C. tubulsa is the most effectivelymedicinal plants. We had artificiallyinduced C. tubulsa seeds to germinate by germination stimulants and form haustoria byapplying 2,6-DMBQ, a haustoriumfactor for Striga and Cistanche spp. in year of 2005 under laboratorycondition. In addition, parasitism between treated C. deserticola seeds and H.ammodendron seedling were established under rain off condition in potexperiments in two years of 2006 and 2007. Further more, the cultivation of C.tubelsa on Tamarix was conductedin the field of Dingbian County of Shaanxi Province, China from 2008. Theresults will be presented in the symposium.

Dr. Yongqing Ma is professor in Department of Watershed Ecology, Institute of Water and SoilConservation, Chinese Academy of Science and Ministry of Water Resources.

Abstract: Fighting for the poverty with respect to land use efficiency - Taking the most impoverished place of China, Shanghuang village of Guyuan City Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region as an Example

The research activities were conducted in Shanghuang village of Guyuan City, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. In this region, annual precipitation is around 400 mm, and it decreased into 240 mm from south to north. Because it is located in dry area, the evaporation is very high. Soil and water loss, drought, low yield, population expansion as well poverty, are the main ecological, social and economical problems. In this region the density of the people is increased from 28.6 persons km2 in 1949 to 160 persons per km2 in 2004 (in Xiji of Ningxia). In such region the standard population density should be 24 according to UN’s definition. Because of the heavy population pressure the local resident have rely on the grain support from the national government before 1980 and at the same time the agricultural production is mainly focused on grain production. The average yield is very low. Based on the local environment and the farm’s recognition from 1980 to 1985 and the main restrictions for the local development the scientists have suggested adjusting the proportion of agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry, at that time agricultural (grain crop production) occupied too much proportion for the local agricultural production. At the same time the scientists suggested the local farms to apply fertilizer deeply into the soil. This technique has been popularized for 330,000 ha. As the development of agriculture and animal husbandry from 1985 to 1990, the shortage of the forage is appeared to be the main restriction for the development, the suggestion for artificial cultivation of forage is taken place. During 1991 to 1995 the continuous drought occurred, the scientists have focused on rain water harvested, construction of rain water storage is popularized.  From 1996 to 2000 because of global warming and frequent spring drought, winter wheat cultivation technique was introduced instead of spring wheat into the region. In addition, inter cropping technique was demonstrated. Fruit trees of pear and apricot were intercropped with vegetable crops and artificial pasture cultivation and high efficient animal husbandry within yard were experienced.  From 2001 to 2005 the scientists have summarized the strategies for the development in such harsh area so called “Shanghuang Experiences”. It is consist following items: In the top of the hilly, the trees for green should be planted, in the slop land it should be tarries’ and dry land farming should be conducted and in the flat land in the valley, where the land are more fertile and easy for irrigation, so the cash crop such as vegetables and fruit trees should be cultivated. In addition, by doing so the local farm could improve their scientific knowledge and also increasing their income.

He is a Founding Members of International Allelopathy Society and Chinese AllelopathySociety. Dr. Yongqing Ma was bone on Oct. 5 1963 in Yuzhong County, GansuProvince,P.R. China. Dr.Yongqing Ma has B.A.s in Northwest A&FUniversity in agronomy 1984 (former Department of Agronomy, NorthwestAgricultural University).  From July 1984to January 1995 Dr. Yongqing Ma worked in Center for Agricultural ResourcesResearch, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, CAS (formerShijiazhuang Institute of Agricultural Modernization) as Assistant Researcherand Associate professor, respectively. Dr. Yongqing Ma received a scholarshipfrom Chinese Academy of Sciences and studied in the Department of Agricultureand Soil Science of University of New England, Australia from October 1988 toDecember 1989. From January 1995 to March 1999 received scholarship from Ministryof Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan and he receivedhis Ph.D in Agricultural Resources from Arid Land Research Center, TottoriUniversity, Japan. From April 1999 to July 1999 he worked for Center forAgricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and DevelopmentalBiology, CAS (former Shijiazhuang Institute of Agricultural Modernization).From August 1999 to August 2001 he received a scholarship from Japan Society ofPromotion of Sciences as postdoctoral fellow from Arid Land Research Center,Tottori University, Japan on search of Strigagermination stimulants from non-host plant tissue culture. From August 2001till now Dr. Yongqing Ma worked at Institute of Water & Soil Conservation,Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources as professor. FromApril 1 to September 30, 2005 Dr. Yongqing Ma was selected and worked as avisiting professor at Wild Plants Research Center, Utsunomiya University ofJapan. From 2002 till now, Dr. Yongqing Ma serving as Director of CAS GuyuanExperimental Station of Ecology, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (Guyuan FieldResearch and Teaching Base of North West A&F University). In 2008 he wasconferred as Excellent Teacher of North West A&F University. In March 2009 Dr.Yongqing Ma wined the title of Advanced Individual Honor of the 4th CASInnovative Culture Building. He was the leader of the 2nd Organizing Unit of"Comprehensive Agricultural and Husbandry Development Pattern and Pilot in theOpen Valley and Hills", which is the 8th topic of Research of Key SupportingTechnology for Comprehensive Prevention of Water and Soil Loss on the LoessPlateau" of the 11th-Five National Science Supporting Program from January 2006to December 2011. Dr. Yongqing Ma is now the project leader for "Research ofStimulation of Broomrape Seeds Germinating by Chinese Traditional Herb"supported by the National Science Foundation" (The project No. is 30870403)from January 2009 to December 2011. Dr. Yongqing Ma has published 127 papers,among which 27 papers published in English journals. Dr. Yongqing Ma'slaboratory works on three aspects related to plant science: 1) Allelopathy incrop and pasture; 2)Parasitism of root parasitic plants (Orobanche and Cistanche) and 3) bio-energy plant switchgrass.

Robert Marzec, Associate Professor ofEnglish, Purdue, USA

Abstract: The Relationship Between Narrative, Patterns of Thought, and Public Policy: Changing the Ecological Debate by Re-Narrating Human Subjects as Inhabitants.

This presentation interrogates the key relation between these narratives/representations and our environmental reality, in order to restage the ecological debate in the political arena to refocus human subjects not as autonomous individuals, but as ecologically situated inhabitants. The power of narratives—of the ways in which language constructs and governs our physical reality—is one of the key components that tend to divide the sciences from the humanities. Generally, language is understood to be a descriptive tool by the sciences, as a means for delineating an already existing reality. However, in the humanities language is examined as a significant force active in the constitution of patterns of thought. These patterns can sometime enable human consciousness to find creative solutions to problems; but in many occasions they profoundly limit and even chain human consciousness to the customary relations to reality that threaten our ecosystems. Language (spoken and written words, stories, complex narratives) is understood to have a direct influence on the creation and institutionalization of patterns of thought that govern our access to environmental issues. In this presentation I focus on the efforts of the ecological sciences to influence public and political policy in the face of what Roger Pielke, Jr. calls the “iron law” of climate policy—in which economic demand always trumps concerns for the environment. The presentation considers the important work of ecologists such as Pielke, Jr., Vandana Shiva, Rajendra Pachauri (chairman of the IPCC), and others. It explores the productive but also limited nature of their respective works, but also introduces a philosophical concept of inhabitancy, with specific concrete examples of how this subjectivity can exist in real-world situations. It introduces concrete evidence about climate and ecological change that is rarely understood or found in the work of humanist scholarship. And it explores ways that this information could help to bridge the divide between the sciences and the humanities so as to conceptualize more inclusive and stronger platforms for staging the environmental debate in the political arena.

Robert P. Marzec is a professor of ecocriticism, postcolonialism, and global studies in the Department of English at Purdue University, director of the Global Studies in London Program, and a faculty participant in the Center for the Environment, Discovery Park, Purdue University. He is the author of An Ecological and Postcolonial Study of Literature (Palgrave 2007), the editor of Postcolonial Literary Studies: the First 30 Years (Johns Hopkins 2011) and The Greenwood Anthology of Regional Cultures of the Mid-Atlantic(Greenwood 2004), and the associate editor of the international journal Modern Fiction Studies. He has published essays on global studies and ecology in books and journals such as boundary 2, Radical History Review, The Global South, rhizomes, and The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies. His next book, Environmentality, Militariality, Globality: the Lost History of Inhabitancy is forthcoming.

Charles Michler, Adjunct Professor, Purdue University, USA

Abstract: Hardwood Research at USDA Midwest Regional Biomass Center

Rick Meilan, Associate Professor of Molecular Tree Physiology, Purdue University, USA

Abstract: EngineeringPoplar for Use as a Cellulosic Feedstock.

The potential roles for microRNAs (miRNAs) in controlling plant development have been well studied in model annual species, but are poorly understood in perennials, particularly trees.  The Corngrass1 (Cg1) gene encodes a MIR156-class miRNA.  In herbaceous species, Cg1 is known to control the initiation of meristems and lateral organs.  Plants in which it has been expressed constitutively produced multiple axillary branches, grew faster, contained less lignin, and were either sterile or exhibited delayed flowering.  We over-expressed Cg1 in poplar (genus Populus) under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter.  These transgenic plants had significantly greater branching and shorter internodes, and up to 30% less lignin.  The severity of the phenotype was positively correlated with Cg1expression level.  In addition, the syringyl to guaiacyl ratio (S/G) was lower in 35S::Cg1 lines than in wild-type poplar or a control transgenic line lacking Cg1 expression.  We have demonstrated for the first time that over-expression in poplar of a MIR156-class miRNA has dramatic effects on its development, and demonstrated that miRNA over-expression represents a novel approach to altering lignin content and composition in poplar.  It is yet to be determined whether MIR156 directly regulates lignin biosynthesis or if the observed lignin changes were indirect consequences of the developmental changes caused by Cg1 over-expression.  Nevertheless, plants expressing Cg1 exhibit many of the traits needed for commercial production of cellulosic feedstocks to generate biofuels.

Richard "Rick" Meilanis an Associate Professor in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources(FNR) at Purdue University. Rick received his B.S. (summa cum laude) inForest Science from Humboldt State University (HSU) in 1983, his M.S. in Forestryfrom HSU in 1985, and a joint Ph.D. (with honors) in Botany (Physiology andMolecular Biology) and Forestry (Forest Biology) from Iowa State University in1990. He worked four years as a Rockefeller Foundation post-doctoralresearch fellow before joining the faculty in the Biochemistry Department atthe University of Missouri-Columbia. He was on the faculty in the ForestScience Department at Oregon State University for nine years before coming toPurdue in October 2003.

Robert Moon, Adjunct Professor, Purdue, USA

Abstract: Potential nanotechnologyapplications with hardwood biomass

Consumers, industry, and governments are increasingly demanding products made from renewable and sustainable resources that are biodegradable, non-petroleum based, carbon neutral, and have low environmental, animal/human health and safety risks. Natural cellulose based materials (wood, hemp, cotton, linen, etc.) have been used by our society as engineering materials for thousands of years and their use continues today as verified by the enormity of the world wide industries in forest products, paper, textiles, etc.  However, the properties, functionality, durability and uniformity that will be required for the next generation of cellulose based products and their engineering applications cannot be achieved with traditional cellulosic materials. Fortunately, there is a base fundamental reinforcement unit that is used to strengthen all subsequent structures within trees, plants, some marine creatures, and algae: cellulose nanomaterials (CNs).  By extracting cellulose at the nanoscale, new cellulose based “building blocks” are available for the next generation of cellulose based composites.  

Emerging CN-based technologies offer potential development of composite materials with a wide range of new properties that have applications in products once considered improbable with biobased materials (wood, plant, etc.). Crystalline cellulose has a greater axial elastic modulus than Kevlar and its mechanical properties are within the range of other reinforcement materials.  CNs have high aspect ratio, low density (1.6 g cm-3), and a reactive surface of –OH side groups that facilitates grafting chemical species to achieve different surface properties (surface functionalization).  A variety of CN composites have been produced; films, fibers and plates, and have had transparencies greater than 80%, have tensile strengths greater than cast iron, and have had very low coefficient of thermal expansion similar to fused silica. Potential applications include but are not limited to barrier films, antimicrobial films, transparent films, flexible displays, templates for electronic components, reinforcing fillers for polymers, biomedical implants, pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, bio-encapsulation, fibers and textiles, separation membranes, food packaging, batteries, supercapacitors, electroactive polymers, sensors, construction materials, etc..

To date the majority of CN-based research can be considered fundamental in nature but the field is transitioning to more applied research for product development.  The first step in this has already begun with development of several pilot plant CN processing facilities.  The increased quantities (as compared to laboratory scale) gives an opportunity for researchers and companies to conduct applied research in the processing of larger sized CN-composite specimens, which is necessary for most potential consumer and military applications. 

This talk will briefly introduce CNs and CN based nanocomposites, provide a general review of current state of art in CN and CN nanocomposite research, describe several potential applications of CN nanocomposites, and then describe several grand challenges for CN composites research and product development.


Dr. Robert Moon is a Materials Research Engineer in the Performance Enhanced Biopolymers group at the US Forest Service - Forest Products Laboratory (Madison, WI, USA) and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Materials Engineering and a member of the Brick Nanotechnology Center at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN, USA). Dr. Moon received a B.S. in Metallurgy from the University of Wisconsin (1994), a M.S. (1996) and PhD (2000) in Materials Engineering from Purdue University, and completed his postdoctoral research (2000-2005) in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales, Australia. His specialty is in processing-structure-property relationships of layered, gradient, and hierarchical structured materials and composites.  In 2005 Dr. Moon joined the USFS-Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), and in 2007 Dr. Moon was selected by FPL to lead a collaborative research program between Purdue University and FPL that advances nanoscale science and engineering of forestry based materials.  Dr. Moon has been applying his expertise to study the role of hierarchical structures and interfaces on the mechanisms that dictate properties at the nano, meso and macro length scales of cellulose nanomaterials and their composites. Dr. Moon’s programs promote interdisciplinary collaboration between several departments within Purdue’s colleges of Agriculture, Engineering, and Science.  The objectives of the program is to develop the necessary capabilities for producing engineered cellulose nanomaterial composites with unique properties (mechanical, optical, thermal, electrical, etc.) for particular applications that are not achievable with current cellulose based materials and technologies.   


Zhiyun Ouyang, Deputy Director and Professor of SystemEcology and Director, State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, ResearchCenter for Eco-environmental Sciences, CAS, China

Abstract: Influencesof forest restoration on soil organic C content and C cycling potential.

China has 62 million hectareplantation area so that it has the largest plantation area in the world[1].How does artificial plantation especially introduced species plantationinfluence ecosystem services like maintenance and cycling of C is of a greatconcern, but it remains elusive. Based on soil geochemical analysis, functional gene microarrays and Biolog incubation method,we investigated C cycling functional genes and C metabolic potential in forestsrestored under 3 different forest restoration approaches in the red soil regionof Southern China, namely natural restoration, native masson pine (Pinus massoniana) plantation andintroduced species slash pine (Pinuselliottii) plantation. Our main results are summarized as follows. (1)Compared with natural restoration, soil recalcitrant organic carbon content (P<0.05) was significantly lower inartificial restoration; (2) Compared with natural restoration, artificialplantation especially the introduced slash pine plantation significantlyreduced C cycling gene diversity and C source utilization ability; (3) Themicrobial community structure is significantly different in artificialplantation from natural restoration (P<0.05).A total of 45.4% variation in carbon cycling community could be explained bysoil factors, vegetation factors and restoration approach. (4) Positiverelationships were found between soil organic C content, C cycling genediversity and C utilization patterns. In conclusion, compared with naturalrestoration, artificial plantations have significantly lower soil organiccarbon content and carbon cycling functional gene diversity. The results haveimportant implications on forest restoration and corresponding ecosystemservices of C maintenance and C cycling potential.

Zhiyun Ouyang, Ph.D.,professor. His research interests mainly include ecosystem service assessmentand evaluation and biodiversity conservation. Recently, he has focused on therelations of ecosystem structure, processes and eco-services, and the spatialpattern of ecosystem services of China.

Jeryang Park, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Purdue University, USA

Abstract: Modeling Resilience of Biofuels Production as a Complex, Coupled System: Implications for Design & Management

Resilience represents an alternate design and management strategy for responding to unknown and unexpected threats by adaptation and anticipation. In highly complex and turbulent environments, the classical approaches, such as risk management and optimization for eco-efficiency -- which form the basis for risk predictability and system stability -- are not sufficient for designing a sustainable industrial system. Recent failures of rigidly built industrial systems caused by unpredicted natural and man-made disasters highlight the inadequacy of conventional approaches and calls for a resilience-based approach. Accordingly, resilience has been increasingly acknowledged as an essential feature of complex, coupled systems for sustainability. Nonetheless, it has not yet resulted in practical methods for application of the concept within existing design approach. We propose an adaptability of a system as a critical factor that maintains the system’s crucial functions under chronic and acute perturbations, thereby determines the system’s resilience. We propose a model prototype for measuring the adaptability of complex industrial systems. The model is inspired by ecological analogs. The biofuels system is conceptualized as a multiple, inter-connected filters, all of which have inherent ability to adapt and absorb unpredicted external perturbations. A simple model is introduced for describing the system dynamics to examine its adaptability and the resulting resilience. Since specific adaptability strategies are contingent upon variations in system structure, diverse and flexible approaches are needed for process design and operations to facilitate different degrees and types of adaptability. We present initial results for biofuels production as the case study, and discuss the implications of our model simulations.

Jeryang Park is a Ph.D student of the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University. His research deals with the application of ecological principles for the design of complex industrial systems (such as bioenergy industry and supply chains) tightly coupled with other complex systems. His research emphasizes contrasting risk- and efficiency-based engineering design paradigms with those based on resilience. He is developing models for evaluating resilience of coupled complex systems. Mr. Park’s PhD inter-disciplinary research is guided by a team of three faculty mentors: Prof. Suresh Rao (Civil Engineering) and Prof. Fu Zhao (Mechanical Engineering) at Purdue University, and Prof. Thomas Seager (Arizona State University).  

Suresh Rao, Agr Rieth Distinguished Professor of Environmental Enegineering, Purdue University, USA

Abstract: Resilience Analysis of Biofuel Production Systems

The Fukushima nuclear power plant, flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina, Major flooding of the Mississippi River, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the mortgage derivatives crisis, and failure of a major biofuels company, are all examples of natural and man-made crises that have renewed interest in the concept of resilience, especially as it relates to complex, coupled systems vulnerable to multiple or cascading failures, most with catastrophic and long-lasting consequences, as a result of unexpected (low probability) high-magnitude, high-consequence events.  Here, the complex system of specific interest is the industrial system (for biofuels production), that is closely connected to inter-dependent on and/or have direct-indirect impacts on several other complex systems: (1) Hydro-climatic System (rainfall patterns; net radiation; etc.); (2) Biomass Production System (landscapes & cropping systems used to grow biomass); (3) ecological systems (aquatic and terrestrial); and (4) socio-economic systems (consumers of biofuels; energy markets; subsidies, etc.).  External drivers of each of these systems comprise of deterministic and stochastic controls, and as such the internal dynamics of these systems and the emergent overall dynamics are subject to stochastic variations, making predictions uncertain.

Resilience of a particular biofuels production plant or the entire industry is defined, adopted from an ecological context, as the capacity of a complex, coupled system to adapt to changing conditions without catastrophic loss of function outside acceptable bounds. This paper departs from other approaches to engineering resilience by more clearly differentiating the concept of resilience from that of risk analysis as a design principle, and contrasting ecological resilience strategies with those typical of engineering resilience. An idealized model of resilience management includes: Sensing, Anticipating, Learning, and Adapting.  From this perspective, resilience analysis can be understood as differentiable and complementary to risk analysis, with important implications for the adaptive management of complex, coupled ecological-engineering systems. In a companion paper, we present a mathematical analysis of a biofuels plant, and show how resilience analysis helps in design and management of biofuels plants.

Suresh Rao is the Lee A. Rieth Distinguished Professor (Ecological Engineering) in School of Civil Engineering at Purdue, with a joint appointment as Distinguished Professor (Ecohydrology) in the School of Agriculture. He has been at Purdue since summer 1999, and was on the faculty at the University of Florida during 1974-1999. His inter-disciplinary research interests have spanned experimental and modeling studies from hydrology, biogeochemistry, remediation engineering, watershed hydrology, sustainability, resilience, and complex systems. He has collaborated with colleagues in and from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, and has travelled extensively to present invited talks at national and international conferences.

Tim Rials, University of Tennessee (UT), USA

Abstract: Forest Biomass Chemistry and Utilization

Guofan Shao, Professor of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, USA


Wood fuel is one of the oldest energy sources on the planet but could become the newest commodity market as demand grows for renewable energy. The EU has committed to meet 20% of energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020, driving global wood energy markets continue to grow. Canada and the US remain the major suppliers of woody biomass feedstock, primarily pellets, to the EU. The Russian pellet market is also growing and new corporations and partnerships have been developed. While the increase in wood energy could result in a reduction of CO2 equivalent emissions, there considerations about environmental impacts associated with the production and transportation of wood pellets. Geospatial technology can help with optimizing what, where and how big a new wood energy facility should be developed within a region.

Dr. Shao did his Ph.D. research at the Environmental System Research Institute (ESRI) Germany, a branch of world’s leading GIS company. As a forest ecologist, he has a received professional training in remote sensing and GIS technology. He received post-doc education at the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia. In 1997, he joined the faculty at the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, where he has been teaching remote sensing and GIS courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels for 14 years. He has devoted much attention in forestry development and forest conservation around the world. His cross-disciplinary background has allowed him collaborate extensively with interdisciplinary experts domestically and internationally. He was a Research Fellow at NASA’s John Kennedy Space Center in 2005. 

Dr. Shao has a broad experience in applying computer models and geospatial technologies in forest management, biodiversity conservation, and forest carbon quantification. He has also studied forest programs/policies and economics in relation to sustainable forestry and carbon sequestration. He has developed KOPIDE and ROPE forest dynamic models, ForCAM forest carbon accounting model, FORESTAR decision-support system for multi-purpose forest management, DALA algorithm of automated remote sensing imagery classification, and a GIS protocol for mapping ecological landtypes under USDA’s Ecological Classification System, which has a close connection with the current EDA project. He is a co-author of 124 journal publication, books and book chapters. He serves as associate editor, guest editor, and editorial board for seven academic journals.

 Ming-An Shao, Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), China

Abstract: Impactof Land Use and Climate Change on Hydrologicla Processes on the Loess Plateau

Lei Shen, Professor of Ecology, Institute of GeographicSciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR) CAS, China

Abstract: TowardSustainable Energy Development Strategy: Challenges and Opportunities for China.

Over the first decade China has been emerging many issuesfrom its energy development. These include but do not limit to followingaspects: rapidly increasing rapid population growth, industrialization andurbanization; energy consumption and CO2 emissions; high oil importdependence but vulnerable oil supply system; dilemma to decouple CO2emissions with economic growth; high fossil fuel share, and difficult toincrease renewable energy under the condition of global financial crisis andtransition. Facing above challenges, China is carrying out, on the one hand, alarge campaign of saving energy, and supporting the new energy development onthe other hand. After examining the situation and mid- and long-termperspectives of China's primary energy consumption demand, we found that Chinahas to mutually cooperate with developed countries like the United States andJapan in order to deal with its CO2 emissions and high energyconsumption. We also quantitatively measured the sustainability extent ofenergy development in China. The result shows that China obtained thesustainability score of 79.6 in 2010, which indicates that its energy policy ison the sustainability transit, however, not on the sustainability path(lessthan 90). China will inevitably face much more difficult choices in energy efficiencyparadox because many of available energy-saving technologies are cost-effectiveat current prices and the diffusion of energy-saving technologies has beenlargely unsuccessful up till now. Some renewable energy policy options shouldbe considered, highlighting the development of solar, wind and biomassenergies.

Lei SHEN(1964~,PhD)is a professor and doctoral adviser at Institute of Geographic Sciences andNatural Resource Research (IGSNRR) in Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS), whilehe also works in part-time as the Secretary-general in China Society of NaturalResources(CNSR) and Deputy Director of Department of Natural Resources &Environmental Security (NRES) of IGSNRR,CAS. He is also member of StrategicManagement Advisory Group (SMAG) at Communities and Small-scale Mining (CASM)in the World Bank, and Chairman of CASM China regional network (CASM-China),the Economic Development Advisers to Governments of Baiyin City in GansuProvince and Fuxin City in Liaoning Province of China. He is also a professorat Graduate University of CAS.

He won his bachelor degree of economic geology at China University ofGeosciences in Wuhan in 1986, master degree of economic geology at ChinaUniversity of Geosciences in Beijing in 1989, master degree of law (LLM) ofmineral law and policy at University of Dundee in 2001 in UK, PhD of physicalgeography at Graduate School of CAS in 2005. He was a senior visiting scholarat University of Durham in UK in 1998/9, University of Tsukuba in Japan in 2009and employed as a guest professor at China University of Geosciences in Wuhanin 1995/7.

His major research interests involve in the fields of energy and mineraleconomics and resource security, resource law and policy, evaluation ofresource exploitation and regional development, sustainable development ofresource-oriented urbans and regions, and resource and environment management.

He has been being responsible for and undertaken more than 50 projectsfrom related departments and commissions of Chinese government over 20 years,including the Comprehensive Study on Population, Resources, Environment andDevelopment in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau at the auspice of the Ninth-Five Year'sClimbing Plan of Ministry of Science & Technology (MOST), the Pilot Studyon Five Different Types of Mining Cities for Sustainable Development by theState Fund of Natural Sciences, the 21st Century Global Resource Strategy ofChina and the National Situation Report (No.8) and China Resource Report by keyprojects of CAS, Study on Transformation and Countermeasures of Science &Technology for Depleted Resource-oriented Cities by the Major Consult Projectof Most, Study on Resource Saving Strategy and Mechanism of China by OpeningProject of Ministry of Land & Mineral Resources(MOLAR), Study on SustainableDevelopment Strategy of Energy and Environment in Tibet Jointly by Sino-ItalianProject of MOST and Ministry of Environment & Territory in Italia. He hadundertaken several projects commissioned by Chinese Academy of Engineering(CAE) and local governments such as Sustainable Development of MineralResources of China and Sustainable Development Strategy in Process ofUrbanization of China by CAE, Comprehensive Territory Planning of HainanProvince, Comprehensive Agricultural Development Planning and Poverty-reductionPlanning of Tibet Autonomous Region, and Over Planning for EconomicTransformation of Baiyin City in Gansu Province in China.

He has published 11 articles in English in international journals ofSSCI, SCI and EI like Resources Policy, Cities, Journal of Cleaner Production,Environmental Policy and Law, NaturalResource Forum, and over 100 articles in Chinese core journals. His six bookshad also been come out recently.

Guo-Ping Sheng, AssociateProfessor of Microbial Fuel Cell, University of Science and Technology of China(USTC), China

Abstract: Developmentof a novel bio-electrochemical membrane reactor for energy generation

Membrane bioreactor(MBR) has gained worldwideattraction and popularity due to its high treatment efficiency, low sludgeproduction and good effluent quality. While, microbial fuel cell(MFC) is recognized as a promising technology for wastewater treatment andenergy recovery from wastes, but suffers from a low treatment efficiency andpoor effluent quality, which are attributed to the poor biomass retention inMFCs. Here, a novel bio-electrochemical membrane reactor with the advantages ofboth MBR and MFC, was developed for wastewater treatment and energy recovery.In this system, stainless steel mesh with the biofilm formed on it served asboth the cathode and the filtration material. It was found that themicroorganisms attached on the mesh could effectively catalyze oxygenreduction. The system performance for a synthetic wastewater treatment andenergy recovery was also evaluated. The effluent turbidity remained at about0.8 NTU during most of the operation period, whereas its chemical oxygen demandand NH4+-N removal efficiencies averaged 92.4% and 95.6%,respectively. The maximum power production was 3.15 W/m3 and themaximum current density reached 18.32 A/m3. Results clearly indicatethat this system holds a great promise for efficient and cost-effectivetreatment of wastewater and energy recovery.

Dr. Sheng obtained his PhD in 2006 from University ofScience and Technology of China (USTC). After that he went to the TohokuUniversity (Japan) and the University of Hongkong for short-term research.Since June 2008 he has been an associate professor in environmental environmentat Department of Chemistry, USTC.  Dr.Sheng' research is focused on wastewater treatment and microbial fuel cell.

Ji-Ping Shi, Professor, Shanghai Advanced ResearchInstitute, Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), China

Abstract: Optimization of Acetone-butanolFermentation Using Non-grain Feedstock

Non-grainfeedstock, such as wheat B-starch, cassava, wheat bran, and corn fiber areimportant biomass. Recently, using these feedstock to produce acetone and butanol hasshow much advantage, and may replace the chemical rout of acetone and butanolproducing in the future. Acetone-butanol producing by Clostridium acetobutylicum using wheat B-starch has been performedin this study to evaluate the effects of medium composition, initial sugarconcentration, initial acid value, inoculation value, culture temperature, andsoluble oxygen level in the medium. It was shown that there is not enoughnitrogen for using wheat B-starch as substrate, organic or inorganic nitrogenshould be added to the medium. The optimal parameters for cell growing andbutanol production are: control the sugar value about 5-6% and the acid valuebelow 0.5. The productivity was improved by increasing inoculation value. Lowfermentation temperature benefits the tolerance of the stain to solvent and thebutanol production in the stage of solvent production. The strain is verysensitive for the soluble oxygen in the medium.

In thisstudy, the fermentations of cassava, wheat bran, and corn fiber were alsoinvestigated besides of wheat B-starch. The experimental results in laboratoryhave been assessed in a pilot plant by 50 ton fermentator, in which the totalsolvent production is about 18-20g/L. The result of fermentation in pilot plantis a very good basic for the industrial production of acetone and butanol.

Prof. Shi received his BS fromLanzhou University in 1987, MS from South-west Agriculture University in 1990and PhD from the Chinese Agriculture Academy in 1998. Prof. Shi was apostdoctoral scientist at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University from 2000 to 2003.He was assistant professor, lecturer and associate professor from 1990 to 2000in Hebei Agriculture University. He was deputy director of the R&D Centerat Shanghai Sunqiao Agricultural Science and Technology Co., Ltd. from 2003 to2005. Prof. Shi was director of the R&D Center at Shanghai TianzhiguanRenewable Energy Co., Ltd from 2005 to 2008. He was deputy director of theShanghai Research & Development Center of Industrial Biotechnology from2008 to 2010. Now, Prof. Shi is deputy director of the Sustainable TechnologyResearch Center of the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, CAS. He focuses onproduction of biofuels (cellulosic ethanol and bio-butanol) and theutilization of agricultural residues.

Bingcheng Xu, Associate Professor of Energy Crop Agronomy, Instituteof Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), China

Abstract:  Root morphological responses to P application and water stress conditions of Bothriochloa ischaemum intercropped with Lespedeza davurica

A pot experiment was conducted to investigatethe root morphological responses of Bothriochloaischaemum (a C4 perennial herbaceous grass) intercropped withLespedezadavurica (a C3 perennial leguminous subshrub) using areplacement series design. Twelve plants of the two species were grown in thesame pot at plant density ratios of 10:2, 8:4, 6:6, 4:8, 2:10, and 0:12 under threesoil water regimes (80%± 5% field capacity, FC (HW); 60% ± 5% FC (MW); and 40% ± 5% FC (LW)) and two levelsof P fertilization (0 and 0.1 g P2O5 per kg dry soil)). Theroot morphology traits of root surface area (RSA), root average diameter (RAD),total root length (TRL), specific root area (SRA) and specific root length(SRL) per plant were determined. Results showed that root biomass (RB) per B. ischaemum plant decreased as itsproportion increased in the mixtures under all water and P treatments. Additionof P significantly improved the RB under HW and MW only when the proportion of B. ischaemum was smaller in the mixtures.There were no significantly differences of root: shoot ratio (RSR) among allthe mixture ratios under the three water regimes, and P application did have consistenteffects on RSR. In all mixture ratios, B. ischaemum under the water-stressedregimes (MW and LW) tended to have smaller SRA, RAD, SRLand SRA values than under the well-watered (WW) regime. There was a negative,linear correlation between RB and RSA under each water and P treatment and alsobetween RB and TRL except under LW without P application. Positive linearrelationships between TRL and RSA were found except under LW without Papplication. Application of P significantly reduced the extent of decreases inRSA when water stress increased; and also decreased RAD and improved SRA andSRL of B. ischaemumunder water stress. Overall the results suggested that water was the primarylimiting factor affecting root growth and morphology of B. ischaemum, but that species competition from L. davurica also played an important role.The responses observed in SRA, SRL and the relations between RB, TRL and RSAconstitute a set of plastic adjustments that would lead to resourceconservation in response to severe water stress. The consistent responses inRB, RAD, TRL and RSA when soil P concentrations were increased, suggests two apparentresponse mechanisms for B. ischaemum: 1) increases in length of small diameter roots; and 2) decreasedroot density.

Dr. Bingcheng Xu is an associate professorworking in State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on LoessPlateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation (ISWC), Chinese Academy ofSciences (CAS) and Ministry of Water Resources (MWR). He serves as the DeputyDirector of Ansai Research Station of Soil and Water Conservation, CAS. Hereceived his Ph.D. in Soil Science from Northwest A & F University in 2003.His research focuses on the physio-ecological adaptation of plants to thesemiarid environment on Loess Plateau, issues including primary production,water consumption, drought resistant traits, and most recently, agronomy and speciesinteraction. Since 2000, he took swithgrass as one of the main investigatedspecies, to study its seed germination, seedling growth and biomass allocationunder different water availability and mixed with other species such asalfalfa, milkvetch and sainfoin under different conditions. The aims are toevaluate switchgrass eco-adaptation to the environment and obtain related fieldmeasures to use and extend it properly.

Jianming Xu, Professorof Environmental Science, Zhejiang University, China

Abstract: Heavy MetalContaminations in a Soil-Rice System: Identification of Spatial Dependence inRelation to Soil Properties of Paddy Field

Elevated levels of heavy metals and the transfer in soilsand crops are of environmental and health concerns. In order to investigate thebioavailability of heavy metals to rice plant and identify spatial relationshipof heavy metals in soil-rice system at a regional scale, 96 pairs of rice andsoil samples were collected from Wenling in Zhejiang province, China based on arandom sampling method. The results showed that some soil samples exceeded thethreshold values for soil contamination, indicating some studied areas hadpotential contaminations by heavy metals, especially by Cd. The spatialdistribution of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn presented that the highest concentrationswere located in the northwest areas and the accumulation of these metals may bedue to the industrialization, agricultural chemicals and other humanactivities. In contrast, Ni showed high concentration decreased from east towest and the mean concentration was below the background value, indicating thedistribution of Ni may be naturally controlled. Enrichment index (EI) was usedto describe the availability of heavy metals to rice. EI was generally in theorder of Cd>Zn>Cu>Ni, suggesting that Cd may pose high potential risk.The spatial correlation of heavy metals in soil-rice system was furtherobserved by means of spatial distribution of EI. EIs of Cd, Ni and Zn exhibiteda west-east structure, which was similar with the spatial structures of pH, OM,sand and clay. Cross-correlograms further quantitatively illustrated thebioavailability of metals was significantly correlated with most soilproperties, among which; soil pH and OM had the strongest correlations withEIs. However, EI of Cu showed different structure and relative weakcorrelations with soil properties, especially that soil pH and OM had nocorrelations with EI of Cu, indicating the availability of Cu may be influencedby other factors.

Dr. Jianming Xu is a soil scientist with particularinterests in the field of soil chemical processes of contaminants in soil, andremediation of contaminated soils. He had a BA in soil science and plantnutrition (1985) and PhD in soil science (1990) at Zhejiang University, andgranted the postdoctoral fellow (1994-1995) at Department of Soil, Water andClimate, University of Minnesota, USA. And he has experienced a number of academicvisits in USA, UK, Australia, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, Thailand,Philippine, and Egypt. He is now a leading scientist and the Director of Soiland Water Resources & Environmental Science at Zhejiang University, theChair of Soil Chemistry Division of Chinese Soil Society, and the Coordinatorof Chinese Chapter of International Humic Substances Society. He is anassociate Editor-in-Chief of Soil Research and Pedosphere, a member of theEditorial Advisory Board of Environmental Pollution, Journal of Soils andSediments. He has published more than 250 scientific papers, notably in thejournals of Soil Biology & Biochemistry, Soil Science Society of AmericanJournal, Geoderma, Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, EnvironmentalScience & Technology, Environmental Pollution, and Environmental Research.

Jing-Shui Wu, Director and Professor of Agro-ecology , Key Laboratoryof Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Regions, Institute of SubtropicalAgriculture, Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), China

Abstract: Paddy Soil....

Shaohong Wu, Professor of Climate Change , Institute of GeographicScience and Natural Resources (IGSNRR), Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), China

Abstract: Future Climate Change and TerrestrialEcosystems in China: Case Studies on SRES B2 Scenario

CaseStudies on SRES B2 Scenario-Appling climate change scenarios of the B2 scenarioof the SRES projected by PRECIS (providing regional climates for impactsstudies) system introduced to China from the Hadley Centre for ClimatePrediction and Research at a high-resolution (50 km×50 km) over China. Abiogeochemical model "Atmosphere Vegetation Integrated Model (AVIM2)" wasapplied to simulating ecosystem status in the 21st century.

Dr. Wureceived an undergraduate at Zhongshan University in China 1982, followed by aMasters in Science in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment at InternationalInstitute for Aerospace Survey and Earth Science (ITC) in the Netherlands. Dr.Wu received a Ph.D. in Physical Geography in 2001 from the Institute ofGeographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research at the Chinese Academy ofScience (CAS). He has worked since his degree as a Professor of PhysicalGeography at CAS. He has been project leader on for following: Risk assessment bases for major natural disasters" in the program of"Regional risks assessment and reconstruction in China" of Chinese Academy ofSciences, Integrated Risk and Its Governance for Global Change andGlobalization" in National Key Science and Technology Program, Corridor-barrierFunction and Eco-effects under Special Environment in the Longitudinal Rangesand Gorges Region (West Yunnan)" in National Key Basic Research and DevelopmentProgram (973 program); Thresholdand Comprehensive Assessment on Impact of ClimateChange on Natural Ecosystems of China" in NationalKey Science and Technology Program; Integrationon Natural and Human Indicators for TerrestrialSurface Pattern, in NationalCommission of Natural Science Foundation of China. He was also involved withthe Vulnerabilityof conifer-broad-leaved mixed forest under climate change scenario in temperatezone of Northeast China project and the Adaptation of terrestrial ecosystems toclimate change in NationalKey Science and Technology Program. He has published more that 19 papers.

Lifeng Yan, Associate Professor of Green Chemistry, Universityof Science and Technology of China (USTC), China

Abstract: Isolation of Highly Purified Cellulose fromWheat Straw and Preparation of Cellulose Aqueous Solution

Eightcellulose samples having various molecular weight Mη ranging from 8.39´104 to 11.00´104 g/mol were obtained fromwheat straw by a two-stage process without further bleaching. The dewaxed wheatstraw was pretreated with hydrochloric acid aqueous solution at first followedby delignification using poly(ethyleneglycol) (PEG)/salt aqueous biphasicsystem (ABS). The yield of cellulose was in the range of 48.9-55.5%, whichcontained 1.2-3.2% of hemicelluloses, and 0.97-3.47% of lignin. All theisolated cellulose samples can be directly dissolved in 6 wt % NaOH/4 wt % ureaaqueous solution through a precooling-thaw process. The isolation process, theobtained cellulose and their solution were studied by FT-IR, SEM-EDX and XRD,respectively. The results reveal that it can directly prepare cellulose aqueoussolution from wheat straw by using only aqueous solution.

Dr. Lifeng Yan was born in 1969, Heilongjiang, China,obtained his B.S. degree of Chemistry from Zhengzhou University in 1991, andhis Ph.D degree on Physical chemistry in 2000 from University of Science andTechnology of China (USTC). Then he joined the Department of Chemical Physics,USTC, and now his is an Associate Professor. His main research fieldincludes:1)Biomass conversion for energy and chemicals; 2)Cellulose chemistryand physics; 3)Green chemistry synthesis of materials; 4)Synthesis andapplication of biomaterials. By now, he has published about 80 peer-reviewedacademic papers and 5 patents.

Xu-Dong Zhang, Professor of Soil Chemistry and Carbon, Institute ofApplied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), China

Abstract: Soil carbon inagricultural system....

Yangjian Zhang, Professor of Global Ecologyand GIS, Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Instituteof Geographic Science and Natural Resources (IGSNRR), Chinese Academy ofScience (CAS), China

Abstract: GlobalSpatial-temporal Patterns of carbon use efficiency.

Carbonuse efficiency (CUE) is a key parameter indicating the efficiency of ecosystemefficiency in converting gross primary productivity into Net primaryproductivity. A higher CUE means a higher percentage of primary productivitydeposited in a form available for human being to be utilized. By using mostrecently generated MODIS NPP and GPP data, this study explored the globalspatial and temporal pattern of CUE along two primary climatic factors,precipitation and temperature. The analysis revealed that the CUE increasedsignificantly along increasing precipitation and lower temperature at a spatialdimension. Each typical ecosystem has a distinct CUE value. At a temporaldimension, the CUE increased in areas where temperature has been decreasing orprecipitation has been increasing. The findings challenged the conventionalviewpoint that CUE is consistent along the climatic gradient and independentfrom ecosystem type. In addition, the findings will advance the understandingrelated to ecosystem carbon cycling.

YangjianZhang is a research professor at Chinese Academy of Sciences and an adjunctresearch assistant professor at Rutgers University, New Jersey. Before he tookthe position at CAS, he got his Ph.D degree from University of Georgia and wastrained as a postdoc at Rutgers University and University of Missouri. Hiscurrent research is focused on a combined application of remote sensing andfield experiment in understanding ecosystem carbon cycling.

Ying Zhang, Assistant Professor, PurdueUniversity, USA

Abstract: Catalytic Conversion ofBiomass to Fuels and Chemicals

Phenolic compounds separated from pyrolysis oil were hydrotreated by Ru/SBA at mild conditions and converted into C3 to C10 alcohols efficiently, which makes it possible to transfer bio-oil into high heating-value liquid fuel or fuel additives.


Selective fast pyrolysis of biomass to chemicals is a newly developed technology. Fast pyrolysis of bagasse pretreated by sulfuric acid was conducted in a fixed bed reactor to prepare levoglucosenone (LGO), a very important anhydrosugar for organic synthesis. The liquid yield and LGO yield were studied at different temperature and sulfuric acid loading. The results showed that sulfuric acid could efficiently catalyze the pyrolysis of bagasse to form LGO at low temperatures. The optimal LGO yield was obtained at 270 ℃ with the sulfuric acid pretreatment concentration of 0.05 M. It was also found that compared to microcrystalline cellulose, bagasse was a better resource for LGO preparation, and sulfuric acid displayed a better catalytic activity than phosphoric acid did. 


Dr. Ying Zhang is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Science and Technology in China. She holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Connecticut and an M.S. in biochemical engineering from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Zhang’s research interests include selective biomass pyrolysis and hydrothermal conversion, catalytic bio-oil upgrading, and novel catalyst development.

Fu Zhao, Assistant Professor or MechanicalEngineering, Purdue University, USA

Abstract: Implementationof resilience to the design of biorefineries

Jie Zhuang, UT,

Abstract: Energy Ecology: Divulgingthe Acceptability of Renewable Energy

Symposium Info

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September 25-28, 2011
Purdue University West Lafayette, Indiana (USA)


Additional information contact:

Lauren Lu
Purdue Program Manager, US-China EcoPartnership
Phone: (765) 494-5145