BEACON Team

Dr Elaine Jensen

Energy Crop Scientist

fft@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

My enthusiasm for plant biology is inspired by environmental issues and a desire to understand and contribute towards sustainability, both within agriculture and life in general. In my final year BSc project I explored the important legume-rhizobia relationship, which provides an environmentally friendly source of nitrogen to plants. I continued this investigation into my PhD, looking at the genetic mechanisms underlying the interaction between the plant and bacteria. Since 2007 I have been part of the large biorenewables programme in IBERS, developing our scientific knowledge of energy crops such as Miscanthus. From 2007 to 2012 I investigated the impact of flowering time on yield and quality traits in Miscanthus, as well as the factors promoting flowering, such as photoperiod and temperature (BBSRC responsive-mode grant). More recently I have received NRN-LCEE funding to develop a network around the phytoremediation of contaminated mine spoil in Wales, using energy crops.


Research Interests

• Phytoremediation (restoration of contaminated land) using energy crops such as Miscanthus and reed canary grass (Phalaris), and the subsequent utility of these crops in sustainable energy provision.
• Improving/promoting sustainability, including the social science side of our response to sustainability issues
• Plants for power, liquid fuels, and as fossil fuel replacements for platform chemicals, including laboratory plastics.


BEACON Activities

• Developing the use of energy crops in the remediation of heavy metal contaminated land.
• Exploring the qualitative aspects of bioenergy for combustion – determining what is important in feedstock quality to facilitate sustainable energy provision for domestic and commercial power, how feedstock vary in quality and how they can be improved.
• Raising awareness of the importance of plants in a sustainable future.


Selected Publications

• Davey C, Nipper R, Robson P, Farrar K, Clifton-Brown J, Jensen E, Donnison I, Slavov G (2016).  Selection and Genome-Wide Prediction of Phenology and Biomass Yield in Miscanthus.  Plant and Animal Genome Conference XXIV, San Diego, California, United States of America, 09/01/2016-13/01/2016.
• Jensen E, Robson P, Farrar K, Thomas Jones S, Clifton-Brown J, Payne R, Donnison I (2016).  Towards Miscanthus combustion quality improvement: the role of flowering and senescence.  GCB Bioenergy 10.1111/gcbb.12391.
• Slavov G T, Nipper R, Robson P, Farrar K, Allison G G, Bosch M, Clifton-Brown J C, Donnison I S, Jensen E(2014).  Genome-wide association studies and prediction of 17 traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis.  New Phytologist 201 (4) pp 1227-1239.  10.1111/nph. 12621.
• Slavov G T, Nipper R, Robson P R, Farrar K, Allison G G, Bosch M, Clifton-Brown J C, Donnison I S, Jensen E F(2014).  Genome-wide association studies and prediction of traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in Miscanthus sinensis.  Plant & Animal Genome XXII Conference, San Diego, United States of  America, 10/01/2014-15/01/2014. pp W422. Other
• Clifton-Brown J C, Purdy S J, Hayes C M, Ashman C R, Jones L E, Farrar K, Huang  L S, Gallagher J A, Glover C M, HInton Jones M E, Jensen E F, Loosley R M, Maddison A L, McCalmont J P, Nunn C, Robson P R, Slavov G T, Warren R D, Webster R J, Youell S J, Donnison I S, Davey C L, Jones C M, Barraclough T, Castle M, Cunniff J, Cracroft-Eley W, Greef J M, Hastings A, Harding G, Lewandowski I, Meyer H, Moss M, Nelson W, Richter G, Rodgers C, Schwarze K, Squance M, Swaller T, Shield I, Xi Q, Karp A, Flavell R (2014).  Recent advances in Miscanthus science and breeding.  International Bioenergy Conference 2014, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 11/03/2014-13/03/2014.
• Robson P, Jensen E, Hawkins S, White SR, Kenobi K, Clifton-Brown J, Donnison I, Farrar K. (2013) Accelerating the domestication of a bioenergy crop: identifying and modelling morphological targets for sustainable yield increase in Miscanthus. Journal of Experimental Botany 64 (14), 4143-4155.  http://jxb.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/09/21/jxb.ert225.full
• Gancho T. Slavov, Rick Nipper, Paul Robson, Kerrie Farrar, Gordon G. Allison, Maurice Bosch, John C. Clifton-Brown, Iain S. Donnison and Elaine Jensen (2013).  Genome-wide association studies and prediction of 17 traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis.  New Phytologist doi: 10.1111/nph.12621.  Click for publication
• Paul R.H. Robson, Kerrie Farrar, Alan P. Gay, Elaine F. Jensen, John C. Clifton-Brown and Iain S. Donnison (2013). Variation in canopy duration in the perennial biofuel crop Miscanthus reveals complex associations with yield. Journal of Experimental Botany 64 (8): 2373-2383.
http://jxb.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/04/12/jxb.ert104.full.pdf?keytype=ref&ijkey=aiR8x8ELMIztbzE
• Elaine Jensen, Paul Robson, John Norris, Alan Cookson, Kerrie Farrar, Iain Donnison and John Clifton-Brown (2012). Flowering induction in the bioenergy grass Miscanthus sacchariflorus is a quantitative short day response, whilst delayed flowering under long days increases biomass accumulation. Journal of Experimental Botany doi:10.1093/jxb/ers346
• Gancho Slavov, Paul Robson, Elaine Jensen, Edward Hodgson, Kerrie Farrar, Gordon Allison, Sarah Hawkins, Sian Thomas-Jones, Xue-Feng Ma, Lin Huang, Timothy Swaller, Richard Flavell, John Clifton-Brown and Iain Donnison (2012). Contrasting geographic patterns of genetic variation for molecular markers vs. phenotypic traits in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis. Global Change Biology – Bioenergy doi: 10.1111/gcbb.12025
• Elaine Jensen, Paul Robson, John Norris, Alan Cookson, Kerrie Farrar, Iain Donnison* and John Clifton-Brown. 2012. Flowering induction in the bioenergy grass Miscanthus sacchariflorus is a quantitative short-day response, whilst delayed flowering under long days increases biomass accumulation. Journal of Experimental Botany doi:10.1093/jxb/ers346 http://jxb.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/11/23/jxb.ers346.full.pdf+html
• Ma Xue-Feng, Elaine Jensen, Nickolai Alexandrov, Maxim Troukhan, Liping Zhang, Sian Thomas-Jones, Kerrie Farrar, John Clifton-Brown, Iain Donnison, Timothy Swaller, Richard Flavell. 2012. High resolution genetic mapping by genome sequencing reveals genome duplication and tetraploid genetic structure of the diploid Miscanthus sinensis. PLoS ONE 7 (3); e33821.
• Jensen, Elaine, Farrar, Kerrie, Thomas-Jones, Sian, Hastings, Astley, Donnison, Iain, Clifton-Brown, John (2011). Characterisation of flowering time diversity in Miscanthus. Global Change Biology –Bioenergy (3): 387-400
• Jensen, E. F., Squance, M., Hastings, A., Thomas-Jones, S., Farrar, K., Huang, L., King R., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I. (2011). Understanding the value of hydrothermal time on flowering in Miscanthus species Aspects of Applied Biology, 112, 181-189. Biomass and Energy Crops IV, Booth, E. Green, M. Karp, A. Shield, I. Stock, D. Turley, D.
• Robson, P. R. H., Kelly, R., Jensen, E. F., Giddings, G. D., Leitch, M., Davey, C., Gay, A. P., Jenkins, G., Thomas, Howard, Donnison, I. S. (2011). A flexible quantitative methodology for the analysis of gene-flow between conventionally-bred maize populations using microsatellite markers. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 122, (4), 819-829.
• Webb, K. J., Jensen, E. F., Heywood, S., Morris, S. M., Linton, P. E., Hooker, J. E. (2010). Gene expression and nitrogen loss in senescing root systems of red clover (Trifolium pratense). Journal of Agricultural Science 148,(5), 579-591.
• Clifton-Brown, J. C., Robson, P. R. H., Allison, G. G., Lister, S. J., Sanderson, R., Morris, C., Hodgson, E., Farrar, K., Hawkins, S., Jensen, E. F., Jones, S. T., Huang, L., Roberts, P. C., Youell, S. J., Jones, B. R., Wright, A., Valentine, J., Donnison, I. S. (2008). Miscanthus: breeding our way to a better future. Aspects of Applied Biology, 90 199-206 Biomass and Energy Crops III, Booth, E.Green, M.Karp, A.Shield, I.Stock, D.Turley, D.