Dr. Lieve Laurens is a Principal Scientist, and Distinguished Member of Research Staff at NREL’s Biosciences Center, where she is currently team lead, and Algae Program manager. She is principal investigator on several research projects in analytical biochemistry, investigating ways to understand carbon energetics in- and derived-from photosynthetic algae towards lipid, carbohydrate, and protein production and composition in microalgae and other microorganisms.
A large emphasis of her current research is the pursuit of high-value co-products from microbial and algal biomass and elucidating the biochemistry that leads to these products. This work includes bio-derived surfactants and bio-polyurethanes as promising oleochemical, petroleum-replacement products. She has over 18 years of experience in biotechnology, with a focus on bioenergy. Dr. Laurens was until 2021, the chair of the Algae Biomass Organization's Technical Standards Committee leading the development of industry acceptance of algal biomass, bioproducts, and biofuels. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from the University of Ghent in Belgium and University of Paris, France, and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of East Anglia and the John Innes Centre in Norwich, England.