Argonne launches "OutLoud" public lecture series

By Eleanor TaylorMarch 20, 2012

Leading scientists and engineering experts will speak at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory as part of a new public lecture series called “Argonne OutLoud.” The series will highlight the cutting edge research taking place at Argonne and topics of interest to the community at large. Lectures are free and open to the public but will require advance registration.

The first lecture in the series, taking place on April 12, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., will feature Argonne agronomist and environmental engineer Cristina Negri. Her presentation is titled "Changing the bio-energy equation: Turning environmental challenges into sustainable resources."  The event will take place at the Argonne Advanced Photon Source Auditorium and will include light refreshments and a poster session preceding the lecture.

Negri will discuss how plants can combat water pollution, clean the environment and create new energy sources. She will also share her vision for the future and discuss how these techniques can be used locally to restore brownfields and other areas while producing biomass for energy and revitalizing neighborhoods.

“I like to brag that I have the biggest lab at Argonne,” said Negri, referring to the work she does on some of Argonne’s 1,500 acres. “Many times research has a single focus —only crops, only fuel, only environmental remedies. If you put all three together, you can often make one’s waste a resource for the other.”

Negri leads Argonne's phytotechnologies efforts, which encompass the treatment of environmental problems through the use of plants. She has led several related projects including the development of a phyto- and bio-remediation project in Russia after the Chernobyl disaster. She also focuses on input-efficient approaches to growing energy crops, water efficiency in growing biofuel crops and the advanced treatment and reuse of wastewater and other impaired water.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.