Colleen Doherty

Fulbright-University of York Scholar Award (All Disciplines)

Can plants help the transition to clean energy? Colleen Doherty is an Associate Professor in Biochemistry at North Carolina State University. Her lab studies how the plant circadian clock helps plants adapt to stress. However, the severe impacts of changing climates on plants have motivated her to use the incredible power of plant biochemistry to fight climate change. A significant limitation in the clean energy transition is the availability of rare earth elements essential for lightweight electric vehicles and durable batteries. Doherty uses plants to accumulate these elements from coal and energy wastes. At the University of York, in the Center for Novel Agricultural Products, she will research ways to alter the chemical form of these elements in the plants to make them valuable for downstream industrial uses. Her Global Scholar period will be from January- April. Doherty’s ten-year-old daughter will join her and despite being told otherwise, she hopes to meet the Nac Mac Feegles.