A new scientific anthology highlights the future of phytoremediation – using plants and soil microbes to clean contaminated environments – and the future of the bioenergy production industries. 

Stockbridge professor and agriculture biotechnologist Om Parkash Dhankher is both an author and a co-editor of the book Bioenergy Crops: A Sustainable Means of Phytoremediation (CRC 2022).

The comprehensive book provides researchers with the latest updates in the field, detailing the most promising plant and alga species for producing bioenergy, harnessing microbial fuel cells, constructing wetlands, and repairing damaged soils.

Parkash Dhankher’s lab research at Stockbridge specializes in the genetic engineering of plants to better detoxify heavy metals from soil.  He was the first to develop a transgenic approach to remediating arsenic, and his lab is developing arsenic-resistant food crops that can tolerate growing in arsenic-polluted environments.

Students, especially those in the Plant and Soil Science major, have the opportunity to gain hands-on lab experience by joining these ongoing faculty research projects.

Matching the topical range of his new book, Parkash Dhankher’s research is also engineering oil seed crops to increase their oil yields for more effective biofuel production.  He holds several patents based on his research, and he is extensively published in high profile journals. In 2021 he was named an American Society of Agronomy Fellow, the highest honor bestowed by that organization.