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Kyle Sander

Bioenergy and Biofuels


Supervising Faculty: Brian Davison and Steve Brown

Kyle Sander grew up in Portland, Oregon and attended Oregon State University with the hopes of becoming a Mechanical Engineer and building wind farms along the Columbia River. He graduated and co-oped at Georgia-Pacific Containerboard Mill for a year as an Environmental/Process Engineer. He then pursued a masters degree while studying life cycle effects of algae production for fuels and byproducts. He also investigated rapid sand filtration as an algal dewatering process step and enzymatic degradation of algal cell walls using commercial enzyme cocktails.

Kyle is working within the BioEnergy Science Center mission to develop more robust and efficient thermophilic microorganisms capable of both hydrolyzing lignocellulosic biomass and producing bioethanol and other bio-products. Kyle is hoping to achieve this by genetically manipulating, characterizing and understanding regulator genes and their role in the metabolism of C. thermocellum. Expression, protein homology information and modeling are being used to carefully select regulator gene targets of promise and newly developed genetic tools are being used to achieve mutants with targeted manipulations for further characterization. Information about the physiological impact and importance of these regulator genes and biotechnological impact (yield increase, ethanol tolerance, etc.) of their manipulation is sought through characterization.


Master of Science in Biological & Ecological Engineering - Oregon State University

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering - Oregon State University

Awards and Recognitions

  • John & Matha Wolfe Memorial Scholarship, Department of Biological & Ecological Engineering - 2010
  • Agricultural Research Foundation Award & Scholarhip, Department of Biological & Ecological Engineering - 2009
  • Best Sigma Pi Award & Scholarship, Omega Chapter of Sigma Pi Foundation - 2007
  • Frank & Cynthia Biasca Memorial Scholarship, Department of Chemical Engineering - 2006


Sander K. and Murthy G. (2010) Life cycle analysis of algae biodiesel. Int J LCA 15(7):704-714 Sander K. and Murthy G. (2009) Enzymatic degradation of microalgal cell walls. ASABE paper no: 096054. 2009 ASABE annual international meeting

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