Annual topical prize: Climate change related research winner

Bovinille Anye Cho

Bovinille Anye-Cho Headshot

Bovinille Anye Cho is the winner of this year’s annual topical prize for climate change related research for his article Synergising biomass growth kinetics and transport mechanisms to simulate light/dark cycle effects on photo-production systems, published in Biotechnology and Bioengineering.

Bovinille’s article proposes the first mechanistic model to directly integrate the light/dark cycle effects into biomass growth kinetics without the expensive external computation of cell light exposure history.

The world’s energy demand is dependent on the large-scale utilisation of fossil fuels as energy sources, which has brought about serious global environmental problems. Bioenergy derived from direct sunlight and waste organics in specialised types of bioreactors, namely photobioreactors (PBRs), are regarded as clean fuels with great potentials of substituting fossil fuels. However, the efficient design and upscaling of these PBRs to sustainably meet the ever-increasing energy demands has been limited primarily by light attenuation challenges: uneven availability of local light conditions for photosynthetic conversion by microbial cells in PBRs.

Using the model proposed in Bovinille’s article, cells within the PBR’s dark region can be frequently transferred to the light region for photosynthesis, alleviating light attenuation while maintaining a high biomass growth rate and biofuel production. This research represents an important biotechnological advancement for the economic viability of sustainable biofuel production in PBRs and was conducted in collaboration with researchers at The University of Manchester and Imperial College London.

The award winners and highly commended articles were chosen by a panel of experts drawn from multidisciplinary backgrounds in science and social science.

The CSC Research Impact Awards celebrate the research and publication endeavours of Commonwealth Scholars and Alumni at the early and mid-career researcher stages. The annual awards are offered through two streams and promote the important research undertaken by doctoral Commonwealth Scholars and Alumni and its value to international development.