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Marine Sciences Division

Michael Huesemann

Michael Huesemann

Marine Sciences Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
1529 West Sequim Bay Road
Sequim, Washington 98382


Dr. Michael Huesemann has conducted both experimental and theoretical research in environmental and marine biotechnology for more than twenty years. Dr. Huesemann currently is or has been the principal investigator on numerous major federal and corporate funded research projects focusing on climate change mitigation technologies and biofuels production, which include topics such as lipid synthesis by microalgae for biodiesel and jet biofuel production, fermentation of seaweed to ethanol and other transportation fuels, photosynthetic hydrogen production, biofixation of carbon dioxide from flue gases by marine microalgae, and the effects of ocean carbon sequestration on the nitrogen cycle. Prior to his work on renewable biofuels, Dr. Huesemann conducted research on the bioremediation and phytoremediation of soils and sediments contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons, PAHs, and PCBs, which also included an extensive study of bioavailability limitations due to aging. In addition, Dr. Huesemann has published peer-reviewed journal articles on the metabolic regulation of solvent production in anaerobic fermentations, the modeling of the leaching kinetics of hydrocarbons in aged soils, statistical soil sampling, critical analyses of mitigation responses to global climate change, environmental policy analysis, sustainable development, and professional ethics. For more than 15 years, he also provided technical support to DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program in the areas of advanced environmental and atmospheric monitoring technologies, carbon cycle measurements and biological carbon sequestration (ca. $5MM/year).

Research Interests

  • Environmental and marine biotechnology
  • Development of biofuels from microalgae and macroalgae
  • Climate change mitigation and sustainable development, with special emphasis on biofuels development and systems analysis.
  • Biofixation of carbon dioxide from flue gases by marine microalgae.
  • Photosynthetic algal hydrogen production.
  • In-situ phytoremediation of PAH and PCB contaminated marine sediments with sea-grasses.
  • Hydrocarbon bioavailability and environmentally acceptable endpoints of aged petroleum contaminated soils undergoing bioremediation treatment.
  • Management of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research program in the areas of advanced environmental and atmospheric monitoring technologies, carbon cycle measurements and biological carbon sequestration.

Education and Credentials

  • 2011 M.B.A., WP Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
  • 1989 Ph.D., M.S., Biochemical Engineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas
  • 1983 Pre-diploma, Chemical Engineering, Technical University Karlsruhe, Germany

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Soil and Sediment Contamination: An International Journal, Editorial Board
  • Progress in Industrial Ecology, Editorial Board
  • Algal Research, Editorial Board

Awards and Recognitions

  • DOE Office of Science Outstanding Mentor Award (2008)

PNNL Publications


  • Huesemann MH, AR Chavis, SJ Edmundson, DK Rye, SJ Hobbs, N Sun, and MS Wigmosta. 2018. "Climate-Simulated Raceway Pond Culturing: Quantifying the Maximum Achievable Annual Biomass Productivity of Chlorella sorokiniana in the Contiguous USA." Journal of Applied Phycology 30(1):287-298.  doi:10.1007/s10811-017-1256-6


  • Edmundson SJ, MH Huesemann, R Kruk, TL Lemmon, JM Billing, AJ Schmidt, and DB Anderson. 2017. "Phosphorus and Nitrogen Recycle Following Algal Bio-crude Production via Continuous Hydrothermal Liquefaction." Algal Research 26:415-421.  doi:10.1016/j.algal.2017.07.016
  • Huesemann MH, P Williams, SJ Edmundson, PH Chen, R Kruk, VI Cullinan, B Crowe, and T Lundquist. 2017. "The Laboratory Environmental Algae Pond Simulator (LEAPS) Photobioreactor: Validation Using Outdoor Pond Cultures of Chlorella sorokiniana and Nannochloropsis salina." Algal Research 26:39-46.  doi:10.1016/j.algal.2017.06.017
  • Huesemann MH, T Dale, AR Chavis, BJ Crowe, S Twary, A Barry, DC Valentine, R Yoshida, MS Wigmosta, and VI Cullinan. 2017. "Simulation of outdoor pond cultures using indoor LED-lighted and temperature-controlled raceway ponds and Phenometrics photobioreactors." Algal Research 21:178-190.  doi:10.1016/j.algal.2016.11.016
  • Lammers P, MH Huesemann, W Boeing, DB Anderson, RG Arnold, X Bai, M Bhole, Y Brhanavan, L Brown, J Brown, JK Brown, S Chisholm, CM Downes, S Fulbright, Y Ge, JE Holladay, B Ketheesan, A Khopkar, A Koushik, P Laur, BL Marrone, JB Mott, N Nirmalakhandan, KL Ogden, RW Parsons, JE Polle, R Ryan, T Samocha, RT Sayre, MJ Seger, T Selvaratnam, R Sui, A Thomasson, A Unc, W Van Voorhies, PM Waller, Y Yao, and JA Olivares. 2017. "Review of the cultivation program within the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts." Algal Research 22:166-186.  doi:10.1016/j.algal.2016.11.021


  • Huesemann MH, BJ Crowe, P Waller, AR Chavis, SJ Hobbs, SJ Edmundson, and MS Wigmosta. 2016. "A Validated Model to Predict Microalgae Growth in Outdoor Pond Cultures Subjected to Fluctuating Light Intensities and Water Temperatures." Algal Research 13:195-206.  doi:10.1016/j.algal.2015.11.008


  • Edmundson SJ, and MH Huesemann. 2015. "The Dark Side of Algae Cultivation: characterizing night biomass loss in three photosynthetic algae, Chlorella sorokiniana, Nannochloropsis salina and Picochlorum sp." Algal Research 12:470-476.  doi:10.1016/j.algal.2015.10.012
  • Attalah S, P Waller, G Khawam, R Ryan, and MH Huesemann. 2015. "ENERGY PRODUCTIVITY OF THE HIGH VELOCITY ALGAE RACEWAY INTEGRATED DESIGN (ARID-HV)." Applied Engineering in Agriculture 31(3):365-375.  doi:10.13031/aea.31.10209
  • Xu B, P Li, P Waller, and MH Huesemann. 2015. "Evaluation of flow mixing in an ARID-HV algal raceway using statistics of temporal and spatial distribution of fluid particles." Algal Research 9:27-39.  doi:10.1016/j.algal.2015.02.027


  • Huesemann MH, JM Van Wagenen, TW Miller, AR Chavis, WB Hobbs, Jr, and BJ Crowe. 2013. "A Screening Model to Predict Microalgae Biomass Growth in Photobioreactors and Raceway Ponds." Biotechnology and Bioengineering 110(6):1583-1594.  doi:10.1002/bit.24814


  • Crowe BJ, S Attalah, S Agrawal, P Waller, R Ryan, JM Van Wagenen, AR Chavis, J Kyndt, M Kacira, KL Ogden, and MH Huesemann. 2012. "A comparison of Nannochloropsis salina growth performance in two outdoor pond designs: conventional raceways versus the ARID pond with superior temperature management." International Journal of Chemical Engineering 2012:Article No. 920608.  doi:10.1155/2012/920608
  • Huesemann MH, LJ Kuo, LA Urquhart, GA Gill, and G Roesijadi. 2012. "Acetone-butanol Fermentation of Marine Macroalgae." Bioresource Technology 108:305-309.  doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2011.12.148
  • Van Wagenen JM, TW Miller, SJ Hobbs, PW Hook, BJ Crowe, and MH Huesemann. 2012. "Effects of Light and Temperature on Fatty Acid Production in Nannochloropsis Salina." Energies 5(3):731 - 740. 


  • Wigmosta MS, AM Coleman, R Skaggs, MH Huesemann, and LJ Lane. 2011. "National Microalgae Biofuel Production Potential and Resource Demand." Water Resources Research 47:Article No. W00H04.  doi:10.1029/2010WR009966


  • Huesemann MH, G Roesijadi, J Benemann, and FB Metting. 2010. "Biofuels from Microalgae and Seaweeds." Chapter 8 in Biomass to Biofuels: Strategies for Global Industries, ed. A Vertex, N Qureshi, H Yukawa, HP Blaschek, pp. 165-184.  John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, New York, NY. 
  • Huesemann MH, TS Hausmann, BM Carter, JJ Gerschler, and JR Benemann. 2010. "Hydrogen Generation through Indirect Biophotolysis in Batch Cultures of the Non-Heterocystous Nitrogen-Fixing Cyanobacterium Plectonema boryanum." Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 162(1):208-220. 


  • Huesemann MH, and JR Benemann. 2009. "Biofuels from Microalgae: Review of Products, Processes and Potential, with Special Focus on Dunaliella sp. ." Chapter 19 in The Alga Dunaliella: Biodiversity, Physiology, Genomics, and Biotechnology, vol. 14, ed. A. Ben-Amotz, J.E.W. Polle, and D.V. Subba Rao, pp. 445-474.  Science Publishers, New Hampshire. 
  • Huesemann MH, TS Hausmann, TJ Fortman, RM Thom, and VI Cullinan. 2009. "In-situ Phytoremediation of PAH and PCB Contaminated Marine Sediments with Eelgrass (Zostera marina) ." Ecological Engineering 35(10):1395-1404. 


  • Huesemann MH, and JA Huesemann. 2008. "Will Progress in Science and Technology Avert or Accelerate Global Collapse? A Critical Analysis and Policy Recommendations." Environment, Development and Sustainability 10(6):787-825.  doi:10.1007/s10668-007-9085-4
  • Huesemann MH. 2008. "Ocean Fertilization and Other Climate Change Mitigation Strategies: An Overview." Marine Ecology Progress Series 364:243-250.  doi:10.3354/meps07545
  • Huesemann MH, TS Hausmann, R Bartha, M Aksoy, JC Weissman, and J Benemann. 2008. "Biomass Productivities in Wild Type and Pigment Mutant of Cyclotella sp. (Diatom)." Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 157(3):507-526. 


  • Weldy CS, and MH Huesemann. 2007. "Lipid Production by Dunaliella salina in Batch Culture: Effects of Nitrogen Limitation and Light Intensity." Journal of Undergraduate Research VII:115-122. 


  • Huesemann MH. 2006. "Can Advances in Science and Technology Prevent Global Warming? A Critical Review of Limitations and Challenges." Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 11:539-577. 
  • Huesemann MH, TJ Fortman, RG Riley, CJ Thompson, Z Wang, MJ Truex, and BM Peyton. 2006. "Slow Desorption of Phenanthrene from Silica Particles: Influence of Pore Size, Pore Water, and Aging Time." In 20th Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, and Water: Successes and Challenges published in CONTAMINATED SOILS SEDIMENTS AND WATER, 2006, vol. 10, ed. Calabrase, E. J.; Kostecki, P. T.; Dragun, J., pp. 1-24.  Springer, New York, NY. 


  • Huesemann MH, TS Hausmann, and TJ Fortman. 2005. "Leaching of BTEX from Aged Crude Oil Contaminated Model Soils: Experimental and Modeling Results ." Soil & Sediment Contamination 14:545-558. 


  • Huesemann MH. 2004. "Biodegradation and Bioremediation of Petroleum Pollutants in Soil." Chapter 2 in Applied Bioremediation and Phytoremediation , vol. 1, Soil Biology Series, ed. A. Singh, O.P. Ward, pp. 13-34.  Springer Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, Germany. 
  • Huesemann MH. 2004. "The Failure of Eco-Efficiency to Guarantee Sustainability: Future Challenges for Industrial Ecology." Environmental Progress 23(4):264-270. 
  • Huesemann MH, TS Hausmann, and TJ Fortman. 2004. "Does Bioavailability Limit Biodegradability? A Comparison of Hydrocarbon Biodegradation and Desorption Rates in Aged Soils." Biodegradation 15(4):261-274. 
  • Huesemann MH, TS Hausmann, and TJ Fortman. 2004. "Reduction of Toxicity and PAH Bioaccumulation Potential During Bioremediation of Petroleum Contaminated Soils." In The Seventh International In Situ and On-Site Bioremediation Symposium, ed. V Magar and ME Kelley, pp. Paper No. J-05.  Battelle Press, Columbus, OH. 
  • Huesemann MH, TS Hausmann, TJ Fortman, RM Thom, and EA Foote. 2004. "Using Eelgrass (Zostera marina) for Phytoremediation of PAH-Contaminated Marine Sediments ." In The Seventh International In Situ and On-Site Bioremediation Symposium, ed. VS Magar and ME Kelley, pp. Paper No. N-14.  Battelle Press, Columbus, OH. 


  • Huesemann MH. 2003. "Recognizing the Limits of Environmental Science and Technology." Environmental Science and Technology 37(13):259A-261A. 
  • Huesemann MH. 2003. "The Limits of Technological Solutions to Sustainable Development ." Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy 5:21-34. 
  • Huesemann MH, TS Hausmann, and TJ Fortman. 2003. "Assessment of Bioavailability Limitations During Slurry Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Aged Soils." Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 22(12):2853-2860. 
  • Huesemann MH, TS Hausmann, and TJ Fortman. 2003. "Biodegradation of Hopane Prevents Use As Conservative Biomarker During Bioremediation of PAHs in Petroleum Contaminated Soils." Bioremediation Journal 7(2):111-117. 


  • Huesemann MH. 2002. "The Inherent Biases in Environmental Research and Their Effects on Public Policy." Futures 34(7):621-633. 
  • Huesemann MH, AD Skillman, and EA Crecelius. 2002. "The Inhibition of Marine Nitrification by Ocean Disposal of Carbon Dioxide." Marine Pollution Bulletin 44(2):142-148. 
  • Huesemann MH, TS Hausmann, and TJ Fortman. 2002. "Microbial Factors Rather Than Bioavailability Limit the Rate and Extent of PAH Biodegradation in Aged Crude Oil Contaminated Model Soils." Bioremediation Journal 6(4):321-336. 
  • Thom RM, SL Blanton, AB Borde, GD Williams, DL Woodruff, and MH Huesemann. 2002. "Investigations into Wetland Carbon Sequestration as Remediation for Global Warming ." In International Conference on Wetlands and Remediation; Wetlands and Remediation II, ed. KW Nehring and SE Brauning, pp. 311-320.  Battelle Press, Columbus, OH. 


  • Huesemann MH. 2001. "Can Pollution Problems Be Effectively Solved by Environmental Science and Technology? An Analysis of Critical Limitations." Ecological Economics 37(2):271-287. 
  • Huesemann MH, TS Hausmann, and TJ Fortman. 2001. "Assessment of mass-transfer limitations during slurry bioremediation of PAHs and alkanes in aged soils." In Bioremediation Of Energetics, Phenolics, And Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons: the Sixth International In Situ and On-Site Bioremediation Symposium, San Diego, California, June 4-7, 2001, vol. 3, pp. 157-163.  Battelle Press, Columbus, OH. 
  • Riley RG, CJ Thompson, MH Huesemann, Z Wang, BM Peyton, TJ Fortman, MJ Truex, and KE Parker. 2001. "Artificial Aging of Phenanthrene in Porous Silicas Using Supercritical Carbon Dioxide." Environmental Science and Technology 35(18):3707-3712. 
  • Wang Z, D Friedrich, MR Beversluis, SL Hemmer, AG Joly, MH Huesemann, MJ Truex, RG Riley, CJ Thompson, and BM Peyton. 2001. "A Fluorescence Spectroscopic Study of Phenanthrene Sorbed on Porous Silica." Environmental Science and Technology 35(13):2710-2716. 


  • Huesemann MH. 2000. "Why Most Remediation Technologies are Inherently Incapable of Solving Environmental Problems." In Risk, Regulatory, and Monitoring Considerations: Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds. International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Copounds, Monterey, California, May 22-25, 2000, vol. 1, ed. GB Wickramanayake, AR Gavaskar, ME Kelley, KW Nehring, pp. 271-277.  Battelle Press, Columbus, OH. 
  • Huesemann MH, TS Hausmann, and TJ Fortman. 2000. "Comparison of PAH Biodegradation and Desorption Kinetics During Bioremediation of Aged Petroleum Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soils." In Case Studies in the remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds; Second International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Copounds, Monterey, California, May 22-25, 2000, vol. 7, ed. GB Wickramanayake, AR Gavaskar, JT Gibbs, JL Means, pp. 181-188.  Battelle Press, Columbia, OH. 

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Marine Sciences Laboratory
1529 W. Sequim Bay Road
Sequim, WA 98382
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