Skip to Main Content U.S. Department of Energy
Energy and Environment Directorate

Michael Huesemann

Michael Huesemann

Battelle Marine Sciences Laboratory
1529 West Sequim Bay Road
Sequim, WA 98382
(360) 681-3618


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


  • Sun N., R. Skaggs, M.S. Wigmosta, A. Coleman, M.H. Huesemann, and S.J. Edmundson. 2020. "Growth Modeling to Evaluate Alternative Cultivation Strategies to Enhance National Microalgal Biomass Production." Algal Research 49. PNNL-SA-145175. doi:10.1016/j.algal.2020.101939


  • Chen M., S. Yim, D. Cox, T. Wang, M.H. Huesemann, Z. Yang, and T. Mumford, et al. 2019. "Hydrodynamic Load Modeling for Offshore Free-Floating Macroalgal Aquaculture under Extreme Environmental Conditions." In Proceedings of the ASME 2019 38th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering (OMAE 2019), June 9-14, 2019, Glasgow, Scotland, 6, Paper No: OMAE2019-96803, V006T05A008. New York, New York:ASME. PNNL-SA-146823. doi:10.1115/OMAE2019-96803
  • Gaidarenko O., C. Sathoff, K.M. Staub, M.H. Huesemann, M. Vernet, and M. Hildebrand. 2019. "Timing is everything: diel metabolic and physiological changes in the diatom Cyclotella cryptica grown in simulated outdoor conditions." Algal Research 42. PNNL-SA-138128. doi:10.1016/j.algal.2019.101598
  • Khawam G., P. Waller, S. Gao, S.J. Edmundson, M.H. Huesemann, S. Attalah, and K.L. Ogden. 2019. "Simulation of shading and algal growth in experimental raceways." Algal Research 41. PNNL-SA-145038. doi:10.1016/j.algal.2019.101575


  • Gao S., P. Waller, G. Khawam, S. Attalah, M.H. Huesemann, and K.L. Ogden. 2018. "Incorporation of salinity, nitrogen, and shading stress factors into the Huesemann Algae Biomass Growth model." Algal Research 35. PNNL-SA-140554. doi:10.1016/j.algal.2018.09.021
  • Huesemann M.H., A.R. Chavis, S.J. Edmundson, D.K. Rye, S.J. Hobbs, N. Sun, and M.S. 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, no. 1:287-298. PNNL-SA-124328. doi:10.1007/s10811-017-1256-6


  • Edmundson S.J., M.H. Huesemann, R. Kruk, T.L. Lemmon, J.M. Billing, A.J. Schmidt, and D.B. Anderson. 2017. "Phosphorus and Nitrogen Recycle Following Algal Bio-crude Production via Continuous Hydrothermal Liquefaction." Algal Research 26. PNNL-SA-124518. doi:10.1016/j.algal.2017.07.016
  • Huesemann M.H., P. Williams, S.J. Edmundson, P.H. Chen, R. Kruk, V.I. Cullinan, and B. Crowe, et al. 2017. "The Laboratory Environmental Algae Pond Simulator (LEAPS) Photobioreactor: Validation Using Outdoor Pond Cultures of Chlorella sorokiniana and Nannochloropsis salina." Algal Research 26. PNNL-SA-123118. doi:10.1016/j.algal.2017.06.017
  • Huesemann M.H., T. Dale, A.R. Chavis, B.J. Crowe, S. Twary, A. Barry, and D.C. Valentine, et al. 2017. "Simulation of outdoor pond cultures using indoor LED-lighted and temperature-controlled raceway ponds and Phenometrics photobioreactors." Algal Research 21. PNNL-SA-117542. doi:10.1016/j.algal.2016.11.016
  • Lammers P., M.H. Huesemann, W. Boeing, D.B. Anderson, R.G. Arnold, X. Bai, and M. Bhole, et al. 2017. "Review of the cultivation program within the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts." Algal Research 22. PNNL-SA-129222. doi:10.1016/j.algal.2016.11.021


  • Huesemann M.H., B.J. Crowe, P. Waller, A.R. Chavis, S.J. Hobbs, S.J. Edmundson, and M.S. Wigmosta. 2016. "A Validated Model to Predict Microalgae Growth in Outdoor Pond Cultures Subjected to Fluctuating Light Intensities and Water Temperatures." Algal Research 13. PNNL-SA-111707. doi:10.1016/j.algal.2015.11.008
  • Huesemann M.H., M.S. Wigmosta, B.J. Crowe, P. Waller, A.R. Chavis, S.J. Hobbs, and S.J. Edmundson, et al. 2016. "Estimating the Maximum Achievable Productivity in Outdoor Ponds: Microalgae Biomass Growth Modeling and Climate Simulated Culturing." In Microalgal Production for Biomass and High-Value Products, edited by SP Slocombe and JR Benemann. 113-137. Boca Raton, Florida:CRC Press. PNNL-SA-105694. doi:10.1201/b19464-6


  • Attalah S., P. Waller, G. Khawam, R. Ryan, and M.H. Huesemann. 2015. "ENERGY PRODUCTIVITY OF THE HIGH VELOCITY ALGAE RACEWAY INTEGRATED DESIGN (ARID-HV)." Applied Engineering in Agriculture 31, no. 3:365-375. PNNL-SA-112937. doi:10.13031/aea.31.10209
  • Edmundson S.J., and M.H. 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. PNNL-SA-108573. doi:10.1016/j.algal.2015.10.012
  • Xu B., P. Li, P. Waller, and M.H. 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. PNNL-SA-113199. doi:10.1016/j.algal.2015.02.027


  • Huesemann M.H., J.M. Van Wagenen, T.W. Miller, A.R. Chavis, W.B. Hobbs, and B.J. Crowe. 2013. "A Screening Model to Predict Microalgae Biomass Growth in Photobioreactors and Raceway Ponds." Biotechnology and Bioengineering 110, no. 6:1583-1594. PNNL-SA-90592. doi:10.1002/bit.24814


  • Crowe B.J., S. Attalah, S. Agrawal, P. Waller, R. Ryan, J.M. Van Wagenen, and A.R. Chavis, et al. 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. PNNL-SA-84841. doi:10.1155/2012/920608
  • Huesemann M.H., L. Kuo, L.A. Urquhart, G.A. Gill, and G. Roesijadi. 2012. "Acetone-butanol Fermentation of Marine Macroalgae." Bioresource Technology 108. PNNL-SA-83984. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2011.12.148
  • Van Wagenen J.M., T.W. Miller, S.J. Hobbs, P.W. Hook, B.J. Crowe, and M.H. Huesemann. 2012. "Effects of Light and Temperature on Fatty Acid Production in Nannochloropsis Salina." Energies 5, no. 3:731 - 740. PNNL-SA-85206.


  • Wigmosta M.S., A.M. Coleman, R. Skaggs, and M.H. Huesemann. 2011. "National Microalgae Biofuel Production Potential and Resource Demand." Water Resources Research 47, no. 3:Article No. W00H04. PNNL-SA-73040. doi:10.1029/2010WR009966
  • Wigmosta M.S., A.M. Coleman, R. Skaggs, M.H. Huesemann, and L.J. Lane. 2011. "National Microalgae Biofuel Production Potential and Resource Demand." Water Resources Research 47. PNNL-SA-74865. doi:10.1029/2010WR009966


  • Huesemann M.H., G. Roesijadi, J. Benemann, and F.B. Metting. 2010. "Biofuels from Microalgae and Seaweeds." In Biomass to Biofuels: Strategies for Global Industries, edited by A Vertex, N Qureshi, H Yukawa, HP Blaschek. 165-184. New York, New York:John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PNNL-SA-58682.
  • Huesemann M.H., T.S. Hausmann, B.M. Carter, J.J. Gerschler, and J.R. Benemann. 2010. "Hydrogen Generation through Indirect Biophotolysis in Batch Cultures of the Non-Heterocystous Nitrogen-Fixing Cyanobacterium Plectonema boryanum." Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 162, no. 1:208-220. PNNL-SA-64945.


  • Huesemann M.H., and J.R. Benemann. 2009. "Biofuels from Microalgae: Review of Products, Processes and Potential, with Special Focus on Dunaliella sp." In The Alga Dunaliella: Biodiversity, Physiology, Genomics, and Biotechnology, edited by A. Ben-Amotz, J.E.W. Polle, and D.V. Subba Rao. 445-474. New Hampshire:Science Publishers. PNNL-SA-61892.
  • Huesemann M.H., T.S. Hausmann, T.J. Fortman, R.M. Thom, and V.I. Cullinan. 2009. "In-situ Phytoremediation of PAH and PCB Contaminated Marine Sediments with Eelgrass (Zostera marina)." Ecological Engineering 35, no. 10:1395-1404. PNNL-SA-61742.


  • Huesemann M.H. 2008. "Ocean Fertilization and Other Climate Change Mitigation Strategies: An Overview." Marine Ecology Progress Series 364. PNNL-SA-60070. doi:10.3354/meps07545
  • Huesemann M.H., and J.A. Huesemann. 2008. "Will Progress in Science and Technology Avert or Accelerate Global Collapse? A Critical Analysis and Policy Recommendations." Environment, Development and Sustainability 10, no. 6:787-825. PNNL-SA-50544. doi:10.1007/s10668-007-9085-4
  • Huesemann M.H., T.S. Hausmann, R. Bartha, M. Aksoy, J.C. Weissman, and J. Benemann. 2008. "Biomass Productivities in Wild Type and Pigment Mutant of Cyclotella sp. (Diatom)." Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 157, no. 3:507-526. PNNL-SA-58486.


  • Weldy C.S., and M.H. Huesemann. 2007. "Lipid Production by Dunaliella salina in Batch Culture: Effects of Nitrogen Limitation and Light Intensity." Journal of Undergraduate Research VII. PNNL-16021.


  • Huesemann M.H. 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. PNNL-SA-50511.
  • Huesemann M.H., T.J. Fortman, R.G. Riley, C.J. Thompson, Z. Wang, M.J. Truex, and B.M. 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, edited by Calabrase, E. J.; Kostecki, P. T.; Dragun, J., 10, 1-24. New York, New York:Springer. PNNL-SA-48083.


  • Huesemann M.H., T.S. Hausmann, and T.J. Fortman. 2005. "Leaching of BTEX from Aged Crude Oil Contaminated Model Soils: Experimental and Modeling Results." Soil & Sediment Contamination 14. PNNL-SA-44636.


  • Huesemann M.H. 2004. "Biodegradation and Bioremediation of Petroleum Pollutants in Soil." In Applied Bioremediation and Phytoremediation, edited by A. Singh, O.P. Ward. 13-34. Berlin Heidelberg:Springer Verlag. PNNL-SA-39097.
  • Huesemann M.H. 2004. "The Failure of Eco-Efficiency to Guarantee Sustainability: Future Challenges for Industrial Ecology." Environmental Progress 23, no. 4:264-270. PNNL-SA-42241.
  • Huesemann M.H., T.S. Hausmann, and T.J. Fortman. 2004. "Does Bioavailability Limit Biodegradability? A Comparison of Hydrocarbon Biodegradation and Desorption Rates in Aged Soils." Biodegradation 15, no. 4:261-274. PNNL-SA-40755.
  • Huesemann M.H., T.S. Hausmann, and T.J. 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, edited by V Magar and ME Kelley, Paper No. J-05. Columbus, Ohio:Battelle Press. PNNL-SA-40756.
  • Huesemann M.H., T.S. Hausmann, T.J. Fortman, R.M. Thom, E.A. Foote, and E.A. Foote. 2004. "Using Eelgrass (Zostera marina) for Phytoremediation of PAH-Contaminated Marine Sediments." In The Seventh International In Situ and On-Site Bioremediation Symposium, edited by VS Magar and ME Kelley, Paper No. N-14. Columbus, Ohio:Battelle Press. PNWD-SA-6360.


  • Huesemann M.H. 2003. "Recognizing the Limits of Environmental Science and Technology." Environmental Science & Technology 37, no. 13:259A-261A. PNNL-SA-36441.
  • Huesemann M.H. 2003. "The Limits of Technological Solutions to Sustainable Development." Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy 5. PNNL-SA-33414.
  • Huesemann M.H., T.S. Hausmann, and T.J. Fortman. 2003. "Assessment of Bioavailability Limitations During Slurry Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Aged Soils." Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 22, no. 12:2853-2860. PNNL-SA-40844.
  • Huesemann M.H., T.S. Hausmann, and T.J. Fortman. 2003. "Biodegradation of Hopane Prevents Use As Conservative Biomarker During Bioremediation of PAHs in Petroleum Contaminated Soils." Bioremediation Journal 7, no. 2:111-117. PNNL-SA-36442.


  • Huesemann M.H. 2002. "The Inherent Biases in Environmental Research and Their Effects on Public Policy." Futures 34, no. 7:621-633. PNNL-SA-33411.
  • Huesemann M.H., A.D. Skillman, and E.A. Crecelius. 2002. "The Inhibition of Marine Nitrification by Ocean Disposal of Carbon Dioxide." Marine Pollution Bulletin 44, no. 2:142-148. PNNL-SA-33944.
  • Huesemann M.H., T.S. Hausmann, and T.J. 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, no. 4:321-336. PNNL-SA-34838.
  • Thom R.M., S.L. Blanton, A.B. Borde, G.D. Williams, D.L. Woodruff, and M.H. Huesemann. 2002. "Investigations into Wetland Carbon Sequestration as Remediation for Global Warming." In International Conference on Wetlands and Remediation; Wetlands and Remediation II, edited by KW Nehring and SE Brauning, 311-320. Columbus, Ohio:Battelle Press. PNNL-SA-35183.


  • Huesemann M.H. 2001. "Can Pollution Problems Be Effectively Solved by Environmental Science and Technology? An Analysis of Critical Limitations." Ecological Economics 37, no. 2:271-287. PNNL-SA-33413.
  • Huesemann M.H., T.S. Hausmann, and T.J. 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, 3, 157-163. Columbus, Ohio:Battelle Press. PNNL-SA-31635.
  • Riley R.G., C.J. Thompson, M.H. Huesemann, Z. Wang, B.M. Peyton, T.J. Fortman, and M.J. Truex, et al. 2001. "Artificial Aging of Phenanthrene in Porous Silicas Using Supercritical Carbon Dioxide." Environmental Science & Technology 35, no. 18:3707-3712. PNNL-SA-34512.
  • Wang Z., D. Friedrich, M.R. Beversluis, S.L. Hemmer, A.G. Joly, M.H. Huesemann, and M.J. Truex, et al. 2001. "A Fluorescence Spectroscopic Study of Phenanthrene Sorbed on Porous Silica." Environmental Science & Technology 35, no. 13:2710-2716. PNNL-SA-33334.


  • Huesemann M.H. 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, edited by GB Wickramanayake, AR Gavaskar, ME Kelley, KW Nehring, 1, 271-277. Columbus, Ohio:Battelle Press. PNNL-SA-33410.
  • Huesemann M.H., T.S. Hausmann, and T.J. 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, edited by GB Wickramanayake, AR Gavaskar, JT Gibbs, JL Means, 7, 181-188. Columbia, Ohio:Battelle Press. PNNL-SA-33409.

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas