PhD defence: Michael Joseph Selig

Michael Joseph Selig defends his thesis:

Molecular Scale Drivers of Biomass Recalcitrance

Academic supervisor

Professor Claus Felby, University of Copenhagen

Assessment committee

Professor Peter Westh, Roskilde University
Associate Professor David Hodge, Michigan state university
Associate Professor Yumiko Sakuragi, University of Copenhagen


The thesis focus on the basic parameters limiting the breakdown of biomass to sugars. There is a multitude of structures and compounds in the plant cell wall which limits the performance of hydrolytic enzymes. In this thesis it is shown how the interactions between water and the cell wall components can be used as a measure of biomass recalcitrance as well as unspecific bonding of enzymes to the cell wall components. The different states of water in the plant cell wall is presented and discussed in relation to enzyme adsorption and activity.

After the PhD defense there will be a reception at Rolighedsvej 23