Science Themes

Four Science Themes

EMSL's unparalleled collection of experts, advanced instrumentation and state-of-the-art facilities can help scientists gain a predictive understanding of the molecular-to-mesoscale processes in climate, biological, environmental and energy systems. These advancements are critical to development of sustainable solutions to the nation's energy and environmental challenges.

We collaborate with scientists around the world to address some of our most intractable problems:

  • Biology: Understand the foundational biological principles for predictive biology. Translating molecular and metabolic information into an understanding of the functioning of biological networks and pathways to develop predictive models for the design or redesign of biological systems for sustainable biofuel and bioproducts and mediating elemental cycles that impact climate

  • Environment: Understand the role of aerosols and elemental cycles on climate and subsurface systems. Understanding the impacts of biogenic aerosols and the dynamics of hydrobiogeochemical cycles on climate and environmental systems, and incorporating process understanding into a scalable hierarchy of predictive capabilities

  • Energy: Understand and control interfacial and molecular processes needed to design new materials for sustainable energy. Designing and characterizing new catalytic materials for improved energy storage and conversion (including biomass) processes to make clean, affordable and abundant energy a reality. 

Four Science Themes help EMSL define and direct the research investments and establish a portfolio of user projects to accelerate scientific innovation and discovery. EMSL's annual call for proposals solicits proposals on specific topics within these Science Themes.

Molecular Transformations replaces the Energy Materials and Processes (EMP) Science Theme with a molecular focus that impacts all of the EMSL science themes. EMP focused on the dynamic transformation mechanisms and physical and chemical properties at critical interfaces in catalysts and energy materials needed to design new materials and systems for sustainable energy applications. Read more about the EMP Science Theme and projects it supported.

We invite you to learn about our four Science Themes, talk with our leadership, and consider how you can engage with EMSL to solve problems.

Over the next 10 years, EMSL will focus its science toward developing predictive understandings that ultimately enable design and control of complex biological and chemical systems of importance the Department of Energy and its Office of Biological and Environmental Research.

Join us.