Masterclass: Biofuels - the past or the future?

Biofuels have long been a source of great debate. Even today they are seen as saviors by some and as villains by others. Despite this controversy, global production of biofuels has expanded dramatically in the last decade, as has interest in understanding their environmental, economic, and social impacts. In this masterclass we will explore ways in which we might enhance the sustainability of the future bioeconomy, however it may develop. In particular, what lessons have we learned from the widespread production of the first generation of biofuels, which are largely produced from crops commonly used to feed humans and animals? We will consider issues of scale and integrated assessment at a global perspective. This masterclass is intended to provide students with additional context for their own research by asking them to consider how their own work contributes to solving the pressing issue of energy sustainability.

This lecture is organised by the Graduate School Production Ecology and Resource Conservation (PE&RC), the Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment (SENSE) and Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS).


Dr Jason Hill - Minnesota Univeristy
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (chair)

Dr. Peter Oosterveer - Wageningen University
Environmental policy group

Dr Maja Slingerland - Wageningen University
Plant Production Systems

Dr Birka Wicke - Utrecht University
Energy and Resources




Opening. Introduction and point of the situation on bio-energy from different perspectives (J. Hill)


Introduction of 3 key-note speakers 5 minutes for each

Charge to speakers: (1) Briefly describe your background and current research portfolio as it relates to biofuels. (2) What do you see as the major pitfalls associated with moving to a sustainable next-generation bioeconomy?


PhD pitches (first part)

Charge to speakers: (1) Briefly describe your background and research projects as they relate to biofuels. (2) How can your work help us avoid the potential pitfalls of moving to a sustainable next-generation bioeconomy?


Coffee break


PhD pitches (second part)


Reflection by key-note speakers


Plenary discussion (maybe first group discussion, followed with questions from Jason Hill to the plenary… Jason will think about it)


Conclusion: birds-eye view perspective (J. Hill)






In order to participate please register here. Participation to this event is free of charge.
For further information, please contact Simona Pedde (