Christopher Simmons

 Christopher  Simmons


  • Assistant Professor
  • Food Science and Technology


Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2011


Dr. Simmons' research focuses on improving energy and water use efficiency in food processing by reclaiming energy from waste biomass streams and developing strategies for waste water treatment and recycling. Specifically, high-throughput, massively parallel sequencing and bioinformatics approaches are used to characterize microbial communities that are able to deconstruct waste biomass into fermentable sugars under industrial conditions. These data are used to discover enzymes and molecular pathways that can improve industrial bioconversion of waste biomass into biofuels. Additionally, the microbial ecology of plant-soil systems exposed to food processing effluents is studied to develop strategies for recycling of food processing waste water to agriculture.

Recent Publications

  • Simmons, C.W., H-Y. Guo, J. Claypool, M.N. Marshall, K. Perano, J.J. Stapleton, and J.S. VanderGheynst. 2012. Managing organic matter incorporation into soil to enhance soil heating during soil solarization. Waste Management (in press), DOI:
  • Simmons, C.W., J.S. VanderGheynst, and N. Nitin. 2012. Rapid, in-situ detection ofAgrobacterium tumefaciens attachment to leaf tissue. Biotechnology Progress28(5):1321-1328.
  • Reddy, A.P., C.W. Simmons, J. Claypool, L. Jabusch, B.A. Simmons, S. Singer, and J.S. VanderGheynst. 2012. Thermophilic bacteria tolerant to [EMIM]OAca enriched on switchgrass under high-solids conditions. Journal of Applied Microbiology 113(6):1362-1370.
  • Luo, Z., C.W. Simmons, J.S. VanderGheynst, and N. Nitin. 2012. Quantitative real-time measurements of bacteria-bacteriophages interactions in fresh lettuce leaves. Journal of Food Engineering 111(1):176-185.