Daniel Olson headshot

Daniel Olson

Assistant Professor of Engineering

Dan Olson lab

Professor Olson monitors plate reader results in the Lynd Lab with undergraduate Dev Kapadia '23 while fermentation technician Diane Paradise and PhD student Bishal Sharma purge media bottles for bacterial cultures. (Photo by Catha Mayor Lamm)

Research Interests

Metabolic engineering; cellulosic biofuel; metabolic flux analysis; genome resequencing analysis


  • BA, Physics, Dartmouth 2004
  • BE, Engineering Sciences, Dartmouth 2006
  • PhD, Engineering Sciences, Dartmouth 2011

Professional Activities

  • Activity Lead, BioEnergy Science Center
  • Member, International Metabolic Engineering Society

Research Projects

  • Lynd Research Lab

    Lynd Research Lab

    The research lab at Dartmouth led by Professor Lee Lynd is active in research on the following topics:

    • Microbial Cellulose Utilization, including fundamental and applied aspects
    • Metabolic Engineering, focusing on thermophilic cellulolytic bacteria for fuel production
    • Innovative Biomass Processing Technologies, including development, design, and evaluation
    • Sustainable Bioenergy Futures, including resource, environment, and economic development

    We approach these topics from a diversity of academic disciplines with molecular biology, microbiology, chemical/biochemical engineering providing the foundation for the first three. Consistent with the "Pasteur's Quadrant" model articulated by Donald Stokes (Brookings Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1997), we see advancing applied capability and increased fundamental understanding as having strong potential to be convergent and mutually-reinforcing, and we aspire to work in this mode.

    A central theme of the Lynd group is processing cellulosic biomass in a single step without added enzymes. Such "consolidated bioprocessing" (CBP) is a potential breakthrough, and "is widely considered to be the ultimate low-cost configuration for cellulose hydrolysis and fermentation" (joint DOE/USDA Roadmap, 2007). We are focused on production of ethanol, a promising renewable fuel. The CBP strategy is however potentially applicable to a very broad range of fuels and chemicals.

Selected Publications

  • Eminoğlu, Ayşenur, Sean Jean-Loup Murphy, Marybeth Maloney, Anthony Lanahan, Richard J. Giannone, Robert L. Hettich, Shital A. Tripathi, Ali Osman Beldüz, Lee R. Lynd, and Daniel G. Olson. “Deletion of the hfsB gene increases ethanol production in Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and several other thermophilic anaerobic bacteria.” Biotechnology for Biofuels 10, no. 1 (2017): 282. doi:10.1186/s13068-017-0968-9.
  • Hon, Shuen, Daniel G. Olson, Evert K. Holwerda, Anthony A. Lanahan, Sean J.L. Murphy, Marybeth I. Maloney, Tianyong Zheng, Beth Papanek, Adam M. Guss, and Lee R. Lynd. “The ethanol pathway from Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum improves ethanol production in Clostridium thermocellum.” Metabolic Engineering 42, no. June (July 2017): 175–84. doi:10.1016/j.ymben.2017.06.011.
  • Tian, L., S.J. Perot, S. Hon, J. Zhou, X. Liang, J.T. Bouvier, A.M. Guss, D.G. Olson, and L.R. Lynd. “Enhanced ethanol formation by Clostridium thermocellum via pyruvate decarboxylase.” Microbial Cell Factories 16, no. 1 (2017). doi:10.1186/s12934-017-0783-9.
  • Tian, Liang, Skyler J. Perot, David Stevenson, Tyler Jacobson, Anthony A. Lanahan, Daniel Amador-Noguez, Daniel G. Olson, and Lee R. Lynd. “Metabolome analysis reveals a role for glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase in the inhibition of C. thermocellum by ethanol.” Biotechnology for Biofuels 10, no. 1 (2017): 276. doi:10.1186/s13068-017-0961-3.
  • Zheng, Tianyong, Daniel G. Olson, Sean J. Murphy, Xiongjun Shao, Liang Tian, and Lee R. Lynd. “Both adhE and a Separate NADPH-Dependent Alcohol Dehydrogenase Gene, adhA , Are Necessary for High Ethanol Production in Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum.” Edited by William W. Metcalf. Journal of Bacteriology 199, no. 3 (February 1, 2017): e00542-16. doi:10.1128/JB.00542-16.
  • Lo, Jonathan, Daniel G. Olson, Sean Jean-Loup Murphy, Liang Tian, Shuen Hon, Anthony Lanahan, Adam M. Guss, and Lee R. Lynd. “Engineering electron metabolism to increase ethanol production in Clostridium thermocellum.” Metabolic Engineering, no. October (2016): 1–9. doi:10.1016/j.ymben.2016.10.018.
  • Olson, Daniel G., Manuel Hörl, Tobias Fuhrer, Jingxuan Cui, Jilai Zhou, Marybeth I. Maloney, Daniel Amador-Noguez, Liang Tian, Uwe Sauer, and Lee R. Lynd. “Glycolysis without pyruvate kinase in Clostridium thermocellum.” Metabolic Engineering, 2016. doi:10.1016/j.ymben.2016.11.011.
  • Tian, Liang, Beth Papanek, Daniel G. Olson, Thomas Rydzak, Evert K Holwerda, Tianyong Zheng, Jilai Zhou, et al. “Simultaneous achievement of high ethanol yield and titer in Clostridium thermocellum.” Biotechnology for Biofuels 9, no. 1 (December 2, 2016): 116. doi:10.1186/s13068-016-0528-8.
  • Lo, Jonathan, Tianyong Zheng, Shuen Hon, Daniel G. Olson, and Lee R. Lynd. “The bifunctional alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase gene, adhE , is necessary for ethanol production in Clostridium thermocellum and Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum.” Edited by W. W. Metcalf. Journal of Bacteriology 197, no. 8 (April 15, 2015): 1386–93. doi:10.1128/JB.02450-14.
  • Lo, Jonathan, Tianyong Zheng, Daniel G. Olson, Natalie Ruppertsberger, Shital A. Tripathi, Liang Tian, Adam M. Guss, and Lee R. Lynd. “Deletion of nfnAB in Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and its effect on metabolism.” Journal of Bacteriology 197, no. 4000115284 (September 2015): JB.00347-15. doi:10.1128/JB.00347-15.
  • Olson, Daniel G, Richard Sparling, and Lee R Lynd. “Ethanol production by engineered thermophiles.” Current Opinion in Biotechnology 33 (2015): 130–41. doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2015.02.006.
  • Zheng, Tianyong, Daniel G. Olson, Liang Tian, Yannick J. Bomble, Michael E. Himmel, Jonathan Lo, Shuen Hon, A. Joe Shaw, Johannes P. van Dijken, and Lee R. Lynd. “Cofactor specificity of the bifunctional alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase (AdhE) in wild-type and mutants of Clostridium thermocellum and Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum.” Journal of Bacteriology 197, no. May (2015): JB.00232-15. doi:10.1128/JB.00232-15.
  • Zhou, Jilai, Daniel G Olson, Anthony A Lanahan, Liang Tian, Sean Jean-Loup Murphy, Jonathan Lo, and Lee R Lynd. “Physiological roles of pyruvate ferredoxin oxidoreductase and pyruvate formate-lyase in Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum JW/SL-YS485.” Biotechnology for Biofuels 8, no. 1 (2015): 138. doi:10.1186/s13068-015-0304-1.
  • Olson, Daniel G, and Lee R Lynd. “Chapter seventeen - transformation of Clostridium thermocellum by electroporation.” In Methods in Enzymology, edited by Harry J Gilbert, Volume 510:317–30. Amsterdam: Academic Press, 2012. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-415931-0.00017-3.
  • Olson, Daniel G, Shital A Tripathi, Richard J Giannone, Jonathan Lo, Nicky C Caiazza, David A Hogsett, Robert L Hettich, Adam M Guss, Genia Dubrovsky, and Lee R Lynd. “Deletion of the Cel48S cellulase from Clostridium thermocellum.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107, no. 41 (2010): 17727–32. doi:10.1073/pnas.1003584107.

Complete Works and Publications

ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-5393-6302


  • Increased ethanol production by thermophilic microorganisms with deletion of individual HFS hydrogenase subunits | 10,619,172