US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / People / Profile


Kenneth E. Hammel

Kenneth E. Hammel

Research Chemist
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
United States

Phone: 608-231-9528
Contact Kenneth E. Hammel

Current Research

The overall research goal is to elucidate the mechanisms that wood- and soil-inhabiting fungi use to break down woody biomass. Key chemical changes that the fungi cause in lignin and cellulose are identified by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic analyses of natural abundance and isotope-enriched substrates, as well as by other spectroscopic techniques. Fungal enzymes and metabolites that reproduce these reactions in the test tube are then sought, using gene sequence analyses, purification of the most interesting encoded enzymes, and isolation of enzyme substrates that the fungi secrete. The results are being used to assist in the design of new biomass-modifying cocktails that may be useful in paper manufacture and biofuels production from forest residues.

Research Interests

  • New solution-state NMR approach for elucidation of fungal and enzyme/mediator delignification systems
  • Mechanism and physiological role of peroxygenases from litter-decomposing fungi
  • Metabolomic analysis of lignocellulose colonized by white rot fungi
  • Heterologous expression and functional analysis of lignocellulose-degrading enzymes from wood decay fungi.

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


How Does Wood Decay Start?

How do fungi rot wood? Using new tools, fluorescent dye attached to tiny beads, and laser confocal microscopy, Forest Service scientists were ab ...


Water, Air, and Soil

Forest fungi perform an essential role in recycling woody plant debris and have many potential applications in biotechnology. In 2009, a Forest ...


Last updated on : 07/12/2019