Kurt Thelen, Ph.D.

Kurt Thelen

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Professor - Crop systems that increase food, feed & energy security while safeguarding soil, air, water and biodiversity.
Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences



Ph.D., Michigan State University, Crop & Soil Sciences

Courses taught: 

  • CSS/BSE/FOR 467:  BioEnergy Feedstock Production

Web Links:

Overview of current program: 

Dr. Thelen is a professor at Michigan State University, in the Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences Department and the Great Lakes BioEnergy Research Center.  His research program is focused on developing crop systems that increase food, feed, and energy security while safeguarding soil, air, water, and biodiversity.



  1. Dale, Bruce, Stefano Bozzetto, Christian Couturier, C  Fabbri, Jorge Hilbert, Rebecca Ong, Tom Richard, Laura Rossi, Kurt Thelen, and Jeremy.Woods.  2020.  The Potential for Expanding Sustainable Biogas Production in Selected Countries and Some Possible Impacts in Specific Countries.  Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining.  Accepted July 2020.

  2. Kim, Seungdo; Zhang, Xuesong; Reddy, Ashwan; Dale, Bruce; Thelen, Kurt; Jones, Curtis ; Izaurralde, Roberto; Runge, Troy; Maravelias, Christos.  2020.  Carbon-Negative Biofuel Production.  Environmental Science & Technology Accepted July 2020.  Manuscript ID: es-2020-01097s.R2

  3. Wang, Sichao, Gregg R. Sanford, G. Phillip Robertson, Randall D. Jackson, & Kurt D. Thelen. 2020. Perennial bioenergy crop yield and quality response to nitrogen fertilization.  Bioenergy Research.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12155-019-10072-z 

  4. Gelfand, Ilya, Stephen K. Hamilton, Alexandra N. Kravchenko, Randall D. Jackson, Kurt D. Thelen, and G. Philip Robertson. 2020. Empirical Evidence for the Potential Climate Benefits of Decarbonizing Light Vehicle Transport in the U.S. with Bioenergy from Purpose-Grown Biomass with and without BECCS. Environmental Science & Technology 54 (5): 2961–74.

  5. Seungdo Kim, Bruce E. Dale, Mingjie Jin, Kurt D. Thelen, Xuesong Zhang, Paul Meier, Ashwan Daram Reddy, Curtis Dinneen Jones, Roberto Cesar Izaurralde, Venkatesh Balan, Troy Runge, Mahmoud Sharara. 2019. Integration in a depot‐based decentralized biorefinery system: Corn stover‐based cellulosic biofuelGCB Bioenergy 2019 17 https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12613

  6. Assefa,Yared,  Larry C. Purcell, Montse Salmeron, Seth Naeve, Shaun N. Casteel, Péter Kovács, Sotirios Archontoulis, Mark Licht, Fred Below, Herman Kandel, Laura E. Lindsey, John Gaska, Shawn Conley, Charles Shapiro, John M. Orlowski, Bobby R. Golden, Gurpreet Kaur, Maninderpal Singh, Kurt Thelen, Randall Laurenz, Dan Davidson, Ignacio Antonio Ciampitti.  2019.  Assessing variation in US soybean seed composition (protein and oil).  Front. Plant Sci. 10:298. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00298.

  7. Andrew B. Adkins and Kurt D. Thelen.  2019.  Switchgrass harvest timing and method affect biomass yield and quality in the US Great Lakes Region.  Proc European Biomass Conf and Exb. pp 90-96.  ISBN: 978-88-89407-19-6 doi: 10.5071/27thEUBCE2019-1BO.9.1

  8. Hussain, M.Z., S. K. Hamilton, A.K. Bhardwaj, B. Basso, K.D. Thelen and G. P. Robertson.  2019.  Evapotranspiration and water use efficiency of continuous maize and maize and soybean in rotation in the Upper Midwest U.S. Agr. Water management, 221:92-98.

  9. Boring, T.J., K.D. Thelen, J.E. Board, J.L. De Bruin, C.D. Lee, S.L. Naeve, W.J. Ross, W.A. Kent, and L.L. Ries.  2018.  Phosphorus and potassium fertilizer application strategies in corn-soybean rotations.  Agronomy. 2018, 8, 195; 12 pp doi:10.3390/agronomy8090195.

  10. Thelen K.D., and M. Jean.  2018.  In field integration of winter cereals with corn stover to improve biomass yield and quality.  J Bioremediation & Biodegradation. Vol 9 pp 110. https://www.omicsonline.org/proceedings/in-field-integration-of-winter-cereals-with-corn-stover-to-improve-biomass-yield-and-quality-93520.html.   doi:10.4172/2155-6199-C1-015.

  11. Mantovi, P., C. Fabbri, L. Valli, L. Rossi, S. Bozzetto, E. Folli, J. Hilbert, J. Woods, K. Thelen, and B. Dale.  2018,  Enhance soil organic carbon stocks by means of the biogasdoneright system.  Proceedings of the International Symposium on Soil Organic Matter Management in Agriculture.  Braunschweig, Germany.16 pp. https://www.som-management.org/fileadmin/som-management/Book_of_abstracts/Book_of_abstracts_NEW.pdf

  12. Mourtzinis, S.,  G. Kaur, J. Orlowski, C. Shapiro, C. Lee, C. Wortmann, D. Holshouser, E. Nafziger, H. Kandel, J. Niekamp, J. Ross, J. Lofton, J. Vonk, K. Roozeboom,  K. Thelen, L. Lindsey, M. Staton, S. Naeve, S. Casteel, W. Wiebold, and S. Conley. 2018.  Soybean response to nitrogen application across the United States: a synthesis-analysis.  Field Crops Research 215:74-82.