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Professional Title:

Assistant Professor


Iowa State University, Department of Agronomy

Current professional work/interests:

Dr. Emily Heaton is an Assistant Professor of Agronomy focusing on the biomass crop production and physiology at Iowa State University. While pursuing her doctorate in Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois, she pioneered and led research comparing the biomass production of Miscanthus and switchgrass in the US, research that indicated Miscanthus could produce 250% more ethanol than corn, without requiring additional land. Heaton joined ISU from Ceres, a plant genetics company in California that specializes in biomass crop breeding for fuel. There she led the development of the largest dedicated biofuels variety evaluation network in the country. Dr. Heaton remains actively involved with her family farm in Monticello, IL, which employs diverse agricultural activities ranging from rotational poultry grazing to biomass crop production for sustainable and profitable land management. At Iowa State, Dr. Heaton focuses on best management practices for perennial energy crops, the impact these crops may have on biogeochemical cycles, and their potential for ameliorating global climate change through carbon offset and sequestration.