Jenny Onley

Postdoctoral Researcher

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Postdoctoral Researcher

(253) 569-0887

Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico
P.O. Box 5800
Albuquerque, NM 87185-9292


At the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), Jenny Onley characterizes lignin-modifying enzymes using nanostructure-initiator mass spectrometry (NIMS). Lignin is a complex and recalcitrant macromolecule in plant cell walls. Lignin can be broken down into smaller molecules suitable for the production of biofuels and other valuable end products. Jenny’s work focuses on characterizing lignin-modifying enzymes, which degrade or modify lignin. Enzyme assays are performed with NIMS with high sensitivity, specificity, and in a high throughput manner.access to accurate testing, thereby reducing uncontrolled spread of infectious diseases.


B.S. Biology, Whitworth University

Ph.D. Microbiology, University of Tennessee

Honors and Awards

Won 3rd place for best poster at the Southeastern Biogeochemistry Symposium (2016).

Voted excellent student speaker for the International Conference on Nitrification (2015).

Graduate Student Senate Travel Award; $400 for 2014, $800 for 2015.

David C. White Student Travel Award; $500 for 2014, $800 for 2015.

American Society for Microbiology Student Travel Grant; $500 for 2014.

Whitworth Trustee Scholarship; $36,000 for 2007-2011.

Whitworth Heritage Scholarship; $11,040 for 2007-2010.

Federal SMART Grant; $4,000 for 2010. Gerald and Nancy Lyons Scholarship; $1,500 for 2007

Selected Publications

  • Onley, J.R., S. Ahsan, R.A. Sanford, F.E. Löffler. 2018. Denitrification by Anaeromyxobacter dehalogenans, a Common Soil Bacterium Lacking the Nitrite Reductase Genes nirS and nirK. Appl Environ Microbiol 84:1–14.