Jessica Virginia is conducting research on the degradability of lignin with the help of bacteria and enzymes. Lignin is the substance that is responsible for the strength and fiber structure, especially in wood. It is known that fungi can decompose this substance, but little research has been carried out on bacteria in this framework.
Jessica Virginia is working on her doctoral thesis with an Ernst Mach Asea Uninet scholarship at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna. She did her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in biotechnology in her home country Indonesia. She then took part in a research project that dealt with the recycling of residues from palm oil production for several years. After pressing the oil-containing kernels, a substance is left that is called palm kernel meal. By degrading it, it can be used as an animal feed additive.
In this episode Jessica talks about her first and current experiences as a young researcher in Austria, about the criticism of palm oil in Europe, about research in times of Covid-19 and national identity in Indonesia.