Josh Michener is a microbiologist and metabolic engineer in the Biosciences Division at ORNL. He received his PhD in Bioengineering at Caltech in 2012, where he worked with Christina Smolke and Frances Arnold to use engineering and evolution to optimize heterologous enzyme activities. He was also a Nordic Research Fellow with Jens Nielsen, where he studied the stresses that heterologous metabolic pathways place on their host. He then moved to Harvard Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, where he worked with Chris Marx and Eric Alm to study microbial evolution after horizontal gene transfer, as an analogy to the processes that occur after the deliberate transfers of genetic material in synthetic biology. In 2015 he moved to ORNL, where he has been applying rational and evolutionary approaches to discover and optimize metabolic pathways for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into fuels and chemicals.