Ed van Niel, born in 1959, is senior lecturer at the Division of Applied Microbiology. He obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering (Microbiology) in 1991 at the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. He is mainly involved in the physiology and regulation of carbohydrate metabolism in both lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and hydrogen producing thermophiles. The LAB research focuses on disaccharide degradation, lactate formation and exopolysaccharide biosynthesis. The research with thermophiles aims at optimization of hydrogen production from complex sugar mixtures such as hydrolysates of biomass.