Bland Symington Montenecourt
Bland received her B.A. in biology, magna cum laude, from Rosemont College in 1964. While attending Rosemont, she achieved national ranking in tennis and played against the great women tennis stars of the 1960's. From Rosemont College she went to Rutgers University, receiving a Ph.D. in Microbiology in 1968 working under the guidance of Joel O. Lampen on the regulation of enzyme synthesis in yeast. After a two year postdoctoral appointment at Rutgers Medical School, Bland took time off from her
... active career to raise a family -two sons and a daughter. In 1976, she joined the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Cook College, Rutgers University. There, as an Assistant Research Professor, in collaboration with Douglas E. Eveleigh, she established a world-renowned program in the isolation of hyper-cellulolytic strains of Trichoderma reesei for use in the fermentative conversion of biomass into industrial chemicals. Bland came to Lehigh as Associate Professor in the Department of Biology in the Fall of 1981. She was promoted to Professor in 1985. During her tenure at Lehigh she continued her interest in biomass conversion, investigating the genetics of Trichoderma reesei and Thermomonospora sp. cellulase production and, more recently, expanding her program to include the study of thermophilic Clostridia, the microbial fermentation of cheese whey, and the microbial desulfurization of coal. Bland was a prolific researcher. In the past five years she authored or co-authored 52 publications. She was an international leader in the development of microbial strains for the fermentative conversion of biomass into industrial chemicals. She was a consultant for several national and international companies. She served on the editorial boards of four biotechnology journals including Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Trends in Biotechnology, Journal of Biotechnology, and Applied and Environmental Microbiology and not to forget Advances in Biochemical Engineering! Biotechnology.