Daniela Jones

Assistant Professor

Joint Appointment with Idaho National Laboratory

Dr. Jones is an Assistant Professor in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department at North Carolina State University and holds a joint-faculty appointment with Idaho National Laboratory. At NC State, Dr. Jones is also the Data Science Academy Director of Agricultural Analytics; Director of the Agricultural Data Science Certificate; Office of Research and Innovation Faculty Fellow; Graduate Faculty of the Operations Research Program; Faculty Fellow of the Center of Geospatial Analytics; Faculty Affiliate of the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center; and Faculty Affiliate of the Agricultural Biotechnology In Our Evolving Food, Energy, and Water Systems NSF Research Traineeship Program. Dr. Jones develops large-scale heterogeneous and geo-temporal data-intensive models to better understand and enhance the sustainability of intensifying agricultural systems. Particularly, she analyzes the feasibility of harvesting, pre-processing, storing, and delivering agricultural waste for conversion to energy in efforts to reduce the anthropogenic impacts to the environment. Additionally, she works with industry to process data collected from gene expression to management practices to ground-based sensors (such as soil moisture sensors) to drone imagery to weather stations to satellite sensors during planting, growing, harvesting, and packing to identify the factors that affect produce yield expressed as quantity and quality.

She earned her PhD in Biological and Agricultural Engineering with a concentration on energy systems from Texas A&M University, where she was an Alfred P. Sloan Scholar and received a certificate in Business Management. She received her Masters and Bachelor of Science degrees in Industrial Engineering with an emphasis in operations research and a Minor in Mathematics from Mississippi State University. She interned at Idaho National Laboratory and collaborated with multidisciplinary teams at Oak Ridge National Laboratory through her work on biofuels and renewable energy. Before this role, she was a postdoctoral associate at Duke University, where she performed quantitative and qualitative research on student interventions and supported programming of educational, career development workshops and community development events for underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students in the biosciences.


Ph.D. 2017

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Texas A&M University

M.S. 2012

Industrial Engineering

Mississippi State University

B.S. 2009

Industrial Engineering

Mississippi State University

Research Description

Building on Dr. Jones's operations research experience applied to the agricultural-based energy sector and her desire to promote environmentally friendly energy sources, she continues to develop mathematical models and solution algorithms to solve large-scale problems that arise in the areas of transportation, logistics, and renewable energy systems. She focuses on simulation and optimization of the entire supply chain (including, harvesting, pre-processing, storing, and delivering) for biomass as a feedstock for cost effective production of fuels, products, and power.


Cultivating PhD Aspirations during College
Jones, D. S., Gillette, D. D., Cooper, P. E., Salinas, R. Y., Hill, J. L., Black, S. J., … Canelas, D. A. (2022), CBE-LIFE SCIENCES EDUCATION, 21(2). https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.20-06-0111
Data-Driven Decisions for Food and Energy
Jones, D. (2022, August). , . https://doi.org/10.52750/564142
Fostering Responsible Innovation through Stakeholder Engagement: Case Study of North Carolina Sweetpotato Stakeholders
Grieger, K., Zarate, S., Barnhill-Dilling, S. K., Hunt, S., Jones, D., & Kuzma, J. (2022), Sustainability, 14(4), 2274. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042274
Nth-plant scenario for forest resources and short rotation woody crops: Biorefineries and depots in the contiguous US
Hossain, T., Jones, D. S., Hartley, D. S., Thompson, D. N., Langholtz, M., & Davis, M. (2022), APPLIED ENERGY, 325. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2022.119881
Nth-plant supply: corn stover supplies and costs in a fleet of biorefineries
Langholtz, M., Davis, M., Eaton, L., Hilliard, M., Brandt, C., Webb, E., … Jones, D. (2021, November 2), BIOFUELS BIOPRODUCTS & BIOREFINING-BIOFPR, Vol. 11. https://doi.org/10.1002/bbb.2305
Replacing liquid fossil fuels and hydrocarbon chemical feedstocks with liquid biofuels from large-scale nuclear biorefineries
Forsberg, C. W., Dale, B. E., Jones, D. S., Hossain, T., Morais, A. R. C., & Wendt, L. M. (2021), APPLIED ENERGY, 298. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2021.117225
The nth-plant scenario for blended feedstock conversion and preprocessing nationwide: Biorefineries and depots
Hossain, T., Jones, D., Hartley, D., Griffel, L. M., Lin, Y., Burli, P., … Brandt, C. (2021), APPLIED ENERGY, 294. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2021.116946
Assessment of Perennial Grass Inventories Predicted in the Billion-Ton Studies
Jones, D. S., Searcy, S. W., & Eaton, L. M. (2018), Transactions of the ASABE, 61(2), 331–340. https://doi.org/10.13031/trans.12505
GIS-based allocation of herbaceous biomass in biorefineries and depots
Gonzales, D. S., & Searcy, S. W. (2017), Biomass and Bioenergy, 97, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2016.12.009
An Excel-Based Decision Support System for Supply Chain Design and Management of Biofuels
Acharya, A. M., Gonzales, D. S., Eksioglu, S. D., & Arora, S. (2014), International Journal of Operations Research and Information Systems, 5(4), 26–43. https://doi.org/10.4018/ijoris.2014100102

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Improving the Speed of Peanut Grading at Peanut Buying Stations
NC Peanut Growers Association, Inc.(1/01/23 - 6/30/24)
Full-Season sweetpotato data lifecycle analysis: stakeholders engagement, sensors, and yields.
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation(8/10/22 - 5/31/23)
A Review of the State of Technology of Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS)
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(4/11/22 - 4/30/22)
Release No. 1 under BMA 255742
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(10/20/21 - 9/30/23)
DSFAS-AI: Agricultural DECision Intelligence moDEling System for huMan-AI collaboRative acTion Elicitation and impRovement (DECIDE-SMARTER)
US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)(6/15/22 - 6/14/25)
A Framework to Enhance NC’s Natural Resources Through Sustainable Manure Nutrient Cycling and Export
NC Department of Justice (NCDOJ)(1/01/22 - 12/31/24)
Sloan Scholars Mentoring Network
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation(11/01/21 - 5/31/23)
A uniform-format herbaceous biomass feedstock: value-added Miscanthus from marginal lands to improve rural economies in NC
NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services(1/01/21 - 12/31/23)
Cultivating A Resilient Workforce By Integrating A Culturally Competent Community Of Scholarship & Data Science in Food & Agricultural Research
US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)(1/15/21 - 1/14/26)
Improving Crop Productivity and Value Through Heterogeneous Data Integration, Analytics, and Decision Support Platforms
Game-Changing Research Incentive Program for Plant Sciences (GRIP4PSI)(2/17/20 - 6/30/24)