Dr. James

Professor & Dept. Chair
Chemistry | Brewing
Office: Barstow Hall 302B


Teachers are people who love to learn new things and want to share that love of learning with others. James feels fortunate that, in his role as a faculty member, gets to share his fascination with chemistry both in the classroom and through hands-on learning in the laboratory. More than anything, he hopes that students come to realize that learning about chemistry means learning about the world around us and within us and helps us to find solutions to societal problems.

James is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Society of Brewing Chemists.

Research Interests

In recent years, James has worked on projects related to plant oil analysis and the development of new catalysts for biodiesel production, evaluation of antiviral properties of extracts from local plant sources and, most recently, a study of how storage conditions affect the alpha acid content of hop varieties (which are responsible for bittering in beer). Undergraduate students have been an essential part of all these projects. There are many topics in the fields of organic chemistry and biochemistry that interest him – he wishes he had time to investigate more of them!


  • Michael Demchik, Jason Fischbach, Tony Kern, James Lane, Brent McCown, Eric Zeldin, Keith Turnquist. Selection of American Hazelnut as a Potential Oilseed Crop. Agroforestry Systems (2014) 88, 449-459.
  • Donghua Zuo, James W. Lane, Dan Culy, Michael Schultz, Allison Pullar, and Michael A. Waxman Sulfonic acid functionalized mesoporous SBA-15 catalysts for biodiesel production. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental (2013) 129, 342-350.
  • James W. Lane, Paul Hlina, Kurt Hukriede, Adam Jersett, Damodar Koirala, Aaron Stewart and Michael A. Waxman, Probing Wisconsin Highbush Cranberry (V. Trilobum), Dotted Horsemint (M. Punctata) and American Hazelnut (C. Americana) as Potential Biodiesel Feedstocks. Industrial Crops and Products (2012) 36, n. 1, pp.531-535.
  • James W. Lane, Kurt Hukriede, Adam Jersett, Damodar Koirala, Dan Levings, Aaron Stewart and Michael A. Waxman, Synthesis and Characterization of New Biodiesels Derived from Oils of Plants Growing in Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society (2012) 89 (4), pp. 721-725.


  • 1994 – Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) – Organic Chemistry, Iowa State University
  • 1988 – Bachelor of Science (B.S.) – Chemistry, Western Illinois University