Office: Biology 406
Phone: (970) 491-6868
Nearly every biome on earth relies on photosynthesis to supply energy to its communities. While we are more familiar with the vascular plants that dominate the terrestrial environment, the algae rule aquatic systems. There is incredible diversity within the algae and they have evolved separately from plants (and in some cases from each other) for more than a billion years. My research explores this variety and strives to discover how the processes of photosynthesis differ between groups. The goals for the lab are to make discoveries that A) explain how it is that algae thrive in the face of abiotic stress and environmental adversity & B) to translate these discoveries to the challenge of increasing crop production. My lab uses a combination of model organisms that are amenable to genetic manipulation (such as Chlamydomonas, Synechocystis and Phaeodactylum). We identify proteins required for photosynthesis or photoprotection using forward or reverse genetics and investigate their specific roles using a combination of physiological, biochemical and -omics based observations. For more details about recent work and publications please visit our lab's webpage!