Photosynthetic organisms are the ultimate source of oxygen and food for most life on Earth, and their metabolism sustains our entire ecosystem.
Despite this, our understanding of the biochemical basis of the metabolism of photosynthetic organisms is fragmentary, thwarting our ability to engineer new strategies to address global food, fuel and environmental challenges.
Photosynthetic organisms regulate energy metabolism through the interdependent balance between photosynthesis in the chloroplasts and respiration in the mitochondria. While our view of photosynthesis in model plants is highly advanced, our knowledge of the biochemical basis of respiration in photosynthetic organisms has lagged significantly behind.
The ultimate goal of our lab is to deepen and widen our understanding of respiration in various photosynthetic organisms across the tree of life.
To this end, we use biochemical, structural, molecular and cellular approaches in both established and less-well studied experimental systems such as diatoms, seaweeds, crops and model plants.
Our ultimate motivation is to use this improved biochemical knowledge to help develop respiration-based solutions for our pressing global challenges.