Recent Previous Lab Members

Munevver Aksoy (Postdoctoral Scholar: 2010-2015)

Munevver worked on acclimation responses of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to nutrient deprived conditions. She used forward genetics to identify genes that are involved in the acclimation processes and tried to understand protein-protein interactions that lead to regulation of gene expression. Recently, she discovered that Chlamydomonas reinhardtii forms vacuoles that contain polyphosphate (acidocalcisomes) under nutrient deprivation. She is trying to elucidate the roles of these vacuoles and polyphosphate in the acclimation process.

Claudia Catalanotti (Postdoctoral Scholar: 2007-2015)

Claudia worked on the acclimation of photosynthetic organism to anoxia. The ability of aquatic algae to use light energy to synthesize biomass has a potential to deliver clean energy to the world. However, there are still some issues to address before algal-based fuels can be commercialized. When oxygen consumption is faster than oxygen evolution, anaerobic conditions are established. Many algae can survive such conditions by degrading stored polysaccharides into fermentative products that are excreted from the cells. This process is known as 'carbon loss' and represents one major disadvantages of using algae in open ponds for biofuel production. 

 Tyler Wittkopp (Graduate Student: 2010-2016)

Tyler worked on identifying and characterizing proteins that affects the form and function of photosynthetic complexes in thylakoid membranes of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. He explored the flexibility of photosynthesis and understanding how photosynthetic organisms react to both internal and external cues. Tyler did his undergraduate study at University of Wisconsin. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing basketball and baseball. After his productive graduate career, Tyler is currently doing his postdoctoral research under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Noel at Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego.

(Postdoctoral Scholar: 2008-2016)

Wenqiang (Wen) worked on fermentative metabolism and biological hydrogen productions, dark metabolism and regulation (darksidomics), acetate metabolism and the GreenCut proteins in photosynthesis in 
the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. He is also interested in the connection between photosynthesis and metabolism, the function of transporters in photosynthesis, communication between chloroplast, and mitochondria, oxygen sensing in algae and the biology of the other algae as well as the improvement of photosynthesis efficiency in crops as well.