My lab uses Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a key reference organism in the green algal branch of the tree of life, for state of the art imaging, molecular approaches and spectroscopic tools to quantify, track and visualize elements in time and space. We are fearless experimentalists who re-tool and re-invent ourselves to exploit new technologies to continue to make fundamental discoveries about trace metal metabolism and recycling in algae in the laboratory, in environmental samples and in associations with other organisms.
A new initiative in the laboratory is to understand how algae interact in symbioses with other microbes, and the impact of these interactions on trace metal acquisition and central carbon metabolism.
Our present work with the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is focused on obtaining a systems-biology level picture of elemental metabolism, including relationships with other organisms in the nutrient milieu. With genomic resources and gene editing tools, the breadth of biology is now accessible, facilitating the understanding of the molecular underpinnings of how a model alga interacts with its symbionts, changing the way we think about metabolism and nutrient exchange in aquatic symbioses in the laboratory and in the environment.
Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems