Project Description: 

A key facet of sustainable technology is bioproduction, using living organisms to make fuels, drugs, and other chemicals of interest. Our lab is working on a new tool for the industry: designer yeasts that can grow in seawater to produce specialty chemicals. It turns out that millions of years of evolution have already established the foundation for this goal, in the form of little-studied, wild yeast species that have adapted to salty environments, including the deep ocean. Our project seeks to find the genes that enable growth of these organisms in salt and study their utility in industrial strains for bioproduction. 

Undergraduate's Role: 

Our undergrads will grow wild yeasts, measure their fermentation in salt water, and help find the underlying genes. This project will be completely based on experimental and computational genetics.

Undergraduate's Qualifications: 

This project is a good fit for students interested in evolution and molecular and microbial genetics, with an eye to their applications.

On Campus