Green algae are relatives of more complex vascular plants, making them good models for understanding the molecular processes of photosynthesis. In this project, you will be working with an emerging model green alga called Chromochloris zofingiensis. This alga can produce large amounts of industrially relevant products, like antioxidants and biofuels, and has a novel ability to turn photosynthesis on or off based on glucose availability and nutrient status. We use physiology, genetics, systems biology, and microscopy to understand the essential genes of photosynthesis relevant to all photosynthetic organisms, of which dozens still have unknown function, and to understand how to more effectively develop replacements for fossil fuels.
The research apprentice will work initially with a graduate student and will be given the opportunity to develop an independent project, with the possibility of continuing through the academic year and during the summer. This project will involve learning methods in physiology, classical genetics, molecular biology, and genetic engineering for sustainability-oriented questions, but based on your interest could also encompass microscopic and bioinformatics analyses.
Minimum qualifications: Biology 1A or 1B (may be taken concurrently), 3.0 GPA, and interest in genetics. Hours are
negotiable, but a commitment of at least 12 hours per week is expected.