Dr. Antonella Succurro, Postdoctoral Fellow, Heinrich Heine Universität, Düsseldorf, Germany
After a PhD in Particle Physics I chose to challenge myself to apply my analytical and modelling skills to study life. I am particularly interested in understanding communities of algae and bacteria: I work with constraint based, genome scale models trying to grasp the subtle mechanisms that make one organism depend on the other.
Fiona Moejes, PhD student, Daithi O'Murchu Marine Research Station, Bantry, Ireland
When scaling up microalgal cultures contamination, especially by bacteria, is always an issue. I am working with the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum and exploring the symbiotic relationships it forms with certain consortia of bacteria. The idea is to exploit diatom-bacteria interactions as a novel approach to large-scale algal cultivation.
Anna Matuszyńska, PhD student, Heinrich Heine Universität, Düsseldorf, Germany
I am developing dynamic models of plants and algae photoprotective mechanisms. I am interested in short-term acclimation processes that include rearrangement of light harvesting complexes as well as dissipation of energy through heat. In future I will investigate in more depth spectral dependency of photoprotective responses and phenomena of 'light memory'.
Giulio R. Stella, PhD student, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
I’m studying diatoms’ photoprotective mechanisms, specifically the xanthophyll cycles in Phaeodactylum tricornutum, using molecular biology, biochemistry and biophysics techniques. In diatoms, the xanthophyll cycle is more complex than in green algae and land plants and it’s probably at the base of their great adaptability to variable light regimes.
Federica Cariti, PhD student, Université de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
I investigate in detail state transitions in the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The different allocation of the LHCII is finely regulated by reversible phosphorylation. The specific roles of kinases and phosphatases involved in this process are investigated and the kinetics of state transitions is studied in detail.
Valeria Villanova, PhD student, Fermentalg, France
I focus on the characterization of the mixotrophic growth (the combination of photosynthesis and respiration) in Phaeodactylum tricornutum. In particular, I am testing different culture conditions and generating metabolic mutants to optimize this process and increase the biomass productivity of the diatom under lab scale and industrial compatible conditions.
Dipali Singh, PhD student, Oxford Brookes University, UK
I am developing a genome-scale metabolic model of Phaeodactylum tricornutum. The idea is to understand the metabolism of this organism under various stress conditions and to identify optimised pathways for lipid production, based on the model analysis. I will also integrate the experimental data to the model, in order to improve the model predictions.
Kailash Adhikari, PhD student, Oxford Brookes University, UK
I am developing and analysing genome scale metabolic models of Arabidopsis and Chlamydomonas to investigate the metabolic adjustments under changing light conditions in these organisms. I will also integrate different experimental results to my models to enhance their prediction efficiency and use them to understand photosynthetic metabolism in more details.
Martina Zanella, PhD student, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
I am PhD student in Plant Biochemistry and my research address the mechanisms of regulation of the Calvin-Benson Cycle in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. I love adventures and new perspectives, that’s why my biggest passions are science and mountaineering. I also love travel, I’m from Italy, now placed in Zurich and always up for exploring the world.
Ioannis Dikaios, PhD student, Università degli Studi di Verona, Italy
I am studying the role of LHCSR and PSBS proteins in Non-Photochemical Quenching, one major photoprotection mechanism of photosynthetic organisms. By mutational analysis in vivo and in vitro I am trying to identify the key component of the molecular switch between photosynthesis and heat dissipation in order to understand how it works and modify it for the best.
Serena Flori, PhD student, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France
By combining in vivo spectroscopy, biochemical purification, imaging and immunocytochemistry, I’m investigating the structural bases of the efficient light use in two model organisms: the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. A special focus is put on both chloroplast architecture and the function of specific proteins under different environmental conditions in the two model species.
Lucilla Taddei, PhD student, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France
I am studying how diatoms minimize cellular damage in case of excessive light and nutrient limitation while performing photosynthesis to grow. In particular, I am focusing my studies on the responses of Phaeodactylum tricornutum to light variations, and the role played by Lhcx1 in these responses. My aim is to identify the role played by Lhcxs proteins in diatom physiology with an ecological and evolutionary perspective.
Brieuc Urbain, PhD student, University of Nantes, France
I am working on the elaboration of a biochemically-structured model for the growth of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii at the photobioreactor scale. By integrating knowledge from both the kinetics and the metabolism, the goals are to develop a generic predictive model and to understand the adaptation of the energetic metabolism to different conditions in the reactor.