Supported by a Packard Fellowship in the 1990s, my group established the fundamental importance of a process that harmlessly removes potentially damaging surplus light absorbed by plants and other photosynthetic organisms when they use sunlight to manufacture food. In recent years, together with my long-term collaborator William Adams, and our students, we have focused on the regulation of photosynthesis by the demand for energy by the whole organism. This research is identifying opportunities to increase the maximal photosynthetic productivity of plants and algae to benefit food and biofuel production. At this time, our team is identifying control points through which the leaf’s pipelines for water supply and sugar-export help maintain high photosynthetic productivity under challenging heat, drought, or cold conditions. Our team is studying plants adapted to cope equally well with blistering summer heat and cold spells in spring or fall, and hopes to provide novel targets for crop enhancement.

Awards and Achievements

  • Appointment to Professor of Distinction at CU ( 2013)
  • Election to Leopoldina, the National Academy of Sciences of Germany, Austria, & Switzerland ( 2011)