How efficient is excitation energy transfer in photosynthetic complexes and what leads to this efficiency?
We are interested in investigating the photophysics of light harvesting and the structure-function relationship in photosynthetic complexes to obtain insights into the design principles of photosynthesis. Read More.
Does electronic coherence in pigment-protein complexes facilitate energy transfer in photosynthesis?
We are interested in investigating the phenomenon of quantum beating in a pigment-protein complex called FMO in the hopes of learning how long this observed electronic coherence is preserved and what it means for the energy transfer in photosynthetic organisms. Read More.
How are photosynthetic organisms able to protect themselves from energy-related damage?
Dissipation of excess excitation energy in the light harvesting antenna of Photosystem II gives
photosynthetic organisms an evolutionary advantage by reducing damage in fluctuating light
conditions. Using experimental and theoretical methods, we are trying to understand the energetic rearrangment that takes place in order to switch on this pathway. Read More.
How are photosynthetic organisms able to self-repair following energy-related damage?
Despite photoprotection mechanisms, plants and algae are damaged due to excess sunlight every 30 minutes to 8 hours. However, this damage is repaired within approximately 80 minutes. We are looking to visualize this repair process with super-resolution microscopy. Read More.
How does the structure of photosynthetic pigments contribute to their function?
Photosynthetic proteins lock pigments into certain geometries, contributing to their high
quantum efficiency by tuning the pigment energies to allow maximum energy flow between
them. We are seeking to identify the geometries of carotenoids and chlorophylls in major light
harvesting complexes in order to determine the design principles behind the protein’s structure.