James Barrett

Super resolution imaging of the algal pyrenoid

About me

I graduated from the University of York with a BSc in Biochemistry. In that time I spent a year at the Technical University of Denmark with Professor Mikael Rørdam Andersen working on Aspergillus fungi. In my final year at York I completed a BSc research project in the Mackinder lab working on starch-associated proteins in Chlamydomonas. This sparked my interest in green algal research; marrying my interests in microscopy and molecular biology with direct implications for environmental wellbeing. In my final year at York I was intrigued by biophysics modules and the power these techniques have to answer outstanding questions in the green algal pyrenoid research field.

My project

My project aims to elucidate some of the abiotic and biotic factors that control the phase separation of the pyrenoid in Chlamydomonas; a crucial process for the operation of its functional carbon dioxide-concentrating mechanism. A combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches alongside super-resolution, single-molecule tracking and FRAP techniques will be used to correlate pyrenoidal packing densities following perturbations, to try to elucidate these control mechanisms.