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Individual Researcher’s Sites
In this section we are listing a number of individual sites that we feel are quite well done. We favor sites that are created and maintained by the individuals themselves, not their departments, and which contain detailed research descriptions (not just brief summaries), useful figures, links to other sites, and personal information that help us see the researcher as a person. Many of the sites we’ve selected may seem a bit simple when first viewed, but their richness is revealed when links (sometimes very subtle due to the playful nature of scientists) are followed. Many more Web sites will be found in the “Nicelist” Web site maintained by one of us (LO) (http://bioenergy.asu.edu/photosyn/nicelist.html). All sites are listed alphabetically by the researcher’s last name. We apologize in advance to those we may have missed and will add new links to the online version as we discover them. Feel free to let us know of any amazing sites you create or run across.
John F. Allen (http://queenmaryphotosynthesis.org/~john/index.html) contains much useful information. His older site (http://jfa.bio.qmul.ac.uk/~john/webstar/john/index.html). A deceptively simple site that contains quiet links to many areas of photosynthesis, as well as interesting private places. There are tours; there is animation; and there is music. John Allen was one of the very first photosynthesis researchers to have his own Web site.
James Barber (http://www.bio.ic.ac.uk/research/barber/index.htm). This site contains well-illustrated pages involving his research on Photosystem II, Photosystem I and other areas.
Carl Bauer (http://www.bio.indiana.edu/~bauerlab/). Pages found here cover photosystem gene expression, evolution of photosynthesis and more.
Robert E. Blankenship (http://biology4.wustl.edu/faculty/blankenship/). Interesting lab site with pages describing work on Photosystem I, chlorosomes, the Fenna-Mathews-Olson (FMO) protein, evolution of photosynthesis and much more. Includes photos (http://biology4.wustl.edu/faculty/blankenship/images/AlvinTripSummer2000/index.html) from a dive in the Alvin submersible during which photosynthetic organisms were found living in the depths around volcanic vents! (http://www.asu.edu/feature/includes/summer05/readmore/photosyn.html)
Donald Bryant (http://www.bmb.psu.edu/faculty/bryant/bryant.html) discusses research on structure and function and biogenesis of the photosynthetic apparatus of cyanobacteria and green sulfur bacteria, control of gene expression, and physiology. Most of the details and figures are found by clicking on the link to his lab Web page.
John M. Cheeseman (http://www.life.illinois.edu/cheeseman/main/). You know that a site that begins with, “Purveyors of Versimilitude and Synthesizers of the Obvious since 1975,” will be fun! Contains links to his research on mangroves, courses on: Form and function in higher plants, introduction to plant biology and field ecology. A software program (that you can download) for a multimedia textbook on photosynthesis (by Cheeseman and M. Lexa) is also available at (http://www.life.illinois.edu/cheeseman/photosynthesis/main.html). And don’t forget to check out the links to the “Erratic Crab” where you will learn things like “How much data would a data manager manage if a data manager could get your data?” (http://www.life.illinois.edu/cheeseman/ecrab/ECv1n2/)
Fig. 11. Structure of Light Harvesting Complex 2, LH2 (left) from Rps. acidophila strain 10050 and the reaction center (right) from Rhodobacter sphaeroides from Richard Cogdell’s Web site (http://www.gla.ac.uk:443/ibls/staff/staff.php?who=PPQ|ed).
Richard J. Cogdell (http://www.gla.ac.uk:443/ibls/staff/staff.php?who=PPQ|ed) Follow the links to a very rich Web site with incredible images of light-harvesting complex II and the reaction centers (Fig. 11).
William Cramer (http://www.bio.purdue.edu/people/faculty/index.php?refID=12). Contains good descriptions and figures of work with the structure of cytochrome b6f complex, cytochrome f and the Rieske iron-sulfur protein.
Antony Crofts (http://www.life.illinois.edu/crofts/ahab/home.html). This site is a virtual goldmine of information. There is much here on the cytochrome bc1 complex and many other subjects, including many helpful links. It is great fun to watch the movement of the Rieske Iron sulfur protein.
Charles Dismukes (http://www.princeton.edu/~catalase/). A good site that contains many links to research on photosynthetic water splitting enzyme; manganese catalase; manganese cubane; and paleobiochemistry; it has good figures and discussions.
Graham Fleming (http://www.cchem.berkeley.edu/grfgrp/) contains information on the use of femtosecond spectroscopy to study light-harvesting photosynthetic compounds and many fun photos. The group photo and photos of past and present lab members are always intriguing. Also check out his lab’s work on quantum mechanical effects in photosynthesis (http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/PBD-quantum-secrets.html) that adds new ideas and concepts of coherence to the existing energy transfer models.
Fig. 12. Harry Frank: photosynthetic musician, author of “melted carrot,” http://chemistry.uconn.edu/FrankGroup/frank_podcast.html.
Harry Frank (http://chemistry.uconn.edu/FrankGroup/index.html). This site contains several brief descriptions of work on the structure and function of carotenoids; role of xanthophylls in non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence; electrochemistry of cofactors of photosynthetic reaction centers. There are many fun things here and even a link to the Harry Frank podcast with the good professor on electric guitar [!] playing his song “melted carrot” as well as great discussion of carotenoids (http://chemistry.uconn.edu/FrankGroup/frank_podcast.html), and lots more. This is one of our favorite sites for its scientific as well as personal presentations. You can also check out his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1132602120&v=info&ref=name.
Petra Fromme (http://www.public.asu.edu/~pfromme/index.html) uses crystallography to study the biophysical chemistry of membrane proteins. Much of her work can be found in links to PDF files.
John Golbeck (http://www.bmb.psu.edu/faculty/golbeck/golbeck.html). This site contains a great deal of information about Photosystem I. There is also a link to “Photosynthetic Electron Transfer: So Little Time, So Much to Do”, an excellent PDF discussing PS I.
Govindjee (http://www.life.illinois.edu/govindjee/). This site contains many links to all parts of the photosynthesis universe. There is a nice “Photosynthesis Education” site at http://www.life.illinois.edu/govindjee/PSed_index.htm). Research publications in the areas of primary photochemistry; role of bicarbonate in Photosystem II; chlorophyll a fluorescence, among other topics can be found arranged chronologically, as well as according to journals and to topics. Much of his recent work can be found in links to PDF files (http://www.life.illinois.edu/govindjee/recent_papers.htm). A useful basic educational material is his 1969 book on Photosynthesis, with E. Rabinowitch (http://www.life.illinois.edu/govindjee/photosynBook.html). In August, 2007, he was presented 2nd International Society of Photosynthesis Research’s Communication Award for his outstanding efforts in communicating basic and advanced information on all aspects of photosynthesis, including history of photosynthesis research, through his lectures, reviews, many edited volumes and his series (Advances in Photosynthesis and Research). There are photographs of scientists and complete information on Volumes 19–25 of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration. A 34 minute interview with Govindjee can be found at http://www.annualreviews.org/page/audio#govindjee
Harry B. Gray is a chemist at Caltech studying how we can use solar energy to power our world. “Harry Gray: Powering the Planet with Solar Fuel” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwqVsRLHq24) is a Youtube video of Harry B. Grays’s hour long presentation on solar fuel. We are pleased that Northwestern University preserved this interesting lecture. Another Youtube video featuring Harry Gray, “Passion for Science” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpJPLptlGVU) discusses how his interest in pigments led to his solar energy studies. EarthSky’s site (http://earthsky.org/energy/harry-grays-solar-fuel-cells-will-create-fuel-from-sunlight) features a link to an 8 minute interview that discusses solar energy and artificial photosynthesis. Caltech includes links to two interesting PDF files about Harry, Solar Fuel (http://eands.caltech.edu/articles/Gray%20Feature.pdf) and Solar Fuels II: The Quest for the Catalyst (http://eands.caltech.edu/articles/LXXI2/gray.pdf).
Roger Hangarter (http://www.bio.indiana.edu/~hangarterlab/). This site discusses environmental sensory response systems and plant development. It has Plants-in-Motion time-lapse movies; has information on Arabidopsis and links to Arabidopsis data bases; and has laboratory exercises for teaching plant growth and motion from elementary schools through college. Although not directly related to photosynthesis, it is a fun site. See for yourself. [Hint: check out the really weird Conehead saga at the Prymaat Files (http://www.bio.indiana.edu/~hangarterlab/otherstuff/prymatfiles/prymatmain.html)]
Kazuhito Hashimoto (http://www.light.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/english/index.htm) contains information on artificial photosynthesis, photocatalysis and environmental issues featuring solar technologies.
Warwick Hillier (http://www.rsbs.anu.edu.au/ResearchGroups/PBE/Profiles/Warwick_Hillier/) has links to the following nice sites: Oxygen (http://www.rsbs.anu.edu.au/O2/O2_Home.htm); Molecular Biofuels (http://www.rsbs.anu.edu.au/biofuels/); Biomolecular Spectroscopy (http://www.rsbs.anu.edu.au/Products&Services/BioSpec/).
Alfred R. Holzwarth (http://www.mpi-muelheim.mpg.de/mpistr_holzwarth.html). Contains information on artificial photosynthesis, Photosystems I & II, antenna systems and more.
Stephen Long (http://www.life.illinois.edu/long/index.html). This site contains much information on alternative fuels and crops (http://www.life.illinois.edu/long/Media.html) and links to other projects such as SoyFACE (http://soyface.illinois.edu/index.htm) and WIMOVAC (http://www.life.illinois.edu/plantbio/wimovac/), projects studying environmental factors that might influence climate change. See also Fig. 10 for Steve standing in a field of Miscanthus.
Wolgang Lubitz (http://ewww.mpi-muelheim.mpg.de/bac/mitarbeiter/lubitz/lubitz_en.php). His site contains much information on hydrogenase, water oxidase, photosynthesis and various types of equipment and techniques for studying biophysical chemistry.
Jörg Matysik (http://www.cidnp.net) studies the nuclear polarization occurring during the photosynthetic primary reaction with optical NMR methods. Photo-CIDNP MAS NMR is used to map electronic structures of donors at atomic resolution.
Anastasio Melis (http://epmb.berkeley.edu/facPage/dispFP.php?I=25) studies green algae for photosynthetic production of hydrogen and hydrocarbon biofuels.
Sabeeha Merchant (http://www.chem.ucla.edu/dept/Faculty/merchant/index.html). This is a wonderful site on ‘Biochemistry of Molecular Genetics and Metal Metabolism’; it has publication lists since her PhD days, but more importantly many of her papers on cytochromes and plastocyanin and a major review are available in PDF files. We find her ‘Useful Links’ very useful indeed. They include research resources; companies; composition (that has the famous “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk on line, loved by us); dictionaries; on-line journals; and genome databases. There are also many, many photos of students, colleagues and meetings.
Kenneth R. Miller (http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/index.html) from Brown University. Structure and function in biological membranes is the theme of research at this site. There is an interesting essay on “Life’s Grand Design” (http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/lgd/index.html); and a link to an interesting article in Discover on the perils and pitfalls of life with a Y chromosome (http://discovermagazine.com/1995/feb/whitherthey470) that both of the editors needed to read! The site also contains information on beautiful biology text books by Miller and Joseph Levine. He has also become a well-known media supporter of evolution and critic of intelligent design and there is even a link to his appearance on the television show, the Colbert Report! (http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/173859/june-16-2008/kenneth-miller). “The collapse of intelligent design, will the next monkey trial be in Ohio?” is Miller’s 2-hour lecture (that begins, interestingly, with a prayer) in which he rips apart Intelligent Design. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg&feature=related).
Thomas A. Moore (http://bioenergy.asu.edu/faculty/tmoore/) is the director of the Arizona State University Center for Bioenergy & Photosynthesis. Besides the usual description of his research interests, it includes information about climate change and essays about the importance of taking immediate action. There are also side trips to more personal areas such as Jazz and Blues music, especially Texas Blues.
Fig. 13. The major protein structures from Jon Nield’s site, http://n56-217.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk/nield/psIIimages/oxygenicphotosynthmodel.html.
Jon Nield at Queen Mary, University of London (http://www.queenmaryphotosynthesis.org/nield/) has an incredibly rich site that covers the major protein complexes involved in photosynthesis. There are numerous discussions and incredible figures. For example, on his site you can click on any part of the complete structure (Fig. 13) (http://n56-217.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk/nield/psIIimages/oxygenicphotosynthmodel.html) and it will jump to a drawing of the individual complex with links to the various subunits. Wonderful. Even more downloads and information is available at http://www.queenmaryphotosynthesis.org/nield/downloads.html
Daniel Nocera at MIT (http://web.mit.edu/chemistry/dgn/www/) is concerned with a number of research projects including “Solar Energy Conversion” (http://web.mit.edu/chemistry/dgn/www/research/solar.shtml) and “Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer” (http://web.mit.edu/chemistry/dgn/www/research/pcet.shtml). Wikipedia also has an article about Nocera (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_G._Nocera) and he was picked as one of the Time 100 in 2009 (http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1894410_1893209_1893470,00.html).
Donald Ort (http://www.life.illinois.edu/ort/index.html). The site describes the strategies used by his laboratory on “Molecular biochemical basis for environmental effects on photosynthesis and photosynthetic energy transduction.” There is information on the possibilities of growing crops under future conditions of global change and links to his work at the USDA/ARS Photosynthesis Research Unit.
Himadri Pakrasi (http://www.sysbio.wustl.edu/pakrasi/). This site opens with nice photographs on the first page; there are links to the Projects, Publications and other useful links.
Greg Scholes (http://www.chem.utoronto.ca/staff/SCHOLES/scholes_home.html). The Scholes Group Research site covers quantum mechanics in photosynthesis energy transfer and nanoscale systems. It contains summaries of their work and links to journals and popular magazines that have featured their work. The lab’s personnel section contains some cute personalized cartoons of the members.
F. Robert Tabita (http://microbiology.osu.edu/faculty/tabita-f-robert). Molecular regulation, biochemistry and enzymology of carbon dioxide assimilation is the theme of his research. You can study a conceptual model showing interplay of various factors involved in signal transduction and regulation of a gene. Further, structure predictions for archaeal Rubiscos are shown.
Steve Theg (http://www-plb.ucdavis.edu/labs/theg/). The theme is transport of proteins across biological membranes and their assembly into larger multimeric complexes. It is nice to see that site’s background is full of leaves, where photosynthesis takes place. Recent publications are listed in an elegant manner along with the photos of the cover pages of the journal; some are available as PDF files. An interesting text by Steve Theg is: “Are you a cell biologist, a biochemist or a geneticist?” (http://www-plb.ucdavis.edu/labs/theg/cartoon.htm). The site provides links to on-line journals; resources; data bases; software; and dictionary.
Elaine Tobin (http://www.mcdb.ucla.edu/Faculty/TOBIN/tobin.html). The theme here is phytochrome-regulated developmental processes, particularly of circadian clock in Arabidopsis. On the emotional side, you can see Philip Thornber’s Memorial bench and its description by Alan Paulson (http://www.mcdb.ucla.edu/Research/Tobin/bench.html).
Wim F. J. Vermaas (http://bioenergy.asu.edu/faculty/vermaas). The theme is the molecular genetics of photosynthetic proteins. Wim studies structure, function and assembly of photosynthetic proteins by genetic engineering. Recent publication list up to 1999 is available. Also, you can read “An Introduction to Photosynthesis and its Application,” published in World & I (http://bioenergy.asu.edu/photosyn/education/photointro.html). ASU has also posted a video of Wim Vermaas discussing his new ARPA-E grant for utilizing cyanobacteria for solar biofuel production (http://researchstories.asu.edu/videos/cyanobacteria-solar-fuel). A podcast of Prof. Vermaas discussing "Biofuels and Bioenergy" is available at http://sols.asu.edu/podcasts/transcripts/transcript_27.php along with a transcript of the talk.
Elizabeth Vierling (http://www.biochem.arizona.edu/vierling/). The theme is “heat-shock proteins”; as molecular chaperones; during seed development; in Arabidopsis; and in Synechocystis. A list of publications organized by subject is also available.
Fig. 14. David Walker’s International Society of Photosynthesis Research (ISPR)'s Communication Award for his outstanding efforts to help communicate information about photosynthesis to the general public, http://www.dawalker.staff.shef.ac.uk/daw/home/index.htm. Walker had received the 1st ISPR’s Communication Award in 2004; the 2nd ISPR’s Communication Award in 2007 was given to one of us (G); the 3rd award was presented to Oliver Morton in 2010.
David Alan Walker is a “retired” professor of photosynthesis who is producing some very interesting books and other items related to photosynthesis filled with humor and good illustrations (http://www.dawalker.staff.shef.ac.uk/daw/home/index.htm). His books appear in the section on “Books” later on in this review. In August, 2004, he was presented The 1st Communication Award of the International Society of Photosynthesis Research (Fig. 14) for his outstanding efforts to help communicate information about photosynthesis to the general public.
Michael R. Wasielewski (http://chemgroups.northwestern.edu/wasielewski). There is good information and links here for photo-induced electron transfer, artificial photosynthesis, and molecular electronics, among others.
Felisa Wolfe-Simon (http://www.ironlisa.com/) is an interesting site by a younger scientist studying the co-evolution of life on earth, including recent discovery of a bacterium that utilizes arsenic instead of phosphorus. She has links to her research, a podcast, a claymation presentation, and a great deal of personal information, including photos, that are not normally found on such sites. We applaud sites such as these as they go beyond the mere presentation of science and help put a human face on the scientist.
Neal Woodbury (http://www.public.asu.edu/~laserweb/woodbury/research.htm). The theme is ‘Molecular dynamics and mechanisms in protein mediated chemical reactions.’ Molecular level control of reaction mechanisms by protein structure is studied. Both antenna and reaction centers of photosynthetic bacteria are used. Ultrafast spectroscopy and hole burning methods are used.
Charles F. Yocum (http://www.biology.lsa.umich.edu/research/labs/cyocum/). The theme is biochemistry of Photosystem II and oxygen evolution. The site has a complete lecture (with figures) entitled “Light, Life and Photosynthesis: How Plants make Oxygen.” You will find it at http://www.biology.lsa.umich.edu/research/labs/cyocum/files/lecture/CPROFLECT1.htm.
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This Website is based on the Review: Photosynthesis Online. Photosynthesis Research (2010) 105: 167–200, DOI: 10.1007/s11120-010-9570-8
Please contact the authors with any broken links, corrections or suggestions.