Tiffany Cheung, 2015, Geosciences
The goal of my summer project in the Morel lab was to address and understand the role of ocean acidification on the photosynthetic pathways of phytoplankton. As this is my second year working on this project, I chose to narrow my research focus on Rubisco, a crucial enzyme in carbon fixation. Using the model organism Thalassiosira weissflogii, a tropical diatom, I examined the effects of increasing temperature, light intensity, and diel cycling on Rubisco in this diatom. In addition to performing laboratory studies, I also embarked on a week-long field excursion with the Sigman Lab at Sargasso Sea, aiding other researchers in field sample collections for future studies. My PEI internship, supported by the Smith-Newton Undergraduate Research Funds, allowed me to refine my laboratory skills, collaborate with other researchers, and develop my own project interests for my junior paper. My geosciences junior paper will examine the role and physiology (carbon fixation rates, CO2/O2 selectivity) of Rubisco in the model diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii in response to increasing temperature.