,We are a new lab and will be expanding over the next few months. If you are interested in joining the lab, contact email@example.com.
Luke Mackinder PI
Luke completed his undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences at Durham University, UK where he graduated in Organic Chemistry and Molecular Biology. During his MSc and PhD, his research focused on viral infection and carbon fixation of marine phytoplankton. Pursuing his passion for understanding carbon fixation in eukaryotic algae, he completed his postdoctoral research in the Jonikas Lab at the Carnegie Institution for Plant Sciences, Stanford USA, where he worked on the carbon concentrating mechanism of the model green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Since October 2016 he is a lecturer at the University of York where his lab uses systems and synthetic biology approaches to understand eukaryotic carbon fixation. If he is not in the lab, you'll find Luke riding the roads and trails of Yorkshire on his bike, chasing Yorkshire waves or hanging out with his wife and twin daughters.
Guoyan Zhao Postdoc
I received my B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Shandong University, China, and I have worked at Nanjing University as an assistant researcher. In 2014 I became an associate professor at Shandong Normal University. In 2017 I received a Chinese Postdoctoral International Exchange Program Fellowship and an Outstanding Young Teachers of Shandong Province scholarship to fund two years postdoctoral study in the UK. I have taken this opportunity to lead a project between the Mackinder Lab and Liu Lab (University of Liverpool) investigating cyanobacteria and algal photosynthesis.
One of my passions is understanding the links and evolution processes that support microorganism and plant interactions. By studying algal photosynthesis, I aim to expand my knowledge of one of the key components of plant and microorganism interactions.
So far I have found York a charming city, and I expect it will be an unforgettable experience for me working here.
Gary Yates Postdoc
I graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2013 after studying Genetics. I then went on to a 4 year PhD at Durham University where I specialised in protein modification in plants. By the time my PhD was ending I was aspiring to join a lab with an ultramodern multi-discipline approach to research working on a fundamental biological process.
I was always fascinated by the different ways photosynthetic organisms converted light and CO2 into energy and how curiously diverse the mechanisms were between species, despite the obvious similarities. After reading more and more about the Mackinder lab projects I was becoming captivated with the prospect of working in this field, especially within such an innovative lab. Therefore I was elated to been given the opportunity and I did not hesitate to join the lab in January 2018.
We are focused on identifying and characterising known and novel components of the Carbon Concentrating Mechanisms (CCM) within Chlamydomonas with the aim of creating a dynamic interactome of the CCM specialist organelle – the pyrenoid. This research is geared towards the goal of enhancing photosynthesis in crop plants by reconstitution of the CCM components in higher plants.
Irina Grouneva Research technician
Diatom photosynthesis regulation has been the main focus of my research for more than ten years. I obtained my PhD in Biology at the University of Leipzig, Germany, and went on to work as a postdoc in the group of Eva-Mari Aro at the University of Turku, Finland. The main focus of my research during that time was the protein composition, structure and flexibility of the thylakoid membrane of Thalassiosira pseudonana. I moved to Norwich in 2016 to work on Crispr/Cas-mediated targeted gene editing in the ice diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus in the lab of Thomas Mock at the University of East Anglia.
I joined Luke Mackinder’s lab in February 2018 to support the project identifying and characterising novel proteins involved in CCM and comprising the pyrenoid of Chlamydomonas. I hope to be able to contribute to various aspects of this research topic, providing technical assistance in the fields of cell physiology, proteomics and molecular biology.
Tom Emrich-Mills Research technician
I graduated last year from the University of Manchester, where I completed an undergraduate degree in biology and two biochemistry masters research projects; one in recombinant protein chemistry using E. coli and one exploring the interaction of cotranslational proteins with the eukaryotic ribosome using S. cerevisiae. Despite these seemingly disparate topics my main interests and passions, developed during a broad biology education, are in understanding the fundamentals of photosynthesis and working towards the development of biotechnological solutions to global problems. I have recently finished a graduate internship program in Manchester, and I am very pleased to be joining the Mackinder lab working towards understanding the algal carbon concentrating mechanism – firstly because the project is fascinating in itself, and secondly because such an understanding is relevant for our future ability to feed our growing global population, and potentially for our ability to develop improved carbon sequestration technology. I am excited and grateful for the chance to contribute to the flourishing field of Chlamydomonas research, and I am currently applying to PhD programs in York and beyond that will enable me to continue working in this important field. The rest of my time is spent in Leeds, where I now live, reading, producing music, and exploring Yorkshire and the north of England.
Justin Lau Masters by research
I graduated in BSc Plant sciences at the University of Sheffield in 2016. During my degree, I joined Professor Andrew Fleming’s lab group to investigate the impact of stomatal change on A. thaliana histology. At that time I was introduced to the panoply of ways that plant scientists are developing to boost photosynthetic efficiency and improve crop yield. Soon I was fascinated by CCMs, with their often intricate and elegant coupling of physical structure and biochemical pathways. This led to my final year project on light-dark transition of carboxylation/decarboxylation enzyme kinetics in the C4 mechanism in Professor Richard Leegood's group. Continuing this work after graduation, I focused on dissecting enzyme kinetic differences in C4 sub type models. This year, I’m very happy to be in the Mackinder lab, exploring the beauty of another complex CCM. On the weekends, you can normally find me busy in the kitchen making food for my friends for a cosy night in.
Holly Kay Intern/Undergraduate
I am a Biochemistry undergraduate at the University of York starting my final year in September. I’m currently doing a summer internship in the Mackinder lab, and next year I’ll be doing my thesis project in the lab as well. My interest in photosynthesis started to develop when I was 17, when in A level Biology it was revealed to be so much more than just the ‘plants use carbon dioxide to make food’ that we recite from a young age. I found both the inefficiency and the abundance of Rubisco really interesting, and since then my degree has allowed me a more in-depth understanding of this complex and exciting area of research. I am very pleased to now be working with Chlamydomonas, as it’s such a fascinating tool for gathering information that may one day have a huge impact on the global food crisis. I recently returned from my placement year in Paloma Mas’ lab at CRAG in Barcelona where I worked with circadian rhythms in Arabidopsis, and I am planning on applying for PhDs over the course of my final year. In my spare time I enjoy hiking and continuing with my quest to try out all the little cafes and brunch spots in York before the end of my degree.
Zahirah Ali Hassan