Photosynthetic adaptations to extreme environments
Welcome to our website!
In the Cvetkovska lab we study photosynthetic green algae from polar habitats and we are interested in how these cold extremophiles (psychrophiles) thrive in some of the most extreme environments on our planet. Polar ecosystems contribute more than 30% of global carbon sequestering through photosynthesis but we know very little of how this process operates at extreme conditions. The overarching aim of our research is to understand the key processes that contribute to survival at permanent cold and unfavorable light. We combine molecular biology, biochemistry and bioinformatics to answer fundamental questions about extremophile biology:
How do proteins from cold-adapted algae function at low temperatures that are normally prohibitive to protein function?
How do photosynthetic algae survive under low light and prolonged darkness?
Can psychrophilic algae adapt to increased temperatures that threaten the sensitive polar ecosystems?