Graham Peers

Photo of Graham PeersAssistant Professor
Phone: 970-491-6868

Nearly every biome on earth relies on photosynthesis to supply energy to its communities. While we are more familiar with the vascular plants that dominate the terrestrial environment, the algae rule aquatic systems. There is incredible diversity within the algae and they have evolved separately from plants (and in some cases from each other) for more than a billion years. My research explores this variety and strives to discover how the processes of photosynthesis differ between groups.

The goals for the lab are to make discoveries that A) explain how it is that algae thrive in the face of abiotic stress and environmental adversity & B) to translate these discoveries to the challenge of increasing crop production.

My lab uses a combination of model organisms that are amenable to genetic manipulation (such as Chlamydomonas, Synechocystis and Phaeodactylum).  We identify proteins required for photosynthesis or photoprotection using forward or reverse genetics and investigate their specific roles using a combination of physiological and biochemical observations.

If you are looking to gain research experience, interested in a graduate degree or searching for a post-doctoral position then please contact me with your CV and a statement of your research goals.

**Undergraduates, I strongly encourage you to contact me regarding employment and/or research projects to start in Fall 2013.**

Selected Publications

Peers, G., Truong, T., Ostendorf, E., Busch, A., Elrad, D., Grossman, A.R., Hippler, M. and Niyogi, K.K. (2009) An ancient light harvesting protein is critical for the regulation of algal photosynthesis. Nature 462: 518-521.

Peers, G. and Niyogi, K.K. (2008) Pond scum genomics: The genomes of Chlamydomonas and Ostreococcus. Plant Cell. 20: 502-507.

Peers, G. and Price, N.M. (2006) Copper-containing plastocyanin used for electron transport by an oceanic diatom. Nature. 441: 341-344.

Peers, G., Quesnel, S-.A. and Price, N.M (2005) Copper requirements for iron acquisition and growth of coastal and oceanic diatoms. Limnology and Oceanography. 50: 1149-1158.

Peers, G. and Price, N.M. (2004) A role for manganese in superoxide dismutase and the growth of iron-deficient diatoms. Limnology and Oceanography. 49: 1774-1783.