Professor of Plant and Microbial Biology
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
melis@berkeley.edu
(510) 642-8166

Research Expertise and Interest

bioenergy, biophysics, biofuels, enzymology, photosynthesis

Description

Expertise of the Melis lab is in the field of photosynthesis. We work with land plants, microalgae, cyanobacteria, and non-oxygenic (anaerobic) photosynthetic bacteria. Our platform includes most aspects of photosynthesis, beginning with organism cultivation, the efficiency of light absorption and utilization, electron transport and biochemical energy generation, and chloroplast and cellular metabolism. Included are the biophysics and biochemistry of the process, the molecular biology and genetics of the organisms, as well as scale ups in the cultivation of the various organisms for product generation. The concept of Photosynthetic Biofuels, envisioned by us, entails the direct application of photosynthesis for the generation of fuels and chemicals, in a process where a single organism acts both as catalyst and processor, synthesizing and secreting ready to use product.