Berkley Walker joins PRL faculty
We are pleased to announce that Berkley Walker has joined the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory as a new faculty member.
Berkley is a broadly-trained biochemist and biologist who focuses on resolving photosynthetic fluxes from cellular to canopy scales.
“With increasing population, and accompanying changes in consumption and climate, it is vital to understand how photosynthesis will respond to these greater challenges and explore opportunities to hack it to produce more food, fuel and fiber more sustainably,” Berkley adds.
Research in his lab will focus on resolving the biochemical, cellular and canopy-level mechanisms that determine photosynthetic fluxes of carbon and oxygen with the end goal to better model plant response to climate change and engineer more efficient crops.
“The PRL and MSU have a rich tradition in laying bare the secret lives of plants. I hope to continue that tradition while enjoying the wonderful state of Michigan with my family,” Berkley says.
Berkley received his PhD from Washington State University. He was a post-doc at University of Illinois/USDA-ARS and was most recently a von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany.
“I am delighted that Berkley Walker joins the PRL and Plant Biology faculty. He is bringing new expertise towards the study of photosynthesis in plants, complementary to that already existing at MSU,” says Christoph Benning, PRL director. “On behalf of the PRL and the plant science community at MSU, I like to extend our warmest welcome to him and his family.”
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The four-year, $898,946 grant from the National Science Foundation will allow Sharkey to continue his research on the evolutionary pattern of the appearance and loss of isoprene emission among various land plants and the impact of these emissions have on the atmosphere.
This long-from article details how our scientists are working to unlock the secrets of photosynthesis, an effort which might spur an agricultural revolution and lead to innovative energy and industrial technologies. The article appears in Futures, a magazine produced twice per year by Michigan State University AgBioResearch.
MSU plant biologist Berkley Walker is part of a team of scientists that is using a 3-year, $1.4 million National Science Foundation Molecular and Cellular Biosciences award to explore the intersection between photorespiration and one-carbon metabolism, two plant biochemical processes that are critical to plant growth and human nutrition.