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 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the Michigan State University-DOE Plant Research Laboratory a three-year (2020-2023), $11.25 million DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences competitive renewal grant to continue its innovative photosynthesis research.
Scientists have established a new method to quantify how much cyanobacteria assimilate carbon in the process of photosynthesis. The method assesses carbon assimilation over a stretch of time. It also better factors in a wider range of environmental variables, such as changing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels or varying light intensities.
Benning is featured on the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science's 'First-Person Science' series, where scientists describe how they made significant discoveries over years of research.