R/V Laurence M. Gould on way to Palmer Station

Photosynthesis is an important sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. Half of this photosynthesis occurs in the ocean by single-celled algae called phytoplankton.

The Young Lab investigates the physiological adaptations in phytoplankton to optimize their productivity. The aim is to better predict how phytoplankton productivity and thus their ability to capture carbon dioxide will respond to future change. There are two main research themes: (1) to identify and understand adaptations to extreme environments, such as the polar oceans, and (2) to examine the adaptation and co-evolution of the carbon fixing enzyme, Rubisco, and carbon concentrating mechanisms (CCMs). See here for more details.