Light in excess of photosynthetic capacity can be damaging to cells’ constituents. Thus ways to protect against damage have evolved in photosynthetic organisms, including ways to minimize light absorption, detoxify reactive oxygen species generated by excess light, and dissipate excess absorbed light. Together, these processes are known as photoprotection.

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Despite the physiological importance of photoprotection, the molecular mechanisms that protect against light stress, especially those protecting against sustained light stress, remain largely unknown. In my group, we will combine genetics, biochemistry, biophysics and physiology to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of photoprotection under sustained abiotic stress. Our research will provide insights into fundamental mechanisms of light energy capture, utilization and dissipation in plants.