Honours student research profiles

Emilie Brousseau is a fourth-year honours student in the department of biochemistry.

“My research focuses on quantifying the number of ribosomes per cell in three different marine picocyanobacterial strains which are exposed to various light levels: Prochlorococcus MIT9313, Prochlorococcus MED4 and Synechococcus WH8102. Both Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus are major contributors to the global oxygen production.  They are also an important food source for marine organisms and play vital roles in carbon and nitrogen cycling. Climate change is projected to have significant impacts on their ecosystems, and we hope that our findings can help better predict alterations in those ecosystems.”

Farhad Hossain is a fourth-year honours student in the department of biochemistry.

“My research under the supervision of Dr. Waller is focused on the dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) biosynthesis pathway found in marine algae and higher plants. DMSP represents nearly 90 per cent of the reduced sulfur in algae and is broken down to dimethylsulfide, which is associated with cloud formation. Specifically, my goal is to characterize the methyltransferase enzyme in this pathway using antibodies and activity assays. Understanding the role of this rate-committing enzyme will lead to a better understanding of DMSP and the role DMSP plays in climate.”

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