Posewitz Lab

Energy is inextricably linked to a society’s standard of living and the 21st century will see dramatic changes in how energy is generated, distributed and utilized. It is clear that diminishing fossil energy resources, climate change concerns, and growing energy demands will require cutting edge solutions in renewable energy technologies. Our group studies the diverse portfolio of bioenergy carriers that can be obtained from algae including hydrogen, lipids for transformation into diesel fuel surrogates, and starch and osmolytes for conversion into alcohols, lipids or hydrogen. Micro-algae have among the highest photosynthetic conversion efficiencies documented, are able to thrive in salt water, and are among the most metabolically versatile organisms known. Currently, laboratory projects include the study of

  • hydrogenase enzymes and the production of hydrogen from phototrophic micro-organisms,
  • starch and lipid metabolisms in algae,
  • ‘omics’ based approaches applied to defining whole cell metabolic and regulatory pathways,
  • the diversity of water-oxidizing phototrophs that are adapted to saline ecosystems, and
  • the enzymatic control of metabolic flux in algae.

Our research is firmly entrenched in developing a more informed understanding of central metabolism in these fascinating organisms, which can hopefully be applied in viable bioenergy technologies.

Posewitz Research Group

General Research Lab 331
Colorado School of Mines
1500 Illinois St.
Golden, CO 80401

tel: (303) 384-2418