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BIST Open Seminar: Roberta Croce
Monday, June 12 @ 12:00 pm–1:00 pm
Natural Strategies for Solar Light Harvesting
Professor of Biophysics, Photosynthesis and Energy at Department of Physics of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.
In this presentation I will introduce the fundamental processes of light harvesting in photosynthetic organisms and discuss their remarkable abilities to adapt and acclimate to diverse light conditions. Photosynthetic organisms have evolved sophisticated strategies to capture and utilize solar energy efficiently, allowing them to thrive in various environments. This presentation will delve into the mechanisms by which these organisms optimize their light-harvesting capabilities, including pigment choice, photoprotection, and dynamic responses to changes in light quality and quantity.
The presentation will discuss key aspects of light harvesting, such as the spectral tuning of pigments to match available light wavelengths and the regulation of energy flow to prevent damage caused by excess light. Additionally, the remarkable acclimation abilities of photosynthetic organisms to gradual changes in light intensity will be explored, highlighting their capacity to fine-tune their photosynthetic machinery for optimal performance under varying light conditions.
By examining the natural strategies employed by photosynthetic organisms, this presentation aims to provide insights into the principles of solar light harvesting. Understanding these natural strategies offers valuable lessons for optimizing light-harvesting systems and harnessing solar energy in a sustainable and efficient manner.
Roberta Croce studied chemistry at the University of Padova and completed her Ph.D. in Plant Biology/Biophysics at the University of Milano in 1998. After two postdoc periods in Germany (MPI Mulheim a.d. Rurh) and Italy (University of Verona), she got a permanent position at the Institute of Biophysics of the CNR. In 2006 she moved to the University of Groningen where she became associate professor in 2008. Since 2011 she is Professor of Biophysics, Photosynthesis and Energy at Department of Physics of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of photosynthesis, using an integrated approach including molecular biology, biochemistry and ultrafast spectroscopy. She published more than 180 scientific articles on the topic of photosynthesis. She is an elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Royal Holland Society of Science and Humanity (KHMW). She is also a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science and the Plant Cell, and the recipient of several personal research grants. In 2022 she was elected president of the International Society of Photosynthesis.