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If you are interested in photosynthesis, then you have come to the right place. Though my lab focuses on the “dark side”, a.k.a the carbon reactions, I am very interested in photosynthetic electron transport and photoprotection. In recent years, I have also become interested in the interactions between photosynthesis and respiration in illuminated leaves.

My favorite organisms to study are bryophytes (especially hornworts) and other early land plants, though I work with everything from cyanobacteria to poplar trees. I have just finished co-editing volume 37 of the series Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration titled “Photosynthesis in Bryophytes and Early Land Plants” with Prof. Steven Rice of Union College (see the link at the left of this page).

Most of my research starts at the leaf level and works down to basic biochemistry, though I try to address questions involving the evolution of photosynthesis, climate change, stress physiology, and biofuels. I am primarily interested in combining approaches that utilize gas exchange, variable chlorophyll fluorescence (especially imaging), real-time stable isotopes uptake, and recently imaging/tracking of positron emitters.

I am also the Bioalgal Energy team co-lead in a new NSF EPSCoR funded state-wide grant. My interests are in understanding carbon concentrating mechanisms that many algae have, along with ways that community ecology and culturing system engineering can be used to improve productivity and sustainability of algal fuels and products.

Welcome to the Hanson Lab

Announcements (light = hyperlinked)

  1. PhD opportunities in the physiological ecology of plants and algae including bioenergy and water use efficiency. Applications due in December annually.

  2. Post-doc opportunities in plant physiological ecology, phenomics, and field sensor development. Contact me ASAP if you are interested (posted Jan 2017)

  1. Find me at (next stops):

  2. Gordon Conference on CO2 Assimilation in Plants from Genome to Biome, Renaissance Tuscany II Ciocco, Italy, May 2017

  3. The 4th annual meeting of the Environmental and Ecological Plant Physiology section of ASBP in Honolulu, June 2017

Most recent publications (full list here)

  1. My new BOOK (edited volume) is out! Photosynthesis in Bryophytes and Early Land Plants

  2. Papers online at:

    Journal of Experimental Botany:

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erw197

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erw139

    Global Change Biology:

DOI: doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13449

Gordon Research Conference CO2 Assimilation in Plants, France 2005

Hornwort pyrenoids

Stable Isotope / Trace Gas Analyzer