Matthew C. Posewitz

Professor, Department of Chemistry

Matthew PosewitzEnergy 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 (a) hydrogenase enzymes and the production of hydrogen from phototrophic micro-organisms, (b) starch and lipid metabolisms in algae, (c) ‘omics’ based approaches applied to defining whole cell metabolic and regulatory pathways, (d) the diversity of water-oxidizing phototrophs that are adapted to saline ecosystems, and (e) 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.

Contact

331B GRL
(303) 384 2425
Fax: (303) 273 3629
mposewit@mines.edu

Education

  • BA, Chemistry – Willamette University
  • PhD – Dartmouth College
  • Postdoctoral Study – University of Utah

Research Areas

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 (a) hydrogenase enzymes and the production of hydrogen from phototrophic micro-organisms, (b) starch and lipid metabolisms in algae, (c) ‘omics’ based approaches applied to defining whole cell metabolic and regulatory pathways, (d) the diversity of water-oxidizing phototrophs that are adapted to saline ecosystems, and (e) 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.

Publications

  • Jinkerson, R.E., Subramanian, V., Posewitz, M.C. Improving biofuel production in phototrophic microorganisms with systems biology tools Biofuels 2011, 2, 125 – 144.
  • Reinsvold, R. E., Jinkerson, R.E., Radakovits, R., Posewitz, M.C., Basu, C. Expression of the Artemisia annua β-caryophyllene synthase in Synechocystis sp. strain PCC6803 Results in Cyanobacterial Sesquiterpenoid Accumulation Journal of Plant Physiology2011, 168, 848 – 852.
  • Grossman, A.R., Catalanotti, C., Yang, W., Dubini, A., Magneschi, L., Subramanian, V., Posewitz, M.C., Seibert, M. Multiple Facets of Anoxic Metabolism and Hydrogen Production in the Unicellular Green Alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii New Phytologist2011, 190, 279 – 288.
  • Radakovits, R., Eduafo, P., Posewitz, M.C. Genetic Engineering of Fatty Acid Chain Length in Phaeodactylum Tricornutum Metabolic Engineering 2011, 13, 89 – 95.
  • Work, V.H., Radakovits, R., Jinkerson, R.E., Meuser, J.E., Elliott, L.G., Vinyard, D.J., Laurens, L. M., Dismukes, G.C., Posewitz M.C. Increased Lipid Accumulation in the sta7-10 Isoamylase Mutant and Increased Carbohydrate Accumulation in Complemented Strains Eukaryotic Cell 2010, 9, 1251 – 1261.

Matt Posewitz Google Scholar Citation List