PhD Monika Kula – Maximenko – As a Doctor (postdoc) she takes interest in biophysical research and the application of physical methods in biological samples.
My interest in biophysical processes in plants dates back to my Ph.D. work. At that time, my task was to investigate the effect of the light spectral composition on morphology, photochemical efficiency of photosystem II and metabolic activity of algae. This, as well as the study of the effect of light spectral composition upon the growth rate and chemical composition of the algae biomass. In order to accomplish my goal, I built my own experimental set-up, capable of delivering illumination of desired spectral composition to the algae culture. With the work performed to date, I gained experience in spectrofluorimetry, UV-Vis spectrophotometry, FT-Raman spectroscopy, isothermal calorimetry, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, measurements of fluorescence kinetics parameters.
Research projects and interests in our company:
My nearest-future research interest is focused on changes in the photosynthetic apparatus of cyanobacteria and algae during growth under different conditions of light stress and doses of cosmic radiation. These factors appear to be one of the most influential abiotic environmental stresses, affecting the photosynthetic apparatus of photoautotrophs. Chlorophyll a fluorescence emission from photosystem II (PSII) depends on the investigated strain of cyanobacteria and algae, the growth phase of the culture, and the light used for culturing. Now I’m working on how the protein of the photosynthetic apparatus is responsible for the absorption and processing of light energy under stress conditions. This is why I have embarked on the research aimed at the understanding of the structure of PSII elements and on the changes of the electron flow through photosystems.