A study led by David Kehoe of IU Bloomington and Frédéric Partensky of Sorbonne University was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or PNAS. The work, which explains for the first time a key part of a process that allows a widespread ocean bacterium to efficiently convert sunlight into oxygen, is the most recent in a streak of high-profile publications to emerge from a collaboration between their labs over the past 12 years.
A molecular geneticist and professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Biology, Kehoe studies the molecular processes through which photosynthetic marine plankton sense and respond to changes in their environment. A biologic oceanographer at the Sorbonne-affiliated Biological Research Station of Roscoff, Partensky focuses on identifying the ecological niches and physical locations that these organisms occupy across the world's oceans. Together, they're drawing upon new molecular and ecological data to gain insights into both topics.