Every second breath you take was produced by algae in the oceans.

Over half of all photosynthesis happens in the oceans. Single-celled microalgae produce half of the Earth's oxygen and are a vital sink for CO2. They also provide the food for most marine ecosystems and play an important role in biogeochemical cycles and climate.

The Young Lab studies marine microalgae at the University of Washington. The aim is to better understand the role of marine microalgae in the environment, how environment influences their physiology but in turn, how they are able to shape their environment. 

The Young Lab for marine microalgae has two main research themes:

(1) to identify and understand adaptations in marine microalgae to polar environments and how this influences polar biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems, and

(2) to examine the adaptation and co-evolution of the carbon fixing enzyme, Rubisco, and carbon concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) with the aim to better predict how marine primary production will respond to changes in environment.

See our research page for more details.