Latest News


News catchup

April 24, 2019

Well, it’s been a while since our last post and a lot has been happening! Here’s a few highlights:

Jan 1, 2019 Welcome Dr. Katrin Schmidt who will be developing a Sea Ice Tank as part of her postdoctoral research.

Feb 15, 2019 Hannah and Susan visited Sammamish Highschool and discussed Antarctic research and Astrobiology.

Mar 2-3, 2019 Hannah and Susan participated in the Polar Science Weekend at the Pacific Science Center.

Apr 2, 2019 Jodi gave a public lecture at the Treehouse Cafe on Bainbridge Island as part of the Open Science Mic series


Hannah and Susan are off to Antarctica!!!!

October 19, 2018

Hannah Dawson and Susan Rundell are about to set sail across Drake Passage to Palmer Station on the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Once there, they’ll spend 2 months studying sea-ice algae and phytoplankton to understand their importance for Antarctic coastal ecosystems. Good luck!

You can follow their adventures on Susan’s blog (, on twitter (@uw_young) and instagram (youngalgae)

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Welcome Susan!

Jun 2018

Susan Rundell has started her dual PhD in Oceanography and Astrobiology at UW. She’ll be studying marine Rubiscos and is off to Antarctica with Hannah Dawson for some exciting fieldwork. Congratulations Susan on being awarded a very prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship!


We’re off to study sea ice algae in Antarctica!

Jun 2018

We have been funded through the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs to study how sea ice algae deal with large changes in salinity and temperature during the spring melt. This research will help us understand the underlying mechanisms that control biological productivity in the Western Antarctica Peninsula and how it may change in the future.


Simons Foundation Early Career Award in Marine Microbes

April 2018

Jodi Young has received an Early Career Award from the Simons Foundation to study how marine Rubiscos play a key role in global carbon fixation and how this role may influence CO2 fixation rates by phytoplankton in the future.


UW Innovation Award!

April 2018

We are the recipients of a 2018 UW Innovation Award to build a laboratory scale system to grow sea ice and study the microbes that live within it!


Welcome Rebecca Schmidt

April 1, 2018

Rebecca is a Biology Major that is undertaking a second quarter of undergraduate research in our lab. Rebecca is investigating the salinity and nutrient tolerance of isolated Antarctic diatoms cultured in the lab.

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Polar Science Weekend at the Pacific Science Center

March 2-4, 2018

Hannah Dawson was part of the "Polar Science Weekend 2018”  at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. Together with Zac Cooper of the Deming Lab Group (UW), we demonstrated how life can evolve in extremely cold environments, such as sea-ice brines.


Welcome our newest member!

Big welcome to Connor Williams, born Feb 23rd. Future Oceanographer! (notice he’s already sporting an awesome Palmer Station, Antarctica onesie)


Poster Presentations at Ocean Science Meeting

February 11- 16, 2018

Both Hannah Dawson and Anders Torstensson did a great job presented their research at the Ocean Science Meeting, 11-16 Feb, in Portland, Oregon.

  • MM34A-1489 Characterization of compatible solute use in a cultured sea-ice alga, Nitzschia lecointei, and in the environmental algal community of Utqiagvik [Barrow], AK using a metabolomics approach: H M Dawson, A K Boysen, K R Heal, L T Carlson, A E Ingalls, J N Young

  • MM34A-1490 Use of exogenous choline and glycine betaine as compatible solutes in Antarctic sea-ice diatoms: A Torstensson, J N Young, J W Deming


Congratulations Hannah Dawson for being a 2018 Science Communications Fellow at the Pacific Science Center!

Jan 11th, 2018

                                                                    For more information on the fellowship see here


Congratulations Dr Anders Torstensson for being awarded an International Postdoc Grant from the Swedish Research Council!

Nov 29th, 2017


Congratulations Hannah Dawson for a fantastic 2nd year presentation!

Nov 3rd, 2017

Hannah presented her research at the School of Oceanography's 2nd Year Graduate Symposium. Her presentation was titled "Metabolic response of sea-ice algae to shifting temperature and salinity". Well done!


Jodi Young gave an invited seminar "How to be fast when you are cold: algal adaptations to polar environments"

Sep 29th, 2017

at Scripps Institution of Oceanography as part of their Marine Biology Seminar Series and had a great time meeting everyone! Big thanks to Patrick Bunsen and Andy Allen for organizing the visit.


Jodi Young is an Invited Speaker at the Molecular Life of Diatoms Conference IV in Kobe, Japan

July 9th - 13th, 2017

Jodi Young presented her research on “Widespread diversity in diatom RuBisCO and CCMs hints at co-adaptation to different environments” at the fourth Molecular Life of Diatoms conference held at the Ikuta Shrine Hall in Kobe, Japan.

Young and Hopkinson (2017)

Young and Hopkinson (2017)

New review paper out! Exploring the co-evolution of Rubisco and the CCM in diatoms

June 22nd, 2017

Jodi Young and Brian Hopkinson (University of Georgia) have just published a review paper exploring the possible co-evolution of Rubisco and the CCM in diatoms giving rise to remarkable diversity in modern day species. 

Young, J.N, Hopkinson, B.M. (2017) The potential for co-evolution of CO2 concentrating mechanisms and RubisCO in diatoms. Journal of Experimental Botany erx130

Heureux  et al.  (2017)

Heureux et al. (2017)

New paper out! Rubisco kinetics and pyrenoids in Haptophytes

June 3rd, 2017

Check out our new paper from our collaborators at Oxford University and the Australian National University (Young co-author) looking at how Rubisco kinetics and pyrenoid morphology influences carbon concentrating mechanisms and carbon fixation by Haptophyte microalgae.

Heureux, A.M.C., Young, J.N., Whitney, S.M, Eason-Hubbard, M.R., Lee, R. B. Y., Sharwood, R., Rickaby, R.E.M. (2017) The Role of Rubisco kinetics and pyrenoid morphology in shaping the CCM of Haptophyte microalgae" Journal of Experimental Botany erx179



Congratulations Viviana Castillo on your graduation!

June 9th, 2017

Congratulations Viviana for a fantastic senior project in our lab, investigating "Productivity of Antarctic Diatom Nitzschia lecointei with the addition of Glycine betaine under different salinity concentrations". Great presentation and report. Well done and Good Luck in your future endeavors!!!

Photo credit: A. Torstensson

Photo credit: A. Torstensson

Fieldwork in Barrow, Alaska: Studying sea-ice algae 

May 4th - 11th, 2017

The Young Lab group joined with the Deming Lab group (UW) to collect biological samples from sea ice near Barrow, Alaska as part of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation funded project "Understanding infection dynamics among marine viruses and microbial hosts in extreme polar environments". We had a great time riding snow mobiles, coring ice and learning about the local Barrow community. For more details on the work we were doing, check out our research page. We can't wait to go back!


Protocols paper out! Measuring Rubisco kinetics in diatoms

March 20th, 2017

Check out our methods paper that is a companion to our 2016 Rubisco kinetics in diatoms paper. Here, we go into greater detail on how Rubisco is extracted from diatoms and how kinetics measurements are taken.

Young, J.N., Heureux, A.M.C., Sharwood, R.E., Rickaby, R.E.M., Whitney, S.M. (2017) Rubisco extraction and purification from diatoms. Bioprotocols 7(6): e2191



Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii

February 26th  - March 3rd, 2017

Jodi Young presented how temperature has a strong effect on Rubisco kinetics, which has a large impact on the speed and effort required by diatoms to fix CO2 in different parts of the ocean.


NASA Astrobiology Seminar on Rubisco

November 8th, 2016

Dr. Young presented her research on Biological CO2 Fixation and Rubisco: Evolution, Adaptation and Climate as part of the NASA Astrobiology Colloquium Series at the University of Washington. A recording of her seminar (along with other amazing Astrobiology seminars) can be found here.


Welcome Viviana

September, 2016

Welcome to Viviana Castillo! Viviana is conducting research for her Senior Thesis to understand how compatible solutes influence growth rates of sea ice algae under varying salinities.


Welcome to Anders and Hannah

October 9th, 2016

A big welcome to two new members of the Young Lab:

Dr. Anders Torstensson is a Future of Ice postdoctoral researcher working with UW Oceanography Professors Jodi Young and Jody Deming investigating how microalgae survive large salinity shifts in formation and melt of sea ice.

Hannah Dawson is a new graduate student in the dual PhD program for Oceanography and Astrobiology. Her supervisor is Dr. Jodi Young and she will be researching metabolic strategies of microalgae to polar environments.

Check out their bios and contact information in the People page.


New paper out – Rubisco kinetics in diatoms

May 23rd, 2016

Diatoms are important primary producers in the ocean. This recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Botany shows that the enzyme used to fix CO2 during photosynthesis, Rubisco, has a much wider kinetic variation in diatoms than previously thought, which influences the requirement for carbon concentrating mechanisms. The lack of a relationship between Rubisco catalytic speed and CO2 affinity in diatoms contradicts our current understanding of Rubisco catalysis and highlights the need to study a wider range of photosynthetic organisms. Check it out here!

Also check out the commentary on our new paper!