Team Members 

Adrien Burlacot, Principal Investigator

My scientific goal is to understand how photosynthesis acclimates to various environmental fluctuations and the mechanisms that allow it to fast and efficiently fix CO2. Eventually being able to engineer it to create new photosynthesis-based carbon capture technologies. What I enjoy most is working with people from different background, forming a group to work on big goals that no one could achieve on its own. I value diversity, people, new ideas, communication, perseverance and safety.

Science is hard and tedious, I thrive to lead with kindness.

Find me on : Google Scholar, Research gate, ORCID, Linkedin, Twitter

Curriculum vitae

aburlacot at carnegiescience dot edu

Carolyne Stoffel, Research Associate
I received my B. A. in Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis in Genetics, Genomics, and Development from UC Berkeley in 2022. As an undergraduate at Cal, I worked as a Lab Assistant in the Dawson Lab and the Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry. I also was an apprentice in the Simms Lab where I conducted research on plants and their microbiomes in a changing climate. I am excited to be in the lab, deepening my understanding of photosynthesis and to address global issues using science. Outside of the lab, I enjoy going to concerts, taking nature walks, and trying new vegan foods! 

Find me on : Google Scholar, Research gate, ORCID, Linkedin, Twitter

cstoffel at carnegiescience dot edu

Evan Saldivar, PhD Student
I received my bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 2019. I became interested in plant metabolism through an internship in the Schmelz lab at UCSD, studying specialized metabolism in maize. I joined Stanford’s biology department as a graduate student in 2020 to pursue my doctoral thesis in the Rhee Lab. My research in the Rhee Lab is focused on the interaction between central carbon metabolism and vigor in higher plants grown under limiting nutrient concentrations, using Arabidopsis as a model system. As a parallel line of inquiry in the Burlacot Lab, I am studying the relationship between central carbon metabolism and fitness in cyanobacteria grown under environments known to modulate photosynthetic efficiency, to better understand the complex interaction between environment and metabolism within cyanobacterial communities. 

Find me on : Google Scholar, ORCID, Linkedin, Twitter

esaldivar at carnegiescience dot edu

Isabelle McNabb, Intern
I’m from Seattle, WA and I am a Stanford undergraduate studying biology. I’m excited to learn more about the physiology of algae and photosynthesis in a rapidly changing climate. 

In my free time I enjoy practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu, karate, sailing, and watercolor painting.

imcnabb at carnegiescience dot edu

Leron Perez, PhD student
I received my BSc in Molecular Engineering from the University of Chicago in 2020. I am currently a biophysics PhD in the Cremer Lab where I focus on modeling how protein synthesis limits the rate of acclimation to fluctuations, such as in E. coli's response to oxygen or antibiotic changes. In the Burlacot Lab, I work on quantifying how thousands of Chlamy mutants respond to light fluctuations and developing a big picture understanding of how algae make enough energy to grow. Outside the lab, I love being active in nature and building things. 

Find me on : Google Scholar, Linkedin

lperez at carnegiescience dot edu

Liat Adler, Postdoc
I completed my PhD in the McCormick group at the University of Edinburgh where I discovered the wonders of algal CO2-concentrating mechanisms (CCMs)! My PhD research focused on thylakoid bicarbonate ion channels. I then worked on the formation of the pyrenoid starch sheath in the Mackinder group at the university of York. Now, in the Burlacot lab, I’m excited to be investigating how the CCM energised. I also hope to continue engaging in science outreach projects. Outside the lab I enjoy rock climbing, pole dancing and nature-based art. 

Find me on : Google Scholar, Research gate, ORCID, Linkedin, Twitter

ladler at carnegiescience dot edu

Sai Maddiredi, Postdoc
I received my PhD from University of Hyderabad under the guidance of Prof. S. Rajagopal. My doctoral work was mainly focused on the effect of elevated temperature on the thylakoid membrane complexes in C. reinhardtii. Under an Indo-Japan collaboration project, I worked with Prof. Y. Takahashi at the Okayama University in Japan with an idea that engineering the Photosystem I acceptor side can minimize excitation pressure under high light. After the Ph.D., I continued to work in Department of Plant sciences, University of Hyderabad, as Research Associate under UGC-ISF project in collaboration with Prof. Nathan Nelson (Tel Aviv University, Israel). My post-doctoral work consisted of two projects: to understand the structural dynamics of photosynthetic complexes of Pisum sativum under varying temperature stress; understanding the role of non-high-light induced LHCSR3 expression in C. reinhardtii; under nutrient starvation.

Here at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Adrien Burlacot’s lab, using C. reinhardii as model organism, I will continue to investigate the dynamic relationships between different photosynthetic mechanisms and regulatory pathways under fluctuating environmental conditions.

Find me on : Google Scholar, Research gate, ORCID, Linkedin, Twitter

smadireddi at carnegiescience dot edu

Samson Gourevitch, Data Scientist
I have always had a deep passion for Mathematics and Science, which inspired my pursuit of engineering studies. Following a rigorous two-year preparatory course for the French“Grandes Ecoles” entrance exams, I was admitted to Ecole Polytechnique in France, where I chose to specialize in Applied Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence. I am fascinated byAI’s transformative potential across industries, its ability to solve intricate problems, and its impact on our daily lives. Beyond theoretical exploration, I am enthusiastic about delving into the interdisciplinary applications of AI and Mathematics, especially with Biology, a passion I am actively pursuing within Dr. Adrien Burlacot’s lab. Currently, my research involves a statistical analysis of the photosynthetic responses of over 9,000 Chlamydomonas mutants. This investigation aims to deepen our understanding of the genes implicated in the photosynthetic process and determine under which light conditions genes involved are most effective and beneficial.

Find me on : Linkedin

sgourevitch at carnegiescience dot edu

If you are interested in photosynthesis, microalgae and CO2 fixation, stay tuned for incoming announcements of job positions!

We would love to have you on this adventure !

You are looking for a postdoc, you're interested in microalgal photosynthesis ?

Feel free to reach out with an email describing your background and interests
at aburlacot dot jobapplication at gmail dot com

We are always looking for talented people to developp new ideas !


Jacob Irby

Role in the lab : Lab technician

Hannah Menghis
Role in the lab : Intern
Currently undergraduate at Brown Univ., RI, USA

Sophia Slora
Role in the lab : Intern
Currently undergraduate at Caltech, CA, USA