My career aim is to understand the water oxidising enzyme Photosystem II in terms of its mechanism, its assembly and its evolutionary relationships with other photosynthetic reaction centres. This enzyme has become the focus of attention because cheap water splitting catalysts are urgently needed in the energy sector for solar fuel production, electrolysis of water and the reverse reaction in fuel cells. My research has made major contributions to understanding this enzyme before it was either popular or profitable. Now that it is finally becoming both of those, I hope to continue to do more of the same. Not just because it might contribute to solving aspects of the energy crisis but also because understanding the enzyme, which put the energy into the biosphere, the oxygen into the atmosphere and thence changed the planet, is one of the greatest challenges in biology and chemistry. It is also a fun enzyme to work on.
Davis GA, Rutherford AW, Kramer DM, 2017, Hacking the thylakoid proton motive force for improved photosynthesis: modulating ion flux rates that control proton motive force partitioning into Delta psi and Delta pH, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-biological Sciences, Vol:372, ISSN:0962-8436
et al., 2017, Femtosecond Visible Transient Absorption Spectroscopy of Chlorophyll f-Containing Photosystem I, Biophysical Journal, Vol:112, ISSN:0006-3495, Pages:234-249
et al., 2016, Bicarbonate-induced redox tuning in Photosystem II for regulation and protection, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:113, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:12144-12149
et al., 2016, Photocurrents from photosystem II in a metal oxide hybrid system: Electron transfer pathways, Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-bioenergetics, Vol:1857, ISSN:0005-2728, Pages:1497-1505
et al., 2016, Limitations to photosynthesis by proton motive force-induced photosystem II photodamage, Elife, Vol:5, ISSN:2050-084X