Recognizing Plant Physiology authors: Isha Kalra

Isha Kalra, first author of Chlamydomonas sp. UWO 241 exhibits high cyclic electron flow and rewired metabolism under high salinity

Current Position: Ph.D. candidate, Microbiology Department, Miami University

Education: B.E. (Hons.) Electronics and Instrumentation + MSc. (Hons.) Biological Science from BITS Pilani, K.K. Birla Goa Campus, India (2008-2013)

Non-scientific Interests: hiking, baking, travelling

Brief bio: I started my dual degree in engineering and biology in 2008. During my master’s thesis, working on halophilic archaea, I became fascinated with extremophilic organisms. In 2014, I started Ph.D. in the Morgan-Kiss lab to study phytoplankton from McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica. My goal was to understand the adaptive mechanisms that help Antarctic algae survive in their harsh habitat. I used shotgun proteomics, spectroscopy and fluorometry to answer my questions. During the course of my Ph.D., I also got the wonderful and unique opportunity to do field work in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. We studied the microbial community response to environmental perturbation in Lake Bonney in Antarctica. Analyzing the community data, I was captivated with the power of genomic/transcriptomic research to answer environmental questions. In the future, I hope to combine my knowledge in the field of engineering and microbiology to pursue microbial ecology research.