Eva-Mari Aro

University of Turku


Election Year: 2018
Primary Section: 25, Plant Biology
Membership Type: Foreign Associate

Biosketch

Aro is a professor of Plant Molecular Biology in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Turku, Finland. She is known particularly for her research on the function, regulation, photodamage and repair of the photosynthetic apparatus in oxygen evolving photosynthetic organisms. Aro was born and grew up in Finland. She graduated from the University of Turku (Finland), with a degree in biology, got her PhD degree in plant biology in 1982, an associate professorship in 1987 and the full professorship in 1997 at the University of Turku. Before PhD, she visited the University of California, Berkeley, as a graduate student for one year and later on has been a visiting researcher in CEN Cadarache (France), in the University of Stockholm (Sweden), in CSIRO in Canberra (Australia) and in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (Israel). She has been a president of the International Society of Photosynthesis Research and the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, and currently is a vice president of the European Academies of Science Advisory Council (EASAC).

Research Interests

Eva-Mari Aro´s laboratory is interested in the function, regulation, photodamage and repair of the photosynthetic apparatus in oxygen evolving photosynthetic organisms. The group has provided molecular level information about dynamic regulation mechanisms of light harvesting and electron transfer pathways in cyanobacteria and the chloroplasts of algae, mosses and higher plants, crucial for survival of photosynthetic organisms upon changes in environmental conditions. Systemic identification and functional characterization of novel proteins, protein post-translational modifications and protein-protein interactions (protein complexes) involved in the biogenesis, assembly, regulation and acclimation of the photosynthetic apparatus have revealed distinct strategies between cyanobacteria and chloroplasts as well as in the course of evolution of land plants. The group also investigates how the photosynthetic apparatus senses environmental changes and relays information for the short- and long-term acclimation of plants and cyanobacteria. More recently, the research has also included applied bioenergy research in attempts to adopt photosynthetic principles towards production of sustainable fuels and chemicals in cyanobacteria cell factories.

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