I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Biology (CMB track) doing my thesis work in the lab of Dr. Martin Jonikas at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Plant Biology on campus. I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2011, where I worked in the lab of Dr. Ursula Goodenough, studying the developmental biology of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. I am still studying the same organism in the Jonikas lab, but now I am focused on photosynthesis. Specifically, this alga is able to concentrate inorganic carbon, which allows it to photosynthesize much more efficiently than do most crop plants. I am studying the pyrenoid, the central yet enigmatic organelle to this process. We hope that by understanding the basic biology of the pyrenoid and the carbon concentrating mechanism, we may one day be able to engineer more efficient crop plants.