Asaph Cousins

Scientific Advisor

Asaph is an expert in photosynthesis, particularly in plant light utilization, carbon assimilation, and isotope exchange in response to changing environmental conditions. His research focuses on how solar energy is used to drive the major metabolic pathways within plant tissue (e.g. photosynthesis, photorespiration, respiration and nitrogen assimilation). These complex metabolic pathways do not function in isolation but rely on the inter-conversion of energy and metabolites between the cytoplasm, chloroplast, peroxisome and mitochondria. Asaph’s research has contributed to understanding the regulation and control of the flow of carbon and energy between these metabolic pathways and organelles, which determines: 1) How plants respond to environmental stress, 2) How future climatic conditions will influence plant carbon and nutrient assimilation, and 3) How to maximize photosynthetic productivity to help meet our current and future food and energy requirements. Asaph’s current research focuses on determining the biochemical and structural mechanisms influencing C4 photosynthetic efficiency and the ability of C4 plants to capture, store, and mobilize solar energy. Asaph received his B.S. in botany from California State University Chico and obtained his Ph.D. in plant biology from Arizona State University looking at the influence of elevated CO2 and drought on the photosynthetic efficiency of C4 photosynthesis. Prior to his position at Washington State University, he held a postdoc position at the University of California Davis and was an NSF International Postdoc Fellow at the Australian National University.