Plant Resilience Under Climate Threats

During the 21st century Climate change and Food sustainability will reach the point of maximum danger. The Challenges represented by the impact of climate change on the terrestrial biosphere and its repercussions for supplying food to the projected 9-10 billions people worldwide by 2050 will be unprecedented. On the one hand, food yields should continue increasing to keep with population growth. On the other hand, plant species will have to adapt to the fast changes in climate and increase their resilience to pest, temperature and water limitations. These environmental changes are already threatening crop yield but their long-term impact on ecosystems and food productivity remains unclear. My general interest lies in the biochemical and physiological resilience of plants to these environmental stresses. In particular, I am interested in understanding how kinetics regulation and substrate requirements of key enzymatic processes define plant productivity and control their survival. These key enzymatic processes are essential to accurately predict current and future impact of climate change on ecosystem productivity and biogeochemical as well as defining new target for crop improvements in their future resilience to Climate variabilities.

My research combines theoretical and empirical approaches to disentangle the complexity of plant metabolic pathway. The empirical approach includes field measurements in temperate and sub-arctic deciduous forest as well as greenhouse environmental manipulation. The theoretical approach includes assessment of current Terrestrial ecosystems models' limitations and design and sensitivity-tests of new parameterizations for respiratory COproduction. 

Shedding Light on the benefit of Mycorrhizal network to improve plant resilience to pests

For millions of years, plants paired with Mycorrhizae to improve their nutrients' acquisition and adapt to environmental stressors. This aspect of plant-mycorrhizae common benefit is well know and still underuse to mitigate the effect of pests and environmental stressors on crop yield. Indeed, Myccorhizae can connect plants one to another and secondary compounds could be transfer. 

Trees Biodiversity and resilience to climate change

Environmental stable Isotopes as tool and research target

Photosynthetic Light limitation as a target for future yield improvement 

Respiratory metabolism is divided in two fundamental parts: the electron transport chain for energy production and the tricarboxylic acid pathway (TCAP) (also known as Krebs cycle). When measuring net CO2 production using a classical gas exchange system (such as LI-6400), only decarboxylations through the TCAP can be measured. As part of my research in Princeton University, I designed and built the first gas exchange system that allows direct, continuous and long-term measurement of gross photosynthesis in entire leaves (Gauthier et al. 2016) using oxygen isotopes. This method involves measuring net O2 production from the change in O2 concentration, and gross production from the rate at which 18O-labeled O2 is generated from 18O labeled water. The O2 produced by photosynthetic water splitting is then registered as a change in d18O of O2. The change of d18O of O2, and O2/N2, are measured to high precision, allowing net and gross production to be accurately assessed at irradiances as low as a few tens of mmol m-2 s-1. This system constitutes an incredible opportunity to study fundamental metabolic pathways and link them to leaf gas exchanges. 

Designing new tools for Plant Physiology Measurements

Scientific Computing: Princeton University Python Community

In collaboration with Quentin Caudron, I founded Princeton University Python Community, a python-enthousiats community that aims to expand the utilization of Python as a primary programming language across disciplines. The community includes undergraduates and graduates students, faculty and staff members with any level of expertise. 

"Do all you can with what you have in the time you have in the place you are!" Xolani Nkosi