Katja Luxem

Department

Title

Graduate Student

Research Interests

Microbes are the world’s greatest chemists! My goal is to better understand how these tiny forms of life interact with and change our environment. In my Ph.D. research, I am studying how physiological constraints (like electrons, energy, and light) control the activity of the enzyme nitrogenase, which converts inert nitrogen gas into nutritious and fertilizing ammonium. Understanding what controls nitrogenase activity can help us determine when and where microbes are producing fertilizer naturally, knowledge that can be manipulated to our advantage in the long run.