Doug Bruce: Professor, Biological Science
Research: photosynthesis, mechanisms
The term mashup was first introduced in the music industry, when artists combined tracks from multiple songs to create an entirely new song. Today, the term has been applied to a variety of disciplines, including web applications, digital computer files, videos and books.
Doug Bruce may not realize it, but his research is creating an entirely new category of mashup: the photosynthesis mashup. Bruce’s multidisciplinary approach uses biology, physics, chemistry and computer science to advance a new understanding of the natural system of photosynthesis, ultimately helping to meet the challenge of sustainable energy production.
The process of photosynthesis has converted the sun's energy into fossil fuels over many millions of years. As we demand more and more energy, tapping the sun in a more direct way, rather than burning fossil fuels, is one of the few sustainable ways to produce energy. Bruce brings his strong background in biology to a multidisciplinary team that is mapping the inner workings of molecules to determine how to capture light and turn it into energy that powers our world.
Deep in the lowest level of the CFHBRC, a suite of new laboratories filled with computers and laser-powered instruments will enhance the capabilities of the Bruce research lab. Although most of the labs in the CFHBRC are graced with windows and views, the sensitive equipment used to study photosynthesis must be protected from both light and building vibrations.