This week we celebrated successful completion of a 10 week summer project in our lab by undergrad extraordinare Chandra Davies. A community college student, Chandra joined us as part of the NSF Funded PRECS REU at UIUC. Thrown the task of establishing a protocol for photosynthesis measurements of the unicellular green alga Ostreococcus tauri, she managed to establish the optimal conditions including cell culture density, light intensity and bicarbonate concentrations all within a crazily short time. Her work will form the basis of further experiments that will provide insight into mechanisms of photosynthesis of marine algae which is relevant to understanding global carbon cycles. Along the way she triumphed over all adversity – battling with nemesis contaminants embedded in cultures she received, a temperamental washing machine, torrential downpours, fiendishly complicated gas sparging system, and autoclave that was christened with googlie eyes. She mastered the art of the oxygen electrode and progressed to working independently, going on to present her work in both poster and oral presentations at UIUC summer research symposium. What’s more is she was a great lab member and got stuck in helping out in the field. We couldn’t be more proud. We wish her every success moving forward and she will be sorely missed!