Thomas D. Sharkey

Thomas D. Sharkey
  • University Distinguished Professor
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • 210 Plant Biology Building
  • 612 Wilson Road
  • 517-353-3257
  • 517-353-4886



My lab studies the interactions between the biosphere and atmosphere with emphasis on the biochemical and biophysical processes that control gas exchange. We have several projects on photosynthetic responses to carbon dioxide, emphasizing elevated carbon dioxide because this will continue to increase in the atmosphere. A second major area of research is the emission of isoprene from many trees, especially oaks and poplars. This hydrocarbon helps trees tolerate high leaf temperature caused by sunlight but when NOx pollution is present, isoprene from trees can lead to ozone formation. Our work is focused on the biochemical and molecular regulation of the rate of isoprene emission, as well as the evolution of this trait.



  • Biochemistry and biophysics of gas exchange reactions between plants and the atmosphere