Meet the Cousins Lab

Asaph Cousins

Associate Professor

Office: 406 Abelson Hall
Phone: 509-335-7218
Lab: 509-335-8243
Fax: 509-335-3184

Current Members

Ryan Boyd

PhD Candidate

I am interested in plant responses to climate change. In the Cousins lab I am investigating the temperature dependency of the photosynthetic enzymes Rubisco and PEPC. Additionally, I am exploring the structure-function relationship of amino acid sequence and Rubisco enzymatic kinetics across a lineage of C3 and C4 grasses.

Before joining the Cousins lab for my PhD, I worked with Dr. Andrew Leakey at the University of Illinois exploring the importance of selected transcription factors' role in enhancing plant growth under high CO2 environments.

Joe Crawford

PhD Candidate

Studying all things C4 photosynthesis!

Robert DiMario

Postdoctoral Scientist

Studying the kinetics of Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPCase)

Patrick Ellsworth

Postdoctoral Scientist

Studying the role of stable isotopes to monitor water use efficiency in C4 grasses

Patricia Ellsworth

Postdoctoral Scientist

Research project focuses on CO2 and H2O isotope exchange in C4 plants

Rita Guilianni

Postdoctoral Scientist

Research focused on the C4 rice project through the International Rice Research Institute

Allison Kolbe

PhD Candidate

I am interested in the enzymatic components of the C4 photosynthetic pathway that contribute to overall resource-use efficiency. Specifically, I am investigating the role and function of carbonic anhydrase for C4 photosynthesis in maize.

Prior to joining the Cousins lab, I worked in Dr. Tom Brutnell's lab at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center studying the evolution of carbonic anhydrase across the grasses.

Erika Adriana Serrano Romero

PhD Candidate

I was born and raised in Bucaramanga, Colombia. A small beautiful tropical country in the northern tip of south-america. I finished my undergraduate studies at Universidad Industrial de Santander and I am excited to be a part of the Cousins lab research group at WSU. Singing, theater and Capoeira are my main hobbies. I am always looking to learn new things and to keep a smile on my face. One of my goals is to be a good scientist that will bring pride to my country.

My research focus is on C4 photosynthesis and the factors that control the response of photosynthesis to different temperatures.

Tom Sexton

Undergraduate Student

Honor's thesis looking at the in vivo temperature response of Rubisco kinetics in Rice

Former Members

Jeff Ritter


Research project focused on CO2 and H2O exchange in C3 and C4 plants

Currently an Associate Researcher at the Environmental Biochemistry and Isotopic Analytics Lab at WSU

Lwanga Nsubuga

Research Technician

All things photosynthesis, computer programing and machine maintence

Currently working at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Anthony Gandin

Postdoctoral Scientist

Worked on the temperature response of C4 photosynthesis and the interaction of photosynthesis, respiration and nitrogen assimilation.

Currently an Assistance Professor at:
Université de Lorraine
Faculté des Sciences et Techniques
Ecologie et Ecophysiologie Forestières
F54506 Vandoeuvre Les Nancy, France.

Dr. Berkley Walker

PhD student (2008-2013)

Currently an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf with Professor Andreas Weber

Loren Ariza

Undergrad Researcher (2011-2012)

Currently working on his MS with Dr. Xianming Chen in the Department of Plant Pathology at WSU

Jenny (King) Carlson

MS (2008-2010)

Currently working as the Assistant Manager in WSU's Stable Isotope Laboratory
Office: Eastlick 385, (509)335-1483
Labs: Eastlick 364-368, (509)335-6154

Stable Isotope Lab

Nerea Lopez

Postdoctoral Scientist (2009-2011)

Currently postdocing at the Research School of Biology at the Australian National University in Dr. Graham Farquhar's lab. Email:

Wei Sun

Postdoctoral Scientist (2009-2011)

I am interested in plant ecophysiology, especially the effects of global climate changes associated variation in environmental conditions on carbon and water exchange between plants and the atmosphere.

Wei Sun's Website

Samantha Stuz

MS (2010-2012)

Currently working towards her PhD in the laboratory of Dr. David Hanson at the University of New Mexico

Visiting Scientists

Florian Busch (1/2010 - 4/2010)

Postdoctroal Scientist visiting from the University of Toronto working with Dr. Rowan Sage. Currently, postdocing with Dr. Susanne von Caemmerer at The Australian National University

Florian's Website

Jian-Ying Ma (2010-2011)


Maxim Kaparlov (5/2012 - 7/2012)