Karen P. Van Winkle-Swift


Emeritus Regents Professor
Phone: 928-523-8618
Email: Karen.VanWinkle-Swift@nau.edu
Office: Wettaw, bldg. 88 room 238

Research/teaching interests

  • genetic  and ultrastructural analysis of development in microbes

Academic highlights

  • NIH Postdoctoral: Scripps Institute of Oceanography, 1977-1979
  • PhD: Duke University, 1976
  • BS: Cornell University, 1968

Research in the VanWinkle-Swift laboratory uses the Chlalmydomona monoica zygospore as a model for understanding cellular responses to environmental (abiotic) stress.

Approaches used in the laboratory include genetics (isolation and characterization of mutants), physiological studies, fluorescence and electron microscopy, biochemistry and molecular/cellular biology.

The mature Chlamydomonas zygospore has a massive, highly sculptured wall that provides protection from environmental stress including desiccation, freezing, mechanical abrasion and ultraviolet radiation.

Panel A shows a thin section of a zygospore viewed by transmission electron microscopy; Panel B shows the surface detail revealed by scanning electron microscopy.