- (212) 769-5510
Curriculum Vitae (short version)
- University of Wisconsin-Madison , Ph.D., 2006
- Seoul National University , B.S., 2000
Dr. Kim’s research focuses on the evolution and ecology of single-celled eukaryotic flagellates. Her long-term research goals are the investigation of:
the diversity and genomics of those modern-day microbial eukaryotes that are keys to understanding the early evolution of eukaryotic life; symbiosis as a driver of evolutionary innovation; and the origin and evolution of plastids (chloroplasts). Dr. Kim is particularly interested in understanding the environmental conditions and molecular processes that fostered the origin of the first photosynthetic eukaryotes by the process of endosymbiosis between free-living cyanobacteria and pre-green eukaryotic hosts. This evolutionary event, thought to have occurred during the early or mid- Proterozoic era, fundamentally changed the trajectory of life on Earth, but many questions about this cellular merging process remain. Inferring such an ancient event in the history of life requires a synthetic strategy that encompasses systematics, genomics, physiology, biochemistry, and biogeochemistry. Current projects in the Kim lab are comparative genomics and morphology of several key flagellate taxa in order to infer traits of pre-green ancestors of land plants and green algae; culturing and sequencing of green algae that invade into amphibian cells; and microscopic and genomic characterization of bacterial endosymbionts living in photosynthetic flagellates. The Kim lab employs a broad range of experimental approaches including isolation and culture methods, fluorescence and electron microscopy, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), environmental DNA sequencing, and next generation sequencing.