PhD Candidate | dpyee@ucsd.eduP1140250
Daniel is a 5th year PhD student in Marine Biology originally from Hacienda Heights, CA (East-East-Los Angeles). He received his joint BS/MS in Human Biology/Biology and minor in Environmental Studies from UCSD. Daniel’s interest in marine biology was sparked while studying abroad at the University of Quensland in Brisbane Australia. Upon returning to UCSD he volunteered aboard a CalCOFI cruise where he was first introduced to phytoplankton and their role in global primary production. This experience led him to conduct his master’s research on light dependent modeling of phytoplankton growth in the lab of Dr. B. Greg Mitchell (SIO). Daniel returns to SIO following four years of industry experience at Synthetic Genomics Inc. where his research focused on improving photosynthetic efficiency in microalgae  for producing algal biofuels. In his free time, Daniel enjoys surfing, biking, traveling, brewing and drinking beer.
Research Interests:
  • Phytoplankton physiology
  • Cellular pH sensing
  • Photosynthesis
  • Algal biotechnology
At Synthetic Genomics, Daniel worked on a project to improve improve photosynthetic efficiency by screening and identifying the effects of manipulating molecular regulators of photosynthesis. This work is embodied in a US patent entitled, “Algal Mutants Having a Locked-In High Light Acclimated Phenotype”. Going into his PhD research, he plans to study the role of pH sensing by soluble adenylate cyclases (sAC) in mechanisms such as photosynthesis, carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM), and silicification in diatoms.
Daniel has been awarded the Scripps Fellowship (2014-2015) and previously awarded the NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute Fellowship (2009), and China Science and Technology Exchange Center Summer Research Stipend (2009).