Elisabeth Gantt

Professor Emerita and Distinguished University Professor




Office Phone: (301)405-1649

Fax: (301)314-9489


research interests

  • Origin of oxygenic photosynthesis
  • Light harvesting systems in oxygenic algae and plants
  • Carotenoid biosynthesis and protection
  • Red algal development (Nori relatives)

recent publications

Poliquin, K., F.X. Cunningham, I. MacDonald, R.R. Gantt and E. Gantt. 2008 Impaired isoprenoid biosynthesis: A competitive disadvantage under high light stress in Synechocystis PCC 6803. In: Photosynthesis Energy from the Sun (Allen JF, Gantt E, Golbeck JH, Osmond B eds) vol I: 763-767.


Gantt, E. 2010. Intracellular structures of Prokaryotes: Inclusions, compartments and assemblages. In: M. Schaechter (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Microbiology, 3rd Edition, Elsevier.

Gantt, E. et al. 2010. PORPHYRA: complex life histories in a harsh environment P. umbilicalis, an intertidal red alga for genomic analysis. In: J. Seckbach and D. Chapman (eds.) Red Algae in the Genomic Age. Springer Verlag. pp 112-129.

Cunningham FX Jr, Tice AB, Pham C, Gantt E. 2010. Inactivation of genes encoding plastoglobuli-like proteins in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 leads to a light-sensitive phenotype. J Bacteriol. 192:1700-9.

Gantt, E. 2011 Oxygenic photosynthesis and the distribution of chloroplasts. Photosynthesis Research. 107: 1–6.

Gantt, E. and Falkowski, P. 2011. Eds. Evolution of Oxygenic Photosynthesis. Special issue of Photosynthesis Research. 107: 1-132.

Poliquin, K., F.X. Cunningham, R. R. Gantt and E. Gantt. 2011. Interactions of Isoprenoid Pathway Enzymes and Indirect Stimulation of Isoprenoid Biosynthesis by Pentose Phosphate Cycle Substrates in Synechocystis PCC 6803. In: T.S Bach (ed.) Isoprenoid Synthesis in Plants and Microorganisms: New Concepts and Experimental Approaches. Springer Science+Business Media (in press).

Cunningham FX Jr, and Gantt E. 2011. Elucidation of the pathway to astaxanthin in the flowers of Adonis aestivalis. Plant Cell. 23: 3055-3069.



  • Fellow of the American Society for the Advancement of Science 1982 
  • National Academy of Sciences 1996 
  • Distinguished University Professor of the University of Maryland 1997 
  • Fellow of American Society of Plant Biologist 2007 
  • Phycological Society of America Award of Excellence 2011


Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1963


B.A., Blackburn College, 1958