QTB Team Details

Photo of Anna  Matuszyńska


Dr. Anna Matuszyńska

Quantitative und Theoretische Biologie
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Universitätsstraße 1
Gebäude: 25.32
Etage/Raum: 03.26
Tel.: +49 211 81-10173


Project Description

Mathematical modelling of acclimation processes of the photosynthetic electron transport chain in green algae and plants.

For a general public:

You probably know something about photosynthesis. Through a series of reactions plants are capable of converting energy harvested from light into chemical one, that fuels their metabolism and constitute source of life on Earth. Right? But did you ever hear about state transitions or nonphotochemical quenching? Did you know that plants developed various sophisticated mechanisms that allow them to maintain photosynthetic efficiency despite constantly changing environmental conditions? When plants are lacking solar energy they try to absorb as much of given light as possible, on the other hand when the radiance is too strong, they 'waste' energy through heat dissipation to protect themselves against damage. The way photosynthetic organisms are tuned to capture solar energy amazes researchers.

I am using theory to simplify complex processes that are involved in capturing and transferring light energy, in a form of a mathematical model.

For mathematicians:

I am developing a dynamic model of the photosynthetic electron transport chain. I am using ordinary differential equations and run my simulations using Python, due to its obvious advantages as an open source OOL. For the reaction rates, if no other evidence is given, I employ the simplest functional form that appears reasonable. Parametrization of the model starts from the literature search and is complemented with measurements performed by me or my collaborators, but unfortunately, some of my parameters are fitted to experimental curves or roughly estimated based on the discussion with the specialists in the field.

For plant biologists:

My focus lies on mechanisms developed by various photosynthetic organisms that help them to cope with short-term fluctuations in light that collectively contribute to a decrease of fluorescence emitted from PSII, named non-photochemical quenching. As we know, both availability and quality of light have influence on the photosynthetic efficiency therefore I aim at incorporating spectral dependency into my model.

I hope to contribute to select an optimal light conditions for organisms growth and to help to understand to what extent we can stimulate the energy transfer by using different light wavelengths and intensities.


I am a part of the Marie Curie ITN AccliPhot, funded by the EU under the SP3-People under the grant agreement number PITN-GA-2012-316427.

Key words: acclimation, Chlamydomonas, dynamic model, kinetic model,  photosynthesis, NPQ, state transitions

undefinedShort CV of Anna Matuszyńska.


  • Moejes, F., Matuszyńska, A. et al. (2017) A systems-wide understanding of the photosynthetic acclimation in algae and higher plants - retrospection and perspectives, Journal of Experimental Botany, 68(11): 2667–2681. doi:10.1093/jxb/erx137
  • Matuszyńska, A. et al. (2017) A Young Algaeneers’ perspective: Communication and networking are key to successful multidisciplinary research, Algal Research, 21: 247-253. doi: 10.1016/j.algal.2016.07.013
  • Matuszyńska, A. , Heyydari, S., Jahns, P., and Ebenhöh, O. (2016) A mathematical model of non-photochemical quenching to study short-term light memory in plants, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Bioenergetics, 1857(12): 1860–1869. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2016.09.003
  • Matuszyńska, A. and Ebenhöh, O. (2015) A reductionist approach in modelling self regulation in photosynthetic organisms, Biochemical Society Transactions; 43(6):1133-9. doi: 10.1042/BST20150136
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