Biography - Lynn J. Rothschild, Ph.D.
Lynn J. Rothschild, a Research Scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center,
received her undergraduate degree in biology from Yale University. For her
master thesis at Indiana University, she conducted molecular analyses of the
DNA from binucleate dinoflagellates. In 1985 she received a Ph.D. in
molecular and cell biology from Brown University with a thesis on evolutionary
relationships amongst algal chloroplasts using the biochemistry of ribulose
-1,5-biphosphate carboxylases as a marker. Postdoctoral research experience
included work on the molecular evolution of the ribosomal DNA in yeast (Brown
University), and on measurements of carbon fixation rates in nature at NASA
Ames as a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow.
Rothschild's research focuses on the evolution and physiological ecology of
protists, with an emphasis on the algae. While at NASA, she has studied
carbon metabolism and DNA synthesis patterns of microbial mats in Baja,
Yellowstone National Park and thermal areas in New Zealand. The purpose of
this work is to model precambrian ecosystems and to predict the effect of
global change variables, particularly carbon dioxide pressure and UV
radiation, on ecosystem functioning. The most recent work, on the effect of
UV radiation, has led to the first measurements of a form of UV damage repair
in nature, excision repair.
Honors have included a University Fellowship from Indiana University,
postdoctoral fellowship offers from both the US and Canadian National Research
Councils, and the first (1990) and most recent (1998) recipient of the Jack N.
Nielson Award for the highest-ranked proposal to the Director's Discretionary
Fund, Ames Research Center. She current serves on the Board of Reviewers of
the Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology and Origins of Life and Evolution of
Rothschild has taught "Evolution" at Brown University, and has supervised many students. Currently she supervises two post-doctoral fellows, one graduate
student, two undergraduates and several high school students in her lab.