Grand Valley State University
Annis Water Resources Institute
740 West Shoreline Drive
Muskegon, MI 49441
Office: 228 Lake Michigan Center
Phone: (616) 331-8798 Fax: (616) 331-3864 Email:
Bachelors in Biology from Hillsdale College in 2011
As an undergraduate at Hillsdale College, Michael worked as a lab technician for a microbiology and molecular biology lab. He then started a Master's program at GVSU at AWRI where he is studying submerged sinkholes in Lake Huron that are extreme environments for microbial life. These habitats mimic conditions on Earths early shallow seas that provide a glimpse deep into Earth history as well as aid in the search for extraterrestrial life. His work investigates the pigments and photophysiology of the cyanobacteria dominated mats in these sinkholes under in situ and in laboratory conditions to understand how they adapt to variable light quality and intensity. A series of experiments were conducted for his thesis work that examined pigment composition (phycocyanin, phycoerythrin and chlorophyll), as well as photosynthetic yield using PAM chlorophyll fluorescence to measure the effect of: (1) varying light intensities and chromatic filtration, (2) photosystem II inhibitors, (3) nutrient limitation (nitrogen and phosphorus species), and (4) in situ system seasonality.