Aleca Borsuk

Ph.D. student, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies / New York Botancal Garden


The leaf is a bridge between the abiotic and biotic worlds. From sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water come the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the biosphere we call home. This transformation—photosynthesis—takes place within the miniature world of the leaf’s interior, where convoluted passageways govern the transport of critical resources such as water and light. Thus, to understand the conditions by which photosynthesis is constrained or optimized, it is necessary to understand how biophysical processes are coordinated within the heterogeneous inner landscape of the leaf. As a doctoral student at Yale F&ES, I am working to understand the leaf as a tunable substrate for the reactions of photosynthesis. From this vantage of fundamental plant ecophysiology, I will leverage my findings into innovative approaches to conservation and management, agricultural resilience, and bio-inspired clean energy technology.

Selected Publications

Borsuk, A. and C. R. Brodersen. 2019. The spatial distribution of chlorophyll in leaves. Plant Physiology 180.3: 1406-1417. DOI: 10.1104/pp.19.00094

Saive, R., A. M. Borsuk, H. S. Emmer, C. R. Bukowsky, J. V. Lloyd, S. Yalamanchili, and H. A. Atwater. 2016. Effectively Transparent Front Contacts for Optoelectronic Devices. Advanced Optical Materials doi: 10.1002/adom.201600252

Ablanap, M., A. Borsuk, B. Jones, and R. Kaiser. 2015. On the Formation and Isomer Specific Detection of Propenal (C2H3CHO) and Cyclopropanone (c–C3H4O) in Interstellar Model Ices – A Combined FTIR and Reflectron Time-of-Flight Mass Spectroscopic Study. The Astrophysical Journal 814(1):45