b'Carnegie Science|Summer 2019 9H H HTwo New Venture Grants Awarded!The Office of the President selected two new Carnegie Venture Grants. Peter Driscoll of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism and Sally June Tracy of the Geophysical Laboratory were awarded a Venture Grant for their proposal Carbon-rich Super-Earths: Constraining Internal Structure from Dynamic Compression Experiments. Plant Biologys Sue Rhee and Global Ecologys Joe Berry and Jen Johnson were awarded a Venture Grant for their project Thermo-adaptation of Photosynthesis in Extremophilic Desert Plants. Carnegie Science Venture Grants ignore conventional boundaries and bring together cross-disciplinary researchers with fresh eyes to explore different questions. Each grant provides $150,000 support for two years with the expectation of novel results. Trustee Michael Wilson and his wife Jane and the Ambrose Monell Foundation generously support these grants, in part.Carbon-rich Super-Earths:Constraining Internal Structure fromDynamic Compression ExperimentsThe Peter Driscoll/Sally June Tracy project is an interdisciplinary opportunity for early-career materials physicist, Tracy, to work with early-career geodynamicist, Driscoll, and for a postdoc to gain expertise in both fields using novel high-pressure techniques that inform new models. The explosion of extrasolar planet discoveries has raised new questions about the formation, evolution, and the habitability of planets. The mantles of carbon-rich super-Earths, exoplanets up to about 10 Earth-masses, are thought to be rich in silicon carbide (SiC), while the cores are believed to be rich in iron/iron-carbide (Fe-Fe 3 C). However, there are obstacles in modeling the internal structure and thermal evolution of such planets because of poor constraints on material properties at the extreme pressure-temperature conditions of planetary interiors. The duo, with a postdoc, seeks to overcome this problem with new high-pressure experiments that will inform new models.Peter Driscoll and Sally June Tracy are shown in the lab.Image courtesy Carnegie Institution for ScienceThermo-adaptation of Photosynthesis in Extremophilic Desert PlantsThe Sue Rhee/Joe Berry/Jen Johnson project brings togetherHowever, it is a mystery what chain of molecular events causes ecophysiology, genomics, systems biology, biochemistry, andthe high-temperature inhibition. This team aims to understand modeling to provide new insights into the high-temperaturethe molecular basis of photosynthetic performance at high limits of photosynthesis, which is particularly critical as we facetemperatures using comparative studies of Tidestromia a changing climate. oblongifolia, a heat-tolerant plant native to the Mojave Desert, Photosynthesis is exquisitely sensitive to temperature.and Amaranthus hypochondriacus, a closely related but heat-Across the range from 50 to 122F (10 to 50C), all higher plantssensitive cereal crop native to cooler climates. exhibit a distinctive thermal optimum for photosynthesis. As the warming of the climate intensifies, photosynthesis will beTeam members Karine Prado, a postdoc in Plant Biology and Global Ecology, is shown left, while Jen Johnson, research associate in Global Ecology, is in the middle image, pushed toward the inhibitory part of the temperature response.and Sue Rhees mother, Soon Sup Rhee, near the Salton Sea, is at right. Images courtesy Sue Rhee, Carnegie Institution for Science'