During his PhD in physics at UC Berkeley, Trevor developed a plethora of tools that made predictive understanding of non-equilibrium systems possible. Using modern techniques in statistical mechanics, he quantified dynamical fluctuations of relevant quantities which deepened our understanding of diffusion, energy dissipation, population growth, and the phase behavior of interacting active matter and bacteria.
As a Schmidt Science Fellow, he will apply the statistical methods he has developed in his graduate studies to realistic biological systems. Trevor will work with Professor Bill Bialek and Professor Ned Wingreen at Princeton University to develop a better understanding of liquid-liquid phase separation in bio-condensates and energy dissipation in cellular sensing both of which are pertinent to animal and plant development and survival.
Specifically, Trevor will model the liquid-like organelle called the pyrenoid, within photosynthetic alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, which concentrates carbon dioxide for more efficient carbon capture. Understanding how nature has developed such efficient mechanisms to get energy from the sun, called photosynthesis, can lead to efficient plant growth in areas with little sun.