Claire Ting

Associate Professor of Biology
Thompson Biology Lab Rm 214
At Williams since 2003


B.A. Yale University
M.S. Cornell University, Plant Physiology
Ph.D. Cornell University, Biology

Areas of Expertise

Plant Biology and Microbiology


Note: courses in gray are not offered this academic year.

BIOL 308(S)

Integrative Plant Biology: Fundamentals and New Frontiers

BIOL 414(F)

Life at Extremes: Molecular Mechanisms

BIOL 430 T

Genome Sciences: At the Cutting Edge

Scholarship/Creative Work

For all publications, see Claire Ting’s PubMed database listing.

  • Ting CS, *Westly E, *Russell-Roy, E (In press) Genome Diversification in Marine Cyanobacteria: Implications for Photosynthetic Physiology and Environmental Stress Response. In: (Carpentier R, Bruce D, van der Est A) Photosynthesis: Fundamental Aspects to Global Perspectives, Allen Press Inc., Lawrence KS
  • Ting CS, Rocap G, King J, Chisholm SW (2002) Cyanobacterial Photosynthesis in the Oceans: Origins and Significance of Divergent Light-Harvesting Strategies. Trends in Microbiology 10:134-142 (Review Article)
  • Ting CS, Rocap G, King J, Chisholm SW (2001) Phycobiliprotein Genes of the Marine Photosynthetic Prokaryote Prochlorococcus: Evidence for Rapid Evolution of Genetic Heterogeneity. Microbiology 147:3171-3182
  • Schwartz R, Ting CS, King J (2001) Whole Proteome pI Values Correlate with Subcellular Localizations of Proteins for Organisms within the Three Domains of Life. Genome Research 11:703-709
  • Rocap G, Larimer FW, Lamerdin J, Malfatti S, Chain P, Ahlgren NA, Arellano A, Coleman M, Hauser L, Hess WR, Johnson ZI, Land M, Lindell D, Post AF, Regala W, Shah M, Shaw SL, Steglich C, Sullivan MB, Ting CS, Tolonen A, Webb EA, Zinser ER, Chisholm SW (2003) Genome Divergence in Two Prochlorococcus Ecotypes Reflects Oceanic Niche Differentiation. Nature 424:1042-1047

*Williams College student or alumnus

Professional Affiliations

  • National Science Foundation/ NATO Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Biological Physical Chemistry (Paris, France)
  • NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Biosciences Related to the Environment, Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research Interests

Photosynthesis is a fundamental biological process upon which the majority of Earth’s life depends. One area my laboratory is addressing is how differences at the genome level between closely related photosynthetic organisms translate into selective physiological advantages in photosynthetic capacity and in tolerance to abiotic stress. For this project we are focusing on two environmentally important marine cyanobacteria, Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus. These are the most abundant photosynthetic prokaryotes in the world’s oceans and they play a key role in marine primary production.

Although Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus share close phylogenetic ties, they have evolved striking differences in their photosynthetic apparatus and biological responses to major environmental factors. In our investigations of the molecular response of these cyanobacteria to abiotic stress, we are focusing on a key group of proteins called the molecular chaperones. Current models of chaperone regulation and function in protein folding and stabilization, transport, and protein degradation are based primarily on experiments with non-photosynthetic organisms.

Current Committees

Committee on Priorities and Resources (2014-2016)
Biochemistry Program (2011-2015)
Maritime Studies Program (2013-2015)
Bioinformatics, Genomics and Proteomics Program (2011-2014)