University of Warsaw

Associate Professor Joanna Kargul

Head of the Laboratory of Solar Fuels at the Centre of New Technologies of the University of Warsaw. She obtained a PhD in Biological sciences in 1999 from the University of Warwick, UK. Postdoctoral research conducted in the group of James Barber at Imperial College London, UK led to several discoveries of novel molecular mechanisms of photosynthetic adaptation to changing environment (e.g. dissecting the molecular components of state transitions) and refining the crystallographic structure of the PSII oxygen evolving complex. Habilitation in 2009 from the University of Warsaw (UW). Since 2011 Associate Professor following establishing an independent research group at the UW. In 2011 Prof. Kargul established a node for solar fuels research in Poland and has led several projects on application of extremophilic red algal PSI for construction of biohybrid solar cells and solar-to-hydrogen devices. She has extensive experience and success in leading several national and international initiatives (e.g. Partner of ESF EuroSolarFuels and H2020 SUNRISE consortia) as well coordinating the bilateral Polish-Turkish consortium POLTUR/GraphESol which have all been focused on natural and semi-artificial solar energy conversion. She serves as the International Ambassador of the Biochemical Society and serves on several editorial and strategic boards of the funding bodies (e.g. IJBCB, J Nanotech, Grants Committee of the Biochemical Society, NAWA programme of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education). Prof. Kargul’s highly interdisciplinary research spans structural biology, biochemistry, plant physiology, electrochemistry, biophysics and material science. In her current research she focuses on structural and mechanistic aspects of the function and adaptation of the natural photosynthetic apparatus in extremophilic cyanobacteria and microalgae. She and her group apply this fundamental knowledge for construction of biohybrid solar-to-fuel devices incorporating photosystems and various conductive and semi-conductive materials (e.g. graphene, silicon, hematite etc.). Over 60 publications including papers in Plant Cell, JBC, Advanced Functional Materials, J Mat Chem A and C, RSC Adv, EMBO J, with the Google Scholar h-index: 17, >1950 citations w/o self-citations; >55 international invited talks including 4 plenary lectures.

Dr. Renata Solarska

Senior Researcher and Head of the Group of Solar Energy Innovations _SOLEIL in the Centre of New Technologies at University of Warsaw. She received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Geneva in 2006 and since then she has been involved in different initiatives and research devoted to nanostructured materials and their use for energy harvesting, conversion and environmental approaches. She has nearly two decades of expertise in electrochemistry, followed by photoelectrochemistry and photophysics of semiconductor, metals and hybrid nanostructures. She also has extensive experience in preparation of a variety of semiconducting metal oxides and their use for solar energy conversion in parallel with their full spectral and photoelectrochemical characterization. She gained her extensive experience in executing and reporting the projects within the frame of two large EU projects FP7 Nano-PEC and SOLAROGENIX. She was involved in research, training and supervision. Besides her research activity, she is also involved in the activity of the Europe Section of the Electrochemical Society as a chair, with an aim to support activities in electrochemistry and solid-state science and recognition of the societal needs among scientists.