1952 – B.Sc. in Chemistry Botany & Zoology at the University of Allahabad, India
1954 – M.Sc. in Botany (Plant Physiology) at the University of Allahabad, India
1960 – Ph.D. in Biophysics (Minors: Physics & Chemistry) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Positions Held:

1954–1956 – Lecturer in Botany at the University of Allahabad, India
1960–1961 – Postdoctoral at the USPH-NIH (United States Public Health Service; National Institute of Health)
1961–1965 – Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
1965–1969 – Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
1969–1999 – Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
1999–present – Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.

Administration Positions:

1973-1974: Associate Head of Botany, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1974-1975: Acting Head of Botany, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1977-1978: Chairman of Biophysics Division, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Visiting Position (partial list):

1962: Visiting Scientist, Research Institute of Advanced Studies, Martin- Marietta Labs., Baltimore, Maryland (Director: Bessel Kok)
1963; 1979: Visiting Scientist, Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution, Stanford, California (Director: C. Stacey French)
2000, Spring: Visiting Professor of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.
2002, Summer: Visiting Professor, Institute of Physical Biology, University of S. Bohemia, Nové Hrady, Czech Republic
2009, 2011: Short term Visiting Research Scientist, Department of Phototrophic Microorganisms, Institute of Microbiology, Opatovicky Mlyn, Třeboň, The Czech Republic
2003-2008, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017: Short term Visiting Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
2014: Short term Visiting Professor of Botany, Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, Odisha, India


Govindjee has taught at both the undergraduate and the graduate level from a class of 700 students to as few as 6 from 1961-1999. Topics of lectures included: biophysics; photobiology; plant physiology; plant ecology and organismic biology; photosynthesis; and bioenergetics of photosynthesis. He was ranked as an outstanding/excellent teacher by both his undergraduate and graduate students.
He has also delivered innumerable public lectures on the basics of photosynthesis, and on the history of photosynthesis. His 1969 book, with E. Rabinowitch, on “Photosynthesis” is available free on his web site
Govindjee has been producing and distributing, for teaching, a poster for current Z-Scheme; and currently, together with Dima Shevela, he is distributing a membrane model of photosynthesis (available free on his web site)

Planned: Govindjee is currently coauthoring, with Lars Olof Bjorn and Dima Shevela, a book on “Photosynthesis” for publication in 2019 for use in teaching

Research/Educational/Historical Topics:

Primary Photophysics and Photochemistry of Oxygenic Photosynthesis
Unique Role of Bicarbonate on the Electron Acceptor Side of Photosystem II
Improving Photosynthesis and Biomass through Generically Engineered Algae and Plants ( in collaboration with research groups in USA and in India)
Modeling of Chlorophyll a Fluorescence Transient (The so-called OJIPSMT transient)
History and Biography: Tributes and News Reports

Editorial activities (Summary):

Govindjee has edited many books on Photosynthesis for Academic Press; Elsevier and for Springer
Founding and co-Series Editor of 42 volumes of “Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration Including Bioenergy and Other Processes” (Springer)
Serving as Associate Editor of Photosynthesis Research for “History & Biography”; is the founding editor of this section; has served in the past as Chief Editor of Photosynthesis Research.


During his research career of more than 60 years, Govindjee has published more than 500 papers, reviews and reports on basic and applied, aspects of pxygenic photosynthesis in cyanobacteria, algae and plants. We provide here some of his 2016 publications under 3 categories.


  • Kana R and Govindjee (2016) Role of Ions in the Regulation of Light Harvesting: Frontiers in Plant Science 7: 1849; DOI 10.3389/fpls.2016.01849
  • Mishra KB, Mishra A, Klem K and Govindjee (2016) Plant phenotyping: a perspective. Ind J Plant Physiol. 14 pages; DOI 10.1007/s40502-016- 0271-y
  • Mircovic T, Ostrumov EE, Anna JM, van Grondelle R, Govindjee, Scholes GD (2016) Light absorption and energy transfer in the antenna complexes of photosynthetic organisms. Chemical Reviews. 45 printed pages; DOI 10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00002 (On Line)

Original papers:

  • Kandoi D, Mohanty S, Govindjee, Tripathy BC (2016) Towards efficient photosynthesis : overexpression of Zea mays phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase in Arabidopsis thaliana. Photosynth Res 130: 47-72;DOI 10.1007/s 11120-016-0207-9 .
  • Stirbet A, Govindjee (2016) The slow phase of chlorophyll a fluorescence induction in silico : Origin of the S-M fluorescence rise. Photosynth Res 125: 219-231; DOI 10.1007/s 11120-016-0243-0
  • Stamatakis K, Papageorgiou GC, Govindjee (2016) Effects of b-carotene, a chemical scavenger of singlet oxygen, on the millisecond rise of chlorophyll a fluorescence of cyanobacteria Syncechocystis sp. PCC 7942. Photosynth Res 130: 317-324; DOI 10.1007/s 11120-016-0255-9(On Line)

History, Biography & News Reports, a selected list

  • Buchanan BB, Douce R, Govindjee, Lichtenthaler HK, Summons RE (2016) Andrew Alm Benson, 1917 – 2015 , Biographical Memoir of the National Academy of Science, USA 16 pages, available ONLINE
  • Tsygankov AA, Allakhverdiev SI, Tomo T, Govindjee (2016) International conference on Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability-2016 : In honor of Nathan Nelson and Turhan Nejat Veziroglu. Photosynth Res, OnLine; DOI 10.1007/s11120-016- 0311-5; 10 pages plus 10 pages of Supplementary Material
  • Joliot P, Crofts AR, Björn LO, Yerkes CT, Govindjee (2016) In photosynthesis, oxygen comes from water : From a 1787 book for women by Monsieur De Fourcroy. Photosynth Res 129 : 105-107; DOI 10.1007/s 11120-016-02666.6
  • Govindjee, Pulles MPJ (2016) Louis Nico Marie Duysens (March 15, 1921—September 8, 2015) : A leading biophysicist of the 20th century. Photosynth Res 128 : 223—234; DOI 10.1007/s 11120-016-0256-8
  • Elchuri SV, Govindjee (2016) Vallabhaneni Sita Rama Das, 1933–2010 : teacher and mentor. Photosynth Res 128:109–115; DOI 10.1007/s11120-015-0210-1
  • Govindjee, Grossman AR, Bhaya D (2016) Gordon research conference on the dynamics and regulation of photosynthesis : from the origin of bio-catalysis to innovative solar conversion. Photosynth Res 127 : 379-389;DOI 10.1007/s11120-015-0187-9
  • Govindjee, Prince RC, Ort D R (2016) Colin A. Wraight, 1945-2014. Photosynth Res 127 : 237-256; DOI 10.1007/s11120-015-0174-1

Scientific & Professional Societies:

Sigma Xi
American Society of Plant Biology
Biophysical Society of America
American Society for Photobiology
International Society for Photosynthesis Research

Honors & Awards:

1976: Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, U.S.A.)
1978: Distinguished Lecturer Award of the School of Life Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1979: Fellow and Life Member National Academy of Science (India)
2004: Honorary President, International Photosynthesis Congress, Montreal, Canada
2006: The first Lifetime Achievement Award in Basic Biology, Rebeiz Foundation
2007: The Communication Award of the International Society of Photosynthesis Research (ISPR)
2008: LAS (Liberal Arts & Sciences) Lifetime Achievement Award of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
2008: Honored by an International Congress on “Photosynthesis in the Global Perspective”, University of Indore, Indore, MP, India;
2011: Interviewed by Professor Donald Ort “A Conversation with Dr. Govindjee” for Annual Reviews, Inc. (Annual Reviews of Plant Biology, American Society for Plant Biology)
2012 : Honored by a book : S. Itoh (et al.) (2015) Photosynthesis: Basics and Applications. IK Publishers, New Delhi, India
2012: Three chapters in Volume 34 (Photosynthesis: Plastid Biology, Energy Conversion and Carbon Assimilation) of the “Advances of Photosynthesis discussed his research honoring Govindjee,
2013: Volumes 116 and 117 of Photosynthesis Research were dedicated to his 80th birthday

Institutional & Professional Service:

Former Member, Executive Committee of the International Society for Photosynthesis Research (ISPR); and of the “Publication Committee” of ISPR.
Former Member, Standing Advisory Committee (Overseas) (SAC(O)) of the Department of Biotechnolgy, Government of India, New Delhi, India.
Served on USDA-India Program on Photosynthesis as a Cooperating Scientist
Served on several Editorial Boards