Biography of Kyria Boundy-Mills

Dr. Kyria Boundy-Mills joined the Phaff collection in 1999.  She had the honor of working directly with Herman Phaff for the last two years of his life, and took over the management of his yeast culture collection when he died in 2001.

Boundy-Mills received her B.S. in chemistry from Hope College, Holland, Michigan, in 1987, and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1992.  Her thesis research covered the function of the RAD52 gene, which is involved in DNA repair and recombination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

After three post-doctoral research projects in various areas of bacterial microbial ecology, she moved to Davis in 1998.  She served as the temporary curator of the Wine Yeast and Bacteria culture collection in the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology from 1998 to 1999.  

Boundy-Mills has several duties as the curator of the Phaff Yeast Culture Collection: 

  • Maintanance of the collection
  • Distribution of cultures to academic and industrial researchers around the world
  • Identification of yeast strains 
  • Research utilizing the strains in the collection, including contract screening projects

Boundy-Mills collaborates extensively with other researchers at UC Davis, and around the world. She utilizes the Phaff collection extensively in her research program: dozens, or even hundreds, of strains can be utilized in a study. Areas of current research include:

  • Using yeasts to convert agricultural residues and other lignocellulosic biomass to value added products
  • Accumulation of oil by oleaginous yeasts
  • Secretion of polyol esters of fatty acids (PEFA) by yeasts
  • Taxonomy, ecology, physiology of yeasts

Kyria is on the Executive Board of the World Federation for Culture Collections and the steering committee of the US Culture Collection Network.

Boundy-Mills would be delighted to answer your questions regarding the Phaff collection, and yeast microbiology in general.

Kyria with Robert Mondavi, 2002
Kyria with Robert Mondavi, 2002
Boundy-Mills lab, August 2018
Boundy-Mills lab, August 2018