Dr. Elisabeth Gantt, by Hofmeister, Richard K, 1979, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Dr. Elisabeth Gantt, a biologist at the Smithsonian's Radiation Biology Laboratory in Rockville, MD, studies algae in solution. Dr. Gantt studied the photosynthetic apparatus of plants, in particular, plants in the algae family. The conversion of solar into chemical energy via the pigment chlorophyll--the process known as photosynthesis--takes place in plants with relatively high efficiency..