Dr Pascal-Antoine Christin
Tel: +44 (0)114 222 0027
Lab website: christinlab.group.shef.ac.uk
Room C214, Alfred Denny Building
- Royal Society Research Fellow, University of Sheffield (2014-2018)
- Marie Curie Research Fellow, Brown University, RI, USA and University of Sheffield (2011-2013)
- Swiss NSF Research Fellow, Brown University, RI, USA (2010)
- First Assistant, University of Lausanne, Switzerland (2009)
- PhD, University of Lausanne, Switzerland (2008)
- MSc, University of Lausanne, Switzerland (2005)
- Molecular evolution
- Plant evolution
Using phylogenetic frameworks, my research investigates the mechanisms that led to the functional diversity of plants. I combine analyses of gene sequences, genomes, transcriptomes, and ecological and morphological traits to address questions of importance for evolutionary biology in general:
- How are complex traits assembled during evolution?
- What determines the likelihood of a given lineage evolving novel adaptations?
- How do environmental changes drive the evolution of novel traits?
As a study system, I use mainly the evolution of C4 photosynthesis in grasses and other groups of plants. This complex adaptation confers a higher productivity in conditions of CO2 depletion. Despite its complexity, it evolved more than 66 times in some groups of flowering plants through the co-option of genes already present in the C3 ancestors. It constitutes a very attractive study system to address questions ranging from the functional adaptation of specific genes to the emergence of tropical grasslands over millions of years.
At level 3, I am module coordinator for APS352 Phylogenetic Approaches in Evolution. In this module, we explore the methods allowing inferring phylogenetic trees and how phylogeny-based analyses can address a variety of questions in ecology and evolution.