Dr Andrew Dean

Andrew Dean

Temporary Lecturer in Environmental Science

Email: a.p.dean@sheffield.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 7964

Department of Geography,
University of Sheffield,
Sheffield S10 2TN,
United Kingdom

Links: University Profile



My algal research is highly diverse, ranging from ecosystem studies to molecular techniques. The aims of my research are to study algal molecular biology and physiological processes in the laboratory and apply the insights gained to (i) understanding ecological processes in the field and (ii) developing biotechnological applications of algae including biofuels and bioremediation. My research is highly interdisciplinary, with approaches including aquatic ecology, molecular biology and sequencing, transcriptomic analysis, genetic manipulation, metabolomics (FTIR, GC-MS, LC-MS), and industrial applications of microalgae, and relates particularly to the effects of stress on microalgae, and the study of stressful environments.

For my PhD and postdoctoral positions I was largely based at the University of Manchester. My PhD in algal ecology examined the trophic interactions between the plankton and physico-chemical parameters with specific reference to the relative importance of ‘top-down’ (biological) and ‘bottom-up’ (nutrients, hydrology) influences on algal seasonality in lake systems. During this time I applied FTIR spectroscopy to the understanding how carbon allocation varies with environmental factors in the field, and I then obtained funding from the Leverhulme Trust to develop this work further as a post-doctoral researcher, using FTIR spectroscopy to assess lipid accumulation in nutrient-stressed laboratory cultures. This led to a Carbon Trust funded research position investigating algal biofuels, and a further period of research studying the effects of nutrient deficiency, metal toxicity and oxidative stress on programmed cell death, lipid synthesis, and cellular metal accumulation. Throughout this period I taught river and lake ecology and conservation, and I am currently a teaching associate in the Department of Geography where I teach on courses related to environmental change, river morphology and water sustainability, while continuing my research interests in algal biology.



  1. Osundeko, O., Dean, A.P., Davies, H., and Pittman, J.K. (2014) Acclimation of microalgae to wastewater environments involves increased oxidative stress tolerance activity. Plant and Cell Physiology (In Press).
  2. Dean, A.P. and Pittman, J. K. (2014) Lipids from algae: novel applications and powerful quantification methods. INFORM (industry magazine of the American Oil Chemicals Society) (In Press)
  3. Dean, A.P., Pittman, J. K. and Sigee, D.C (2014). From lake ecology to biofuels - applications of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to algal research. Spectroscopy Europe 26(1) 14-17.
  4. McTeer, J., Dean, A.P., White, K.N. and Pittman, J. K. (2014) Bioaccumulation of silver nanoparticles into Daphnia magna from a freshwater algal diet and the impact of phosphate availability. Nanotoxicology. 8: 305-316.
  5. Dean A.P., Nicholson, M. J. and Sigee D.C. (2012). Changing patterns of carbon allocation in lake phytoplankton: An FTIR analysis. Hydrobiologia, 684: 109-127.
  6. Webster, R.E. Dean, A.P. and Pittman, J.K. (2011). Cadmium exposure and phosphorus limitation increases metal content in the freshwater alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Environmental Science and Technology, 45: 7489-7496.
  7. Pittman, J.K., Dean, A.P. and Osundeko, O. (2010). The potential of sustainable algal biofuel production using wastewater resources. Bioresource Technology, 101: 17-25.
  8. Dean, A.P., Sigee, D.C., Estrada, B. and Pittman, J.K (2010). Using FTIR spectroscopy for rapid determination of lipid accumulation in response to nitrogen limitation in freshwater microalgae. Bioresource Technology, 101: 4499-4507.
  9. Dean A.P., Estrada B., Nicholson, J. M. and Sigee D.C. (2008). Molecular response of Anabaena flos-aquae to differing concentrations of phosphorus: A combined FTIR and X-ray microanalytical study. Phycological Research. 56: 193-201.
  10. Dean A.P., Nicholson, M. J. and Sigee D.C. (2008). Impact of phosphorus quota and growth phase on carbon allocation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: a FTIR microspectroscopy study. European Journal of Phycology. 43: 345-354.
  11. Dean, A. P. and Sigee, D. C. (2008). Putting algae under the spotlight. An article for the synchrotron radiation department annual report 2007-2008. Daresbury Laboratory Annual Report 2007-2008.
  12. Sigee D.C., Bahrami F., Estrada B., Webster R.E. and Dean A.P. (2007). The influence of phosphorus availability on carbon allocation and P quota in Scenedesmus subspicatus:a synchrotron based FTIR analysis. Phycologia 46: 583-592.
  13. Sigee D.C., Selwyn A., Gallois P., and Dean A.P. (2007). Patterns of cell death in freshwater colonial cyanobacteria during the late summer bloom. Phycologia 46: 284-292.
  14. Dean A.P., Martin M.C. and Sigee D.C. (2007). Resolution of co-dominant phytoplankton species in a eutrophic lake using synchrotron-based Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Phycologia 46: 151-159.
  15. Dean A.P. and Sigee D.C. (2006). Molecular heterogeneity in Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Anabaena flos-aquae (Cyanophyta): a synchrotron-based Fourier-transform infrared study of lake micro-populations. European Journal of Phycology 41: 201-212.
  16. Dean, A. P. and Sigee, D. C. (2004). Hollingworth Lake: Its planktonic ecology and algal blooms. A report for Rochdale Borough Council.
  17. Sigee D.C., Dean A., Levado E. and Tobin M.J. (2002). Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy of Pediastrum duplex: characterization of a micro-population isolated from a eutrophic lake. European Journal of Phycology 37: 19-26.