Dr Pascal-Antoine Christin

Dr Pascal-Antoine Christin

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 0027

Email: p.christin@sheffield.ac.uk

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)

Research Interests

Pascal-Antoine Christin research image

  • Molecular evolution
  • Phylogenetics
  • 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.

Research Group

PhD Students

Matheus Bianconi

Jose Moreno Villena

Lamiaa Munshi

Daniel Wood

MRes Student (2017)

Kui-ting Lin


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.

I am also involved in Level 2 APS222 (Animal and Plant Science Tutorials) and Level 3 APS331 (Dissertation).