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.


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).