Andrew Paton Graduate Assistant


Phone: (000) 000-0000


  • BS Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of Arizona
  • BA Biochemistry, University of Arizona


Second year PhD student in the Graham Peers lab studying the biosynthesis of chlorophyll c in diatom algae, using the pennate diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum as a model organism. The family of chlorophyll c pigments are used for light harvesting in a wide variety of algae including brown algae, such as giant kelp, dinoflagellates, such as zooxanthellae in corals, and haptophytes, such as the coccolithophores which color the White Cliffs of Dover. It is, however, completely unknown how chlorophylls c are made, both in the genes that are responsible for their production and their precursor within the canonical chlorophyll synthesis pathway. I therefore am using reverse genetics, biochemistry, and photophysiology to elucidate the biosynthesis of chlorophylls c and the characteristics of their mutants. 

Broad interests include plastid endosymbiosis, metabolic pathways, and genetics of algae and plants. 

Current TA for BZ310-Cell Biology. Past courses taught include BZ120-Principles of Plant Biology, and LIFE103-Biology of Organisms.