Dr Andrea Paterlini

Lecturer in Genetics Education, Associate Director of Teaching

  • Institute of Molecular Plant Science
  • Biology Teaching Organisation
  • School of Biological Sciences

Contact details



Room G24.E
Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences
University of Edinburgh
Daniel Rutherford Building
King's Buildings

Post code


2023 Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) 

2020 PhD (Plant Biology) - University of Cambridge 

2016 BSc Hons (Plant Sciences) - University of Edinburgh 


Responsibilities & affiliations

Associate Director of Teaching (Year 2 Lead) - School of Biological Sciences

Member of SBS Learning and Teaching Committee - School of Biological Sciences

Member of the Early Career Lecturers in Biosciences - Royal Society of Biology 

Undergraduate teaching

Y2: Genetics and Evolution (Course Organiser)

Y3: Evolution and Ecology of Plants; Genomes and Genomics

Y4: Research Project

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

A plant can be viewed as an organised community: its members (the cells) are constantly exchanging nutrients and signals. Plant growth and development heavily depend on these interactions. Microscopic and structurally complex pores called plasmodesmata facilitate transport and communication between neighbouring plant cells. I am interested in the regulation of these structures. Local molecular factors can indeed dynamically alter the aperture of plasmodesmata, influencing the extent of trafficking across them. My current research focuses on the role of callose, a polysaccharide enriched in the cell wall around plasmodesmata.

Exchanges between students and educators are similarly essential: they enable reciprocal development. As a community of learners, we influence each other's view of the world. My teaching goal is to help students grow into the leaders of tomorrow. I hope they will use their scientific knowledge to best support the societies of the future. Many students (and people in general) overlook plants and their importance in our ecosystems and societies. The term plant awareness disparity is used to describe this situation. To address this, my educational research explores teaching strategies that can improve plant perception and student engagement with this field of biology.

Invited speaker

2023 "Plant Science Teaching: framing of Content, interactive Approaches and diverse Voices at the centre of our practice" - Genetics Society Seed Plant Research Meeting - Durham 

2023 "Developing as an Educator" - Plantae Presents: Enhancing Teaching Skills for Plant Scientists - Online


2025 Plant Biology Education: a Vision for the Future - Lancaster 

2024 Biosciences Career Progression through Pedagogy - Bath


2024 Session Chair - Enhancing Student Engagement Workshop - Online