Abi Perrin

Abi Perrin


  • Research Associate in Cyanobacteria Cell, Biology
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Personal profile

Research interests

I joined the University of York, Mackinder lab and the worlds of microalgae and photosynthesis in January 2021 after a decade working on disease-causing microbes.

Before moving to York I completed my degree in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge specialising in microbiology then focussed on host-pathogen protein-protein interactions involved in disease during my PhD at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. During this time I became fascinated by the single-celled parasites that hijack red blood cells to cause malaria then moved to London to work more closely on their biology and genetics at the Francis Crick Institute. Now I apply the techniques and insights that have revolutionised our understanding of malaria by using high-throughput multiplexed approaches to characterise the localisation and function of thousands of proteins in cyanobacteria, which are the photosynthetic prokaryote ancestors of chloroplasts in algae and plants.

Cyanobacteria are vitally important to global carbon cycling, play fundamental roles in aquatic ecosystems and healthy soils, and hold great potential as part of more sutainable future industries. Despite their importance, much of their basic biology remains poorly underestood.  My work aims to address these gaps in our knowledge and create physical resources, datasets and methods for the research community, whilst minimising the materials we use to do so. 

Alongside my lab-based research I am re-orientating my activities to better align with responding to the Climate & Ecological Emergency. This includes communicating with a range of audiences, building better networks, trying to empower other scientists and academics, and stepping outside of unsustainable norms, and my own comfort zone, to challenge harmful practices and be part of creating better ones. As part of this I currently hold a YESI Knowledge Exchange Fellowship  which I am using to build stronger local connections and grow the community engaged with understanding the Climate and Nature crises and taking action in response.