Dr Arwyn Edwards

Profile: Research led teacher passionate about the molecular ecology of extreme environments.

Professional roles

2016-Present: Aberystwyth University: Director, Interdisciplinary Centre for Environmental Microbiology (AU iCEM).

2015-Present: Senior Lecturer in Biology, Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS).

2010-Present: Alpine Research Centre, Innsbruck University. International Partner.

2010-2015: Aberystwyth University. Lecturer in Biology (Welsh Medium Delivery; IBERS).

2008-2009: Aberystwyth University. Teaching Fellow in Biology (Welsh Medium Delivery; IBERS).-

Academic Qualifications

2005-2009: PhD – Microbial Diversity and Biogeography of Supraglacial Ecosystems University of Wales, Aberystwyth (typographical corrections only)

2002- 2005: B.Sc. Microbiology (1st class and 1st in class [n=210]), UW Aberystwyth


Academic Distinctions:

Fellowships, Honours and Prizes

 2017: Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship

2017: Walters Kundert Arctic and Mountain Research Fellowship, Royal Geographical Society

2015: Gwerddon Prize, Learned Society of Wales.

2014: MO BIO Microbiome Award for A Microbiome Atlas of our Melting Planet. Awarded by Mo Bio, Inc. (Solana, California) panel comprised of Profs Jonathan Eisen, Jack Gilbert, Janet Jansson

2014: Fellow, Higher Education Academy

2012: Fellow, Royal Geographical Society

2005: Delegate for 55th Lindau Nobel Meeting; “one of the top 600 young interdisciplinary scientists worldwide”.

2005: Institute of Biology prize for best undergraduate in Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

2005: Institute of Biology prize for best undergraduate research project. University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

2004: Wellcome Trust Summer Fellow. University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

2004: Society for General Microbiology prize for best Microbiology undergraduate. University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

2003: Society for General Microbiology vacation scholarship

2001: Nuffield Science Bursary, Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research.

Grant Income

Formally involved (PI, CoPI, CoI) in 39 awarded grants exceeding £8m including concurrent individual merit research fellowships from Leverhulme Trust and the Royal Geographic Society.  I have been equally comfortable in leading prestigious NERC New Investigator and Royal Society grants as I have contributing to large-scale pan-European/international networks (H2020 ITN, NRN-LCEE).

PhD Supervisor for: Dr Hefin Williams (2010-13); Dr Nia Blackwell (2010-14); Dr Richard Hill (2012-6); Dr Jarishma Gokul (2013-17); Dr Ottavia Cavalli (2013-17); Ian Stevens (2014-18); Andre Soares (2015-19); Aliyah Debbonaire (2016-20). Melanie Hay (2016-2020); Alvaro Garcia (2017-2020); Klemens Weisleitner (2014-18; external). Jasmine Millar (2017-2021; external)

Technical Competencies:

Fieldwork-related: Logistical planning of deployments in remote environments from 79°N-67°S, helicopter and fixed wing insertion; small boat operations; use of snowmobiles; weapons handling (.30-06; .308; .375 certified by UNIS and Kings Bay AS, Svalbard); Polar bear defence; deep field camping and operations; Remote Mountain First Aid and Extended Care for expedition medicine qualifications (CRT Medical); HSE First Aid; VHF and Satellite Communications; Mountain travel and navigation; glacier travel and crevasse rescue. >10 years’ experience in hostile environment operations, crisis response and management. Science and environmental impact assessment and permits. Microbial assays, genomics and sample processing in field environments.

Laboratory and analytical: 6 years’ experience of laboratory management and logistics; HSE and COSHH risk assessment. Safe handling of ACDP and ACGM controlled biological agents ; Radioisotope training and authorization for field and laboratory microbial activity assays. DNA, RNA and protein extraction from cultures and environmental matrices, routine molecular biology procedures; PCR, qPCR, RT-PCR; molecular cloning; protein expression, purification and assay; SDS-PAGE and Western blot; environmental genomics: T-RFLP, ARISA, Sanger-clone libraries; high throughput amplicon, genome and metagenome sequencing (454, IonTorrent, Illumina HiSeq and MiSeq, Oxford Nanopore MinION) with bioinformatics processing; molecular phylogenetics; multivariate community analysis (PRIMER+PERMANOVA, R). FISH, fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry and cell sorting; laser microdissection microscopy. Sample preparation and chemometric analyses for FT-IR, LC-MS and GC-MS based metabolomics.