Rob Edwards, Chair
A 30 year research career based in industry, academia and the government, Rob has made major contributions to our understanding of herbicide selectivity in crops and weeds and in translating this work into biotechnological and crop protection applications.
Trained as a Biochemist at the University of Bath and St. Mary’s Medical School, London, Rob has extensive experience of working in the private sector (Schering Agrochemicals, Noble Foundation USA), and public sectors.
Progressed from Lecturer to Head of Department at Durham University, and until mid – 2014 has been Chief Scientist at the Food and Environment Research Agency of Defra, as well as holding a joint position as Chair in Crop Protection at the University of York. Later this year, Rob is taking up the new Head of the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development at the University of Newcastle on Tyne.
Working with chemists and industry, Rob has made major contributions to our understanding of the detoxification of synthetic compounds and natural products in plants, which underpin our current understanding of herbicide selectivity and resistance. He has played a formative role in developing national research strategies in crop protection, plant synthetic biology and biorefining, working with both industry and government sponsors.
Rob was awarded a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Research Development Fellowship in 2005 and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2011.
Committed to outreach activities to schools and the general public, being closely involved in the National Public Dialogue in Synthetic Biology sponsored by the UK Research Councils.
Passionate to discover novel ways of controlling herbicide resistance in black-grass and developing new generations of agri-chemicals and advanced diagnostics for crop protection and plant health.