Head of Environmental Sciences School, University of Newcastle
Robert Edwards qualified with a BSc in Biochemistry (Bath University) and a PhD in Environmental Toxicology (St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School, University of London). His interests are focussed on the biotransformation of synthetic compounds and natural products in plants and the manipulation of these pathways for applications in crop protection. These interests have been developed through working in both the private and public sector in the UK (Schering Agrochemicals ) and USA (Noble Foundation), with an independent research group established in 1991 in the Biology Department at the University of Durham. In 2008 he became the Head of Biological Sciences at Durham and in 2010 took up a joint position as Chief Scientist at the UK’s Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) and a chair in Crop Protection in the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products, University of York. To further consolidate his interests in basic and applied agrifood research, in March 2014 he took up post as the Head of Agriculture at Newcastle where he continues to direct personal research programmes in crop protection, with a specific focus on the control of wild grasses in cereal crops. Outreach and industrial roles in the farming sector include Chair of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s Farmer Scientist Network and the Director of the Institute for Agrifood Research and Innovation formed in 2014 between Newcastle University and Fera Science Ltd. He is currently the Head of the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Newcastle.