Posted on 29 June 2010
Professor Robert Edwards is currently Head of School and co-Director of the Centre for Bioactive Chemistry in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University. At Fera, he succeeds Professor Nicola Spence who moved on to take up the post of Chief Executive of Science City York earlier this year.
Rob's joint appointment will significantly enhance our growing links with Fera and will enable us further to develop strategic aspects of our research and training
Professor Dale Sanders FRS, Head of the Department of Biology
Professor Edwards will continue to run his group which will relocate to CNAP, and further develop his research programmes in counteracting herbicide resistance in weeds, wheat biotechnology and biorefining, as funded by the Research Councils and industry. He will take up his appointment at York on the 9 August 2010, to coincide with assuming his new post at Fera.
Head of the Department of Biology, Professor Dale Sanders FRS, said: "The Department is thrilled to welcome a scientist of Rob's standing among its staff. Rob's joint appointment will significantly enhance our growing links with Fera and will enable us further to develop strategic aspects of our research and training."
Professor Ian Graham, Director of CNAP, added: "I am delighted that Rob Edwards and his team will be joining us since their expertise of in-planta small molecule modifications complements ongoing work, and should lead to important applications in the areas of plant protection, novel product production and biocatalysis."
Formerly a plant health biochemist with 25 years experience working in, and with, the international chemical industry, Professor Edwards’ research interests include metabolite profiling, pesticide metabolism in plants, plant/pathogen interactions and biorefining.
He said: “I am delighted to be joining Fera at a time when my experience in crop science can make such a contribution to the Agency’s work in addressing national and international challenges in food security and environmental sustainability. Through my joint academic position at the University of York, I am particularly keen to develop increasing interactions between Fera and Higher Education Institutions in driving innovation in applied food and environmental science.”Fera Chief Executive Adrian Belton said: “I and my colleagues look forward to working with Rob. He brings to the position extensive relevant experience and a long list of professional achievements. This is a senior science post in Defra and Government and thus will help in collaborative working across Defra, its network, and beyond.”
As Chief Scientist, Professor Edwards will be responsible for maintaining and growing the scientific reputation of Fera, both nationally and internationally, as well as leading the development of Fera’s own scientific capability and ensuring the integrity and quality of all its scientific activity.