Dr Owain Edwards obtained a BSc in Zoology from the University of Guelph in 1986. He was awarded his MSc in Entomology from the University of Missouri-Columbia, USA, in 1989 and his PhD in Entomology from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, in 1994.
Prior to joining CSIRO in 1998, Dr Edwards undertook postdoctoral studies at the University of Florida and the US Department of Agriculture to study ecological and genetic factors controlling the establishment of natural enemies in classical biological control programs.
As a Project Leader in CSIRO based in Perth, Western Australia, his research has focused primarily on the molecular basis of aphid-host plant interactions, which includes a leadership role in the International Aphid Genomics Consortium (IAGC) and strong collaborations with the Institute of Zoology (CAS Beijing), Kansas State University (USA), INRA Rennes (France) and BGI Shenzhen (China).
His work on aphids has now broadened to examine the molecular basis of all aphid interactions with the environment, including the genetic and epigenetic factors controlling aphid polyphenism.
Dr Edwards also provides insect genomics leadership internationally on the coordinating group of the i5K initiative to sequence 5000 insect genomes.
Most recently, he has embarked on innovative research applying insect metagenomics methods for biodiversity and biosecurity applications.