Rich Edwards


  • The University of Western Australia (M470), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Rich Edwards is a Principal Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia (UWA) Oceans Institute, and the lead academic for the Minderoo OceanOmics Centre at UWA. The centre is a collaboration between the Minderoo Foundation and UWA, supporting an ambitious research program to revolutionise the way that environmental DNA (eDNA) is used to monitor and protect marine vertebrate biodiversity. Rich leads the technical team that runs the centre, and an academic research program in evolutionary/conservation genomics. Here, the focus is collaborating with research groups across Australia (and taxa!) to generate high-quality genome assemblies in support of applications in conservation and evolutionary biology. Rich maintains an adjunct Associate Professor position in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences (BABS) at the University of New South Wales.

Originally from southern England, Rich trained a geneticist at the University of Nottingham (UK), studying the population genetics of transposable elements in bacteria for his PhD. He moved to Dublin (Ireland) in 2001 to become a full time bioinformatician in the Shields Lab, developing a sequence analysis methods for rational design of biologically active short peptides based on functional specificity and ancestral sequence prediction. The biological activity of these short peptides started an interest in Short Linear Motifs (SLiMs), which are short regions of proteins that mediate interactions with other proteins.

Rich has developed several tools for the prediction and analysis of SLiMs, distributed in the SLiMSuite package (as well as coining the term “SLiM” to describe this specific type of protein interaction motif). The lab was established in 2007 when Rich moved to the University of Southampton (UK), where he continued to work on SLiMs but diversified to collaborate on numerous projects involving DNA and/or protein sequence analysis.

Rich moved to UNSW in late 2013, where he has built a close working relationship with the Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics and established genomics as a core research activity. Here, he was involved in multiple de novo whole genome sequencing and assembly projects, using short read (Illumina), long read (PacBio & Nanopore) and linked read (10x Chromium) sequencing, and Hi-C proximity ligation. These include yeast, bacteria, invasive cane toads and starlings, venomous Australian snakes through the BABS Genome Project, Aussie marsupials as part of the Oz Mammals Genomics initiative, dogs, dingoes, rainforest trees, pathogenic rust fungi, and the NSW Waratah as part of the Genomics of Australian Plants initiative. In 2022, he moved to Perth to lead the Minderoo OceanOmics Centre at UWA, where he is heavily involved in marine vertebrate genome sequencing assembly with the Ocean Genomes project.

Roles and responsibilities

Principal Research Fellow, UWA Oceans Institute

Laboratory Lead, Minderoo OceanOmics Centre at UWA

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Genetics, PhD, Adaptive Insertion Mutations in Bacteria, University of Nottingham

1 Oct 199830 Sept 2001

Award Date: 4 Jul 2002

Genetics, BSc (Hons), University of Nottingham

1 Oct 199530 Jun 1998

Award Date: 4 Jul 1998

External positions

Adjunct Associate Professor in Genomics and Bioinformatics, University of New South Wales

22 Aug 2022 → …

Industry keywords

  • Bioinformatics
  • Agriculture and Food
  • Oceans
  • Biotechnology

Research expertise keywords

  • Genomics (plant, animal)
  • Bioinformatics
  • Evolutionary genomics
  • Genome Sequencing
  • Molecular evolution


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