Dianne Edwards

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Dianne Edwards CBE ScD FRS FRSE FLS FLSW (born 1942[1]) is a palaeobotanist, who studies the colonisation of land by plants, and early land plant interactions.

Early life[edit]

Professor Edwards was born in Swansea, South Wales. She spent much of her time at her parents' bungalow in Gower.[2]


Edwards's work has centred on early plant fossils, the majority of which have been retrieved from the UK.[3] Her interest in early plants was initiated after she studied plant fossils preserved in three dimensions in the mineral pyrite (fools' gold);.[3]

Much of her later work has centred on the Rhynie chert and charcoalified fossils, large and microscopic, from the Welsh borderlands and south Wales.

Professor Edwards is a research professor at the University of Cardiff in the School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences.[4]

She also has links with China, consulting for the Beijing Museum of Natural History, and working on fossils from that country.[5]


Among Edwards's most notable works are the discovery of vascular tissue in Cooksonia,[6] the description and analysis of stomata in early land plants,[7] and very early liverwort-like plants.[8] The charcoalified nature of many of her fossils have enabled her to prove that wildfires took place in the Siluruan period.[9] She has also worked on several enigmatic fossils such as Nematothallus,[10] Tortilicaulis[11] and Prototaxites.[12]

She is the author or co-author of a considerable number of botanical names of fossil plants, such as Danziella D.Edwards (2006)[13] and Demersatheca C.-S. Li & D.Edwards (1996).[14]



  1. ^ Entry: D. Edwards. Index of Botanists, Harvard University Herbarium, retrieved 16 December 2017 
  2. ^ Walton, Adam (27 March 2012). "Prof. Dianne Edwards". BBC – Wales – Radio Wales – Science Cafe. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Professor Dianne Edwards FRS – The first plants
  4. ^ "Professor Dianne Edwards CBE PhD, ScD(Cantab) FRSE, FLS, FLSE, FLSW, FRS". WISRNet, Women in Science Research Network. 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Professor Dianne Edwards
  6. ^ Edwards, D.; Davies, K. L.; Axe, L. (1992). "A vascular conducting strand in the early land plant Cooksonia". Nature. 357 (6380): 683–685. Bibcode:1992Natur.357..683E. doi:10.1038/357683a0. 
  7. ^ Edwards, D.; Kerp, H.; Hass, H. (1998). "Stomata in early land plants: an anatomical and ecophysiological approach" (PDF). Journal of Experimental Botany. 49 (Special Issue): 255–278. doi:10.1093/jexbot/49.suppl_1.255. 
  8. ^ Edwards, D.; Duckett, J. G.; Richardson, J. B. (1995). "Hepatic characters in the earliest land plants". Nature. 374 (6523): 635–636. Bibcode:1995Natur.374..635E. doi:10.1038/374635a0. 
  9. ^ Glasspool, I. J.; Edwards, D.; Axe, L. (2004). "Charcoal in the Silurian as evidence for the earliest wildfire". Geology. 32 (5): 381–383. Bibcode:2004Geo....32..381G. doi:10.1130/G20363.1. 
  10. ^ Edwards, D.; Rose, V. (1984). "Cuticles of Nematothallus: a further enigma". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 88 (1–2): 35–54. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1984.tb01563.x. 
  11. ^ Edwards, D. (1979). "A late Silurian flora from the Lower Old Red Sandstone of south-west Dyfed". Palaeontology. 22: 23–52. 
  12. ^ Burgess, N. D.; Edwards, D. (1988). "A new Palaeozoic plant closely allied to Prototaxites Dawson". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 97 (2): 189–203. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1988.tb02461.x. 
  13. ^ Edwards, Dianne (2006), "Danziella artesiana, a new name for Zosterophyllum artesianum from the Lower Devonian of Artois, northern France", Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 142 (3–4): 93–101, doi:10.1016/j.revpalbo.2006.04.008 
  14. ^ Li, C.-S. & Edwards, D. (1996), "Demersatheca Li et Edwards, gen. nov., a new genus of early land plants from the Lower Devonian, Yunnan Province, China", Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 93 (1–4): 77–88, doi:10.1016/0034-6667(95)00120-4 
  15. ^ IPNI.  D.Edwards. 
  16. ^ "Lyell Medal winners". The Geological Society. 
  17. ^ "Founding Fellows". Learned Society of Wales. Learned Society of Wales. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "Hans Rosling one of four new honorary doctors at Faculty of Science and Technology – Uppsala University, Sweden". uu.se. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 

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