Professor Edwards was born in Swansea, South Wales. She spent much of her time at her parents' bungalow in Gower.
Edwards's work has centred on early plant fossils, the majority of which have been retrieved from the UK. Her interest in early plants was initiated after she studied plant fossils preserved in three dimensions in the mineral pyrite (fools' gold);.
Much of her later work has centred on the Rhynie chert and charcoalified fossils, large and microscopic, from the Welsh borderlands and south Wales.
Among Edwards's most notable works are the discovery of vascular tissue in Cooksonia, the description and analysis of stomata in early land plants, and very early liverwort-like plants. The charcoalified nature of many of her fossils have enabled her to prove that wildfires took place in the Siluruan period. She has also worked on several enigmatic fossils such as Nematothallus, Tortilicaulis and Prototaxites.
- Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1996.
- Trustee of the Natural History Museum, London.
- 2004 winner of the Lyell Medal.
- Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and in July 2010 was appointed as its inaugural Vice-President for Science, Technology and Medicine.
- President of the Linnean Society of London, 2012–2015
- PhD honoris causa at the Faculty of Science and Technology at Uppsala University, Sweden, since 2014.
- Index of Botanists, Harvard University Herbarium, retrieved 7 April 2011, entry for D. Edwards
- Walton, Adam (27 March 2012). "Prof. Dianne Edwards". BBC – Wales – Radio Wales – Science Cafe. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
- Professor Dianne Edwards FRS – The first plants
- "Professor Dianne Edwards CBE PhD, ScD(Cantab) FRSE, FLS, FLSE, FLSW, FRS". WISRNet, Women in Science Research Network. 2015.
- Professor Dianne Edwards
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Edwards, D. (1979). "A late Silurian flora from the Lower Old Red Sandstone of south-west Dyfed". Palaeontology. 22: 23–52.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- IPNI. D.Edwards.
- "Lyell Medal winners". The Geological Society.
- "Founding Fellows". Learned Society of Wales. Learned Society of Wales. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- "Hans Rosling one of four new honorary doctors at Faculty of Science and Technology – Uppsala University, Sweden". uu.se. Retrieved 3 February 2016.