Professor Dianne Edwards
Professor Dianne Edwards, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences
Distinguished for her investigations into the nature of the earliest land plant fossils.
Professor Dianne Edwards is distinguished for her investigations into the nature of the earliest land plant fossils. By skillful application of scanning electron microscopy, and the painstaking use of such techniques as the preparation of polished surfaces of pyritised plant tissue, Dianne has elucidated the anatomy and morphology of numerous late Silurian and early Devonian plants and thrown new light on the evolutionary events surrounding the first colonization of the land. In carefully documented field work in Wales, the Welsh Border, Scotland and other parts of the world she has greatly extended our knowledge of early land plant life, and added precision to the evolutionary time scale of the vascular plants which dominate the Earths land flora today. Together with many collaborators she has demonstrated the earliest known occurrences of vascular tissue, stomata and miospores in situ in fossil plant organs. Above all, Dianne has demonstrated an unexpected diversity in what has previously been regarded as a limited group of structurally simple, undistinguished Palaeozoic plants. As a former trustee of the National Botanical Gardens of Wales, she has been heavily involved in the foundation and survival of this important scientific and cultural resource.