Dr Siouxsie Wiles

Session | COVID-19

NZSA Speaker Wiles SP

Dr Siouxsie Wiles MNZM is an award-winning scientist who has made a career of manipulating microbes. Dr Wiles is an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland and heads up the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab where she and her team make bacteria glow in the dark to understand how infectious microbes make us sick and to find new antibiotics. Dr Wiles studied medical microbiology at the University of Edinburgh, followed by a PhD in microbiology at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Oxford and Edinburgh Napier University. Dr Wiles spent almost a decade at Imperial College London, before relocating to New Zealand as a Health Research Council Hercus Fellow in 2009. Her commitment to the ethical use of animals in research has won her the inaugural UK National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) prize in 2005 and the New Zealand National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) 3Rs prize in 2011. Dr Wiles is also passionate about demystifying science, and has won numerous prizes for her efforts, including the Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize and the and the Royal Society Te Apārangi’s Callaghan Medal in 2013. In 2017 she published her first book, ‘Antibiotic resistance: the end of modern medicine?’ and in 2019 was appointed a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to microbiology and science communication. During COVID-19 Dr Wiles joined forces with Spinoff cartoonist Toby Morris to make the science of the pandemic clear and understandable. Releasing their work under a Creative Commons licence, their graphics have been translated into multiple languages and have been adapted by various governments and organisations as part of their official pandemic communications.