University of Toronto, Canada

Title: Metagenomics of anaerobic microbial consortia

Dr. Elizabeth Edwards holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering from McGill University, Montreal, and a PhD degree (1993) in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. Over the two decades, Dr. Edwards’ research team has discovered and characterized novel microbial cultures such as the now commercial KB-1® consortium that metabolize pollutants previously thought to be recalcitrant. This discovery led to the founding of SiREM Laboratories ( in Guelph in 2002 that recently celebrated 15 years in business. She has received many awards including most notably an NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation with Geosyntec Consultants (2009), and the Killam Prize in Engineering (2016). She is also the founding director of BioZone, a Centre for Applied Bioscience and Bioengineering Research and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Anaerobic Biotechnology.