Dianne Edwards CBE ScD FRS FRSE FLS FLSW (born 1942) is a palaeobotanist, who studies the colonisation of land by plants, and early land plant interactions.
Professor Edwards was born in Swansea, South Wales. She spent much of her time at her parents' bungalow in Gower.
Edwards's work has centered 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.
Professor Edwards is a research professor at the University of Cardiff in the School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences.
She also has links with China, consulting for the Beijing Museum of Natural History, and working on fossils from that country.
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.
She is the author or co-author of a considerable number of botanical names of fossil plants, such as Danziella D.Edwards (2006) and Demersatheca C.-S. Li & D.Edwards (1996).
- 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.
- Professor Dianne Edwards FRS - The first plants
- "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". www.uu.se. Retrieved 2016-02-03.