Dr Edze Westra
Associate Professor / NERC Independent Research Fellow


I am a NERC funded Independent Research Fellow (Associate Professor), working on the evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions. My lab studies how ecological variables drive the evolution of various immune strategies in bacteria, with an emphasis on CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune systems, and examines their coevolutionary consequences. Bacteria encode lots of different immune mechanisms, and their molecular basis has been studied in great detail, which makes them an ideal model system to study more generally how ecology drives the evolution of different defenses. These bacterial defense mechanisms include CRISPR-Cas, which I studied at the molecular level during the start of my scientific career, surface modification, restriction modification, abortive infection and prokaryotic Argonaute.

I am a member of the Environment and Sustainability Institute.

View my full web profile.


2016 Heineken Young Scientist Award for Biochemistry and Biophysics (awarded by the KNAW, the Dutch royal society for science)
2014 Westerdijk Award for best Ph.D. research in Microbiology in the Netherlands (awarded by the KNVM, the Dutch society for microbiology)
2013 Westenbrink Award for best Ph.D. research in Biochemistry in the Netherlands (awarded by the NVBMB, the Dutch society for biochemistry and molecular biology)
2013 PhD Microbiology (University of Wageningen)
2007 MSc Molecular Life Sciences (University of Wageningen)
2006 BSc Molecular Life Sciences (University of Wageningen)

Contact details

Tel+44 (0) 1326 259484
AddressEnvironment and Sustainability Institute
University of Exeter
Penryn Campus
TR10 9FE

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