Siouxsie Wiles

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Siouxsie Wiles

Siouxsie Wiles MNZN (cropped).jpg
Wiles in 2019
ResidenceNew Zealand
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
AwardsBlake Medal
Scientific career
Fieldsmicrobiology, science education
InstitutionsUniversity of Auckland

Siouxsie Wiles MNZM (born Susanna Wiles) is a microbiologist and science communicator who is based in New Zealand. Her specialist areas are infectious diseases and bioluminescence.

Early life

Wiles grew up in the United Kingdom and South Africa. Her mother is a retired social worker and her father is a business owner.[1]


Wiles studied at the University of Edinburgh and graduated in 1997 with a BSc(Hons) in Medical Microbiology. While an undergraduate, she received a Nuffield Scholarship and worked in the university's School of Biological Sciences.[2] Wiles completed her PhD at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, previously known as the Institute of Virology and Environmental Microbiology.[3][4]

Professional life

After completing her PhD, Wiles moved to Imperial College London for a post-doctoral research position on tuberculosis. In 2007 she became a lecturer at Imperial College, and in 2009 was awarded a Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship from the Health Research Council of New Zealand and moved to the University of Auckland.[5] Wiles is the head of the university's Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab.[2]

Science communication

Wiles is passionate about demystifying science for the general public. She is an active blogger on, an online podcaster, a commentator on Radio New Zealand and appears on TV shows to discuss science stories in the news.[2][5] She was one of eight scientists who fronted the New Zealand government's National Science Challenges in 2012, and co-presented the TV series "The Great New Zealand Science Project".[4][6]

Her book Antibiotic Resistance: The End of Modern Medicine[7] was published in 2017 and examined the growing global problem of antibiotics resistance. Commenting on the book, University of Otago infectious diseases expert Professor Kurt Krause described it as "a clear call to action for New Zealanders on one of the most critical issues we face".[7]

She has also used art and film to communicate scientific ideas: in 2011 she collaborated with Australian graphic artist Luke Harris to produce a series of animated films featuring bioluminescent creatures and their uses in science.[5] One of the animations, on fireflies, was selected for inclusion in the 6th Imagine Science Film Festival in New York in 2013, and the Goethe Institute’s 2014 Science Film Festival.[2] Wiles collaborated with artist Rebecca Klee on an installation at the Auckland Art in the Dark Festival in 2013, which featured the Hawaiian bobtail squid.[1]

More recent science communication projects include the Biolumination II exhibition initially held in 2015 and the Glow Hub Youtube channel, which brings together animated videos on the subject of bioluminescence.

In 2018, Wiles was named as a finalist for New Zealander of the Year for her work on antibiotic-resistant superbugs and infectious diseases.[8]

Awards and recognition

External links


  1. ^ a b Laxon, Andrew (23 November 2013). "Michele Hewitson interview: Siouxsie Wiles". New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Siouxsie Wiles | The University of Edinburgh". Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  3. ^ "About Siouxsie | Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab". Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b "The Prime Minister's Science Media Communication Prize 2013 | The Prime Minister's Science Prizes". Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d "Dr Siouxsie Wiles". Royal Society of New Zealand. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  6. ^ "The Great NZ Science Project begins!". Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Antibiotic Resistance | BWB Bridget Williams Books". Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  8. ^ "New Zealander of the Year Finalists Announced". Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Dr Siouxsie Wiles - The University of Auckland". Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Sir Peter Blake Trust honours leaders at black-tie awards". Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Denis Dutton Award for New Zealand Skeptic of the Year". NZ Skeptics. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  12. ^ "New Year honours list 2019". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2019.