Rebecca Edgar

Rebecca Edgar

Senior Microbiologist


Huge biotechnology potential from microbiology

I’m a Senior Microbiologist working in the Fermentation and Microbiology group. My background is in Biochemistry and I’m skilled in a variety of molecular biology and microbiology techniques, as well as small scale fermentation

My work has involved identifying new antimicrobials, the development of pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, optimising recombinant protein expression, and novel approaches to animal feed.

I was honoured to work supporting New Zealand's response to the Covid-19 pandemic by undertaking R&D towards a Covid-19 vaccine. 

An exciting part of microbiology is the ability of microorganisms to occupy virtually every environment on earth. I see this representing a huge, and largely untapped, biotechnology potential. And I hope to play a part in commercialising that future research.

Areas of expertise
  • Bacterial culturing and manipulation
  • Protein expression and purification
  • Enzyme activity and antimicrobial assays
  • Gene expression analysis
  • Production of new foods and food ingredients
  • Fermentation in small scale bioreactors
  • PhD, Biochemistry, University of Otago, 2014
Memberships and awards
  • Member of New Zealand Microbiological Society (NZMS)
  • Member Association of Biosafety for Australia and New Zealand (ABSANZ)
Selected publications
  • Process development for the production of starter cultures for use in food fermentation, Harvey, S., Edgar, R., Rose, R. Food New Zealand, 2021, 21 (5), 36-40
  • Chapter 3: Fundamentals of Fermentation Media, Allikian, K., Edgar, R., Syed, R., and Zhang, S., In: Berenjian, A. (ed) Essentials in Fermentation Technology. Springer, New York, 2019
  • Discovery of glycerol phosphate modification on streptococcal rhamnose polysaccharides, Edgar, R.J., van Hensbergen, V.P., Ruda, A., Turner, A.G., Deng, P., Le Breton, Y., El-Sayed, N.M., Belew, A.T., McIver, K.S., McEwan, A.G., Morris, A.J., Lambeau, G., Walker, M.J., Rush, J.S., Korotkov, K.V., Widmalm, G., van Sorge, N.M., Korotkova, N. Nature Chemical Biology, 2019, 15 (5), 463-471
  • Integrated activities of two alternative sigma factors coordinate iron acquisition and uptake by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Edgar, R.J., Hampton, G.E., Garcia, G., Maher, M.J., Perugini, M.A., Ackerley, D.F., Lamont, I.L. Molecular Microbiology, 2017, 106 (6), 891-904
Popular Topics