Winthrop Professor of Microbial Ecology: UWA School of Agriculture and Environment &The Marshall Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Training
Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology) PhD in Biological Oceanography
Professor Whiteley is a West Australian Premier’s Fellow (2012) and Winthrop Research Professor in microbial ecology at UWA and The Marshall Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Training. He was responsible for the World’s first inventory of a whole country’s microbial diversity at 5km resolution in the U.K., and to explore how this related to soil health, environmental factors and geographic spread. In transferring his research interests to Western Australia Professor Whiteley created the MicroBlitz citizen science project to facilitate the mapping of the WA environmental genome.
Prior to arriving in WA, Professor Whiteley led a group of scientists in the UK as they mapped the microbial diversity of an entire country, but mapping the state of WA, which is approximately 22 times larger than the UK, presented a whole new range of challenges. Professor Whiteley’s brainchild the MicroBlitz citizen science project was his solution to overcoming the need to sample areas from Kununurra to Esperance and all points in-between. MicroBlitz was first established in 2013 and as well motivating an army of citizen scientists to collect field samples from all over the state, the project has also sparked a range of research and collaborations, including the latest with The Marshall Centre, exploring the links between environmental health and human health.