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Fellows Directory

Anthony Edwards

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Professor Anthony Edwards FRS


Elected: 2015


Professor Anthony Edwards (A.W.F.Edwards) was born in London on 4 October 1935. The younger brother of John Hilton Edwards FRS, he followed him to Uppingham School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge.  Whereas John read medicine, Anthony read natural sciences, specialising in genetics under R.A.Fisher FRS, for his third year, and proceeding to a PhD in the department after Fisher retired in 1957.

After one postdoctoral year he was invited by Professor L.L.Cavalli-Sforza to the University of Pavia, where, in 1961-1964, they initiated the statistical approach to the construction of evolutionary trees from genetical data, using the first modern computers. A year at Stanford was followed by three years as Senior Lecturer in Statistics at the University of Aberdeen under Professor D.J.Finney FRS and then two years as a Bye-Fellow in Science at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, during which he wrote his book Likelihood.

The remainder of Professor Edwards’s career has been spent at Cambridge, ultimately as Professor of Biometry, during which he has published widely, including books on Venn Diagrams, Mathematical Genetics, and Pascal’s Triangle.

Professional positions

Fellow, Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge
Emeritus Professor of Biometry, University of Cambridge

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Fundamental theorem of natural selection, James Bernoulli, Maximum likelihood estimation, Mendel, Pascal, Phylogenetic trees, Population genetics, R.A.Fisher, Statistical inference, Venn diagrams