Professor Edward Holmes FRS

Edward (Eddie) Holmes is an evolutionary biologist distinguished for his work on the emergence and evolution of viruses. He has used genomic and phylogenetic approaches to reveal the major mechanisms of virus evolution and determined the genetic and epidemiological processes that explain how viruses jump species boundaries and spread in new hosts.

His work has revealed the origin, evolution and molecular epidemiology of important human pathogens including influenza, HIV and dengue, and enabled more accurate assessments of what types of virus are most likely to emerge in human populations and whether they will evolve human-to-human transmission. His recent research has provided fundamental insights into the breadth and biodiversity of the viral world.

Eddie is currently a Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney, located in the Charles Perkins Centre. In 2003 he was awarded the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London and in 2015 was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Professional position

  • Faculty Member, The Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney
  • Professor of Biology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and School of Medical Sciences, University of Sydney

Subject groups

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology

    Molecular microbiology

  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology



  • Croonian Medal and Lecture

    For being a global authority on virus evolution and emergence, who played a key role in the discovery of SARS-CoV-2 and was the first to publicly release the genome sequence.