Siouxsie Wiles

Dr Siouxsie Wiles is a research scientist with a background in medical and environmental microbiology. She has made a career out of combining her twin passions of bioluminescence (the production of light by living organisms — think glow worms and fireflies) and nasty microbes. In a nutshell, Siouxsie and her team make nasty bacteria glow in the dark to better understand infectious diseases. Originally from the UK, Siouxsie now leads the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab at the University of Auckland. She was the 2013 winner of the Prime Minister's Science Media Communicator's Prize. Siouxsie is on Twitter @SiouxsieW

Monday Micro – Glowing Superbugs at TEDxChristchurch - Infectious Thoughts

May 18, 2015

Last November I talked about my research at TEDxChristchurch. It was my first experience of a TEDx event and I was blown away by how amazing and inspirational the day was. It was very humbling to have been given the opportunity to enthuse about bioluminescence and bacteria. Here’s the video of my talk, also featuring glowing caterpillars and genitals!   … Read More

Those “illegal” school science kits and our illogical Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act - Infectious Thoughts

Apr 08, 2015

The Dominion Post recently ran an article about “Glowing GE bacteria” which were “produced illegally in New Zealand using mail-order kits from America”. Perhaps unsurprisingly given that the phrase ‘genetically engineered’ was mentioned, Green MP Stefan Browning and GE Free New Zealand spokesperson Jon Carapiet chimed in to share their dismay that people/kids were fiddling with complex natural systems and things that posed a threat to our GE-free status (which we aren’t). I’m paraphrasing here, but I think that was the sum of it. The usual GE = evil sort of stuff. Let’s look at what happened and if it posed any risk to anyone. Who made what and why was it illegal? A global biotech company originally founded in the USA, and which makes lots of laboratory reagents scientists like me commonly use, make a … Read More

Glowing fun at the MOTAT Science Street Fair - Infectious Thoughts

Apr 02, 2015

Thanks to Heather Hendrickson for the photos! Last weekend the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab took part in this year’s Science Street Fair at MOTAT in Auckland. We had the GlowBooth up and running again (at least until the camera’s battery died!) and 262 people joined us to make some bioluminescent art. There were lots of smiley faces drawn this time! GlowBooth photos are up on Flickr here. Glowing art photos are up on Flickr here. Read More