Robert Saunders, BSc (Hons), PhD
I’m a university academic, with research interests in the fundamental biology of ageing. I approach this work from a molecular genetic perspective, using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. Recent work has concerned the relationship between DNA replication/repair and ageing, focussing on the functions of WRN, the gene that is mutated in the progeroid genetic disorder Werner syndrome. My teaching interests generally lie in the area of molecular genetics, evolution and genome biology.
I took my first degree at Edinburgh University, where I was awarded a first class honours degree in Genetics. My PhD project was a molecular genetic analysis of female sterile mutations in Drosophila melanogaster, also at the University of Edinburgh. I undertook postdoctoral research at Imperial College, London and at the University of Dundee. Prior to joining my present institution, I held a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship in Biodiversity, working on the malaria mosquitoes of the Anopheles gambiae species complex.
I blog at and maintain several websites, including Wonderful Life, where I blog about “biology and atheism in an overly religious world”, with a strong focus on creationism. It’s this blogging activity that led me to the BCSE, and subsequently to joining its committee. I hope to offer an additional genetics-based perspective of the claims of creationists, whether they be from the young earth, biblical literalist or intelligent design camp.
My web writing reflects my own opinions, and not those of my employer.