Research on Astrobiology and the History of Biologyim-m-w-06.jpg

Dr M Wainwright

Sheffield 222 4410

Career History

2012 Honorary Professor and Fellow of the Centre for Astrobiology, University of Buckingham
2009 Honorary Professor Cardiff University
2010 Honorary Professor King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
1986-present: Senior Lecturer
1975-1986: Lecturer in Microbiology
1974-1975: National Research Council of Canada, Postdoctoral Fellow


1) Astrobiology - mainly in relation to attempts to demonstrate the validity of the theory of neopanspermia, i.e. the view that microbes are currently arriving to Earth from space.
2) History of Science - studies on the history of the development of the germ theory, the discovery of antibiotics, notably penicillin and streptomcyin; the role of bacteria in the aetiology of cancer, and the role played by Patrick Matthew, and others in pre-Origin work on evolution (search Google for “wainwrightscience”).


Left: A balloon used to sample the stratosphere for microbes in an attempt to demonstrate neopanspermia-the view that life (microbes) are continually arriving to Earth from space

Selected Publications

Wainwright, M., Al Harbi, S. and Wickramasinghe, N.C. (2006). How do microorganisms reach the stratosphere? International Journal of Astrobiology 5,13-15.
Shivaji, S.,Chaturvedi, P.,Kuresh,K.,Redy,C.B.S.,Wainwright al. (2006). Bacillus aerius sp. nov. isolated from cryogenic tubes used for collecting air samples from high altitudes. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 56,1465-1473.
Wainwright, M. (2008). Some highlights in the history of mycology-a personal journey. Fungal Biology Reviews, 7, 2297-102.
Wainwright, M., Leswd, A. and Alshammari,F. (2009). Bacteria in amber coal and clay in relation to lithopanspermia. International Journal of Astrobiology 8,141-143.
Wainwright, M. (2010).The overlooked link between non-virus microbes and cancer. Science Progress 93, 393-40.
Wainwright, M.(2002). Do fungi play a role in the aetiology of cancer? Reviews of Medical Microbiology 13, 1-6.
Wainwright,M. (2006). The potential role of non-virus microorganisms in cancer. Current Trends in Microbiology 2, 48-59.
Wainwright,M.(2011). Charles Darwin mycologist and refuter of his own myth. Fungi 4, 12-20.
Wainwright, M. (1991). Streptomycin: discovery and resultant controversy. Journal of the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 13, 97-124.
Wainwright, M. and Swan, H.T. (1986). C.G. Paine and the earliest surviving clinical record of penicillin therapy. Medical History 30, 42-56.