Professor Dawn Field

CEH Fellow
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Maclean Building
Benson Lane
Crowmarsh Gifford
OX10 8BB
Tel: +44 (0)1491 692652
Fax: +44 (0)1491 692424
E-mail: Dr Dawn Field


Professor Dawn Field is the Head of the Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics Group at the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, where her group undertakes research in comparative microbial genomics and microbial diversity using bioinformatic approaches and next-generation sequencing technologies. In particular she is interested in understanding the evolution and function of the “Unknown Genome”, the large fraction of sequenced genetic material found within genomic and metagenomic data sets that has yet to be characterised. 

She is a founder of the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) and its open-access journal (SIGS).  She is a founder of Minimum Information about a Biological or Biomedical Investigation initiative (MIBBI) and the Environment Ontology and an active member of a variety of other data standards and ontology efforts.  She is also the Director of the NERC Environmental Bioinformatics Centre (NEBC) and the newly established NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility (NBAF-Oxford) bioinformatics node (

Current position

2001-present: Head of Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics Group, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Academic Affiliations

2009-present: Senior Research Associate of Department of Zoology of Oxford University

2001-present: Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Biology, Penn State University

Postdoctoral Research

1999-2000: NSF-Sloan Postdoctoral Fellow under Prof Richard Moxon, "Molecular Genetics and Mutational Dynamics of Highly Mutable Loci Involved in Adaptive Evolution in H. influenzae". University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.

Highest Degrees

1992-1998: PhD "Mutation, Selection & the Evolution of Microsatellite Loci in Microbial Genomes". Biology Department (Ecology, Behavior and Evolution Group), University of California, San Diego

1987-1991:  B.S. in Biology with High Honors, College of William and Mary in Virginia, Williamsburg, Virginia

Selected Scientific Activities

2010: PI of NERC “Environmental ‘Omics Strategy Consultation” (NEOMICS)

2010: Advisory Board: DIAG project (cloud computing)

2009-present: Director, NERC BioMolecular Analysis Facility bioinformatics node

2009: EU/BBSRC SysMO2 Scientific Advisory Panel

2008-2009: Elixir “Strategy for Data Resources” Committee

2008-present: Founding Editor of the journal “Standards in Genomic Sciences

2008: Advisory board of Microbial Commons Conference, June 2008, Ghent Belgium

2007-2010: Course Co-ordinator for “Molecular Techniques and Bioinformatics “ MSc course, Department of Zoology, Oxford University

2007: Guest Editor of a special issue of OMICS on the Genomic Standards Consortium

2007-2009: BBSRC Biological and Bioinformatics Resources Fund (BBRF) Panel

2006-2009: Editorial Board of Plos ONE

2006-2007: Editorial Board of Plasmid

2006: Guest Editor of a special issue of OMICS on data standards

2006-present: Editorial Board of OMICS: a journal of integrative biology

2005-2009: NERC Information Technologies and Data Management Merit Promotion Panel

2003-2006: NERC Peer Review College

2003-2004: NERC Informatics Strategy for Environmental Genomics Advisory Panel

2002-present: Director of the NERC Environmental Bioinformatics Centre (NEBC)

Membership in international ‘omics standardization bodies

2007-present: ISA-TAB, GSC Representative

2007-present: Founding member of the Environmental Ontology (EnvO) Consortium

2006-present: Founding member of the “Minimum Information about a Biomedical or Biological Investigation” (MIBBI) Consortium

2006-present: Founding member of the Metabolomic Standards Initiative Biological Context working group, Env sub-working group (CIMR-Bio-Env)

2006-present: MGED Reporting Structure for Biological Investigations (RSBI) as GSC community representative

2006-present: Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI) Consortium as GSC community representative

2005-present: Founding member of the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC)

2004-present: Founding member of the “Env” Working group for standardisation of Environmental Genomic Investigations

International Workshops Organised (18)

2009-2010: Metagenomics, Metdata and MetaAnalysis” (M3) Special Interest Group at ISMB (2009 & 2010) and PSB (2010)

2008: ISA-Tab consortium workshop

2008: Minimum Information about a Biological or Biomedical Investigation (MIBBI)

2007-2008: Environment Ontology (EnvO) Workshops (1-3)

2005-2010: Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) Workshops (1-9)

2003: Genes and the Environment


Selected publications to June 2010

Mitra S, Gilbert J A, Field D, Huson D H. (2010) Comparison of multiple metagenomes using phylogenetic networks based on ecological indices. ISME J. 2010 Apr 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Sterk P, Hirschman L, Field D, Wooley J. (2010) Genomic standards consortium workshop: metagenomics, metadata and metaanalysis (m3). Pac Symp Biocomput: 481-4

Field D, Sansone S A, Collis A, Booth T, Dukes P, Gregurick S K, Kennedy K, Kolar P, Kolker E, Maxon M, Millard S, Mugabushaka A M, Perrin N, Remacle J E, Remington K, Rocca-Serra P, Taylor CF, Thorley M, Tiwari B, Wilbanks J. (2009) 'Omics data sharing. Science 326:234-6

Chain PS, Grafham DV, Fulton RS, Fitzgerald MG, Hostetler J, Muzny D, Ali J, Birren B, Bruce DC, Buhay C, Cole JR, Ding Y, Dugan S, Field D, et al; Genomic Standards Consortium Human Microbiome Project Jumpstart Consortium, Detter JC. (2009) Genome project standards in a new era of sequencing. Science 326:236-7.

Schofield PN, Bubela T, Weaver T, Portilla L, Brown SD, Hancock JM, Einhorn D, Tocchini-Valentini G, Hrabe de Angelis M, Rosenthal N; CASIMIR Rome Meeting participants (including Dawn Field) (2009) Post-publication sharing of data and tools. Nature. 461:171-3

Jack A. Gilbert, Dawn Field, Paul Swift, Lindsay Newbold, Anna Oliver, Tim Smyth, Paul J. Somerfield, Sue Huse and Ian Joint (2009) Seasonal succession of microbial communities in the Western English Channel using 16S rRNA-tag pyrosequencing of the V6 region. Environ Microbiology 2009 Jul 31. [Epub ahead of print]

Chervitz, S, Parkinson, H, Fostel, JM, Causton, HC, Sansone, S-A, Deutsch, E.W., Field, D, Taylor, C.F., Rocca-Serra, P, White, J, Stoeckert, C J (2009) Bioinformatics: Tools and Applications (book chapter, in press)

Garrity, G, Field D, Kyrpides N (2009) Editorial: Standards in Genomic Sciences. Standards in Genomic Sciences 1: 1-2.

Field D, Sterk P, Kyrpides N, Kottmann, R, Glockner F, Hirschman L, Garrity G, Wooley, J, Gilna P (2009) Meeting Report from the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) Workshops 6 and 7 Standards in Genomic Sciences 1: 68-71

Wooley, J, Field D, Glockner F (2009) Extending standards for genomic and metagenomic data: A Research Co-ordination Network for the Genomic Standards Consortium (RCN4GSC) Standards in Genomic Sciences 1: 87-90

Ben Temperton, Anna Oliver, Dawn Field, Bela Tiwari, Martin Mühling, Ian Joint and Jack A. Gilbert (2009) Bias in culture-independent assessments of microbial biodiversity in the global ocean. ISME 2009 3(7):792-6

Gilbert J A, Thomas S, Cooley N A, Kulakova A, Field D, Booth T, McGrath J W, Quinn JP, Joint I. (2008) Potential for phosphonoacetate utilization by marine bacteria. Environ Microbiol. 11:111-25

Gilbert J A, Field D, Huang Y, Edwards R, Li W, Gilna P, Joint I. (2008) Detection of large numbers of novel sequences in the metatranscriptomes of complex marine microbial communities. PLoS ONE. Aug 22;3(8):e3042

Taylor, C. D Field, S-A. Sansone et al with 30 authors. MIBBI: A Minimum Information Checklist Resource. Nature Biotechnology 26(8):889-96

Field D (2008) Working together to put molecules on the map. Nature. 19;453(7198):978

Allen, M, Cossins, A R, Hall N, Blaxter M and D Field. “Use of arrays with non model organisms: a UK perspective” Editor Frank Columbus, In Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis. Nova Publishers. (in press, Book Chapter)

Kottmann R, Gray T, Murphy S, Kagan L, Kravitz S, Lombardot T, Field D, Glöckner FO; Genomic Standards Consortium. (2008) A standard MIGS/MIMS compliant XML Schema: toward the development of the Genomic Contextual Data Markup Language (GCDML). OMICS. 12(2):115-21

Van Brabant B, Gray T, Verslyppe B, Kyrpides N, Dietrich K, Glöckner FO, Cole J, Farris R, Schriml LM, De Vos P, De Baets B, Field D, Dawyndt P; Genomic Standards Consortium. (2008) Laying the foundation for a Genomic Rosetta Stone: creating information hubs through the use of consensus identifiers. OMICS. 12(2):123-7

Hirschman L, Clark C, Cohen KB, Mardis S, Luciano J, Kottmann R, Cole J, Markowitz V, Kyrpides N, Morrison N, Schriml LM, Field D (2008) Habitat-Lite: a GSC case study based on free text terms for environmental metadata. OMICS.12(2):129-36

San Gil, I, Sheldon W, Schmidt T, Servilla M, Aguilar R, Gries C, Gray T, Field D, Cole J, Pan JY, Palanisamy G, Henshaw D, O'Brien M, Kinkel L, McMahon K, Kottmann R, Amaral-Zettler L, Hobbie J, Goldstein P, Guralnick RP, Brunt J, Michener WK.(2008) Defining linkages between the GSC and NSF's LTER program: how the Ecological Metadata Language (EML) relates to GCDML and other outcomes. OMICS.12(2):151-6

Garrity GM, Field D, Kyrpides N, Hirschman L, Sansone SA, Angiuoli S, Cole JR, Glöckner FO, Kolker E, Kowalchuk G, Moran MA, Ussery D, White O. (2008) Toward a standards-compliant genomic and metagenomic publication record. OMICS. 12(2):157-60

Angiuoli SV, Gussman A, Klimke W, Cochrane G, Field D, Garrity G, Kodira CD, Kyrpides N, Madupu R, Markowitz V, Tatusova T, Thomson N, White O. (2008) Toward an online repository of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for (meta)genomic annotation. OMICS. 2008 12:137-41

Sansone SA, Rocca-Serra P, Brandizi M, Brazma A, Field D, Fostel J, Garrow AG, Gilbert J, Goodsaid F, Hardy N, Jones P, Lister A, Miller M, Morrison N, Rayner T, Sklyar N, Taylor C, Tong W, Warner G, Wiemann S; Members of the RSBI Working Group. (2008) The first RSBI (ISA-TAB) workshop: "Can a simple format work for complex studies?". OMICS. 12(2):143-9

Field D, Garrity GM, Sansone SA, Sterk P, Gray T, Kyrpides N, Hirschman L, Glöckner FO, Kottmann R, Angiuoli S, White O, Dawyndt P, Thomson N, Gil IS, Morrison N, Tatusova T, Mizrachi I, Vaughan R, Cochrane G, Kagan L, Murphy S, Schriml L; Genomic Standards Consortium.(2008) Meeting report: the fifth Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) workshop. OMICS. 12(2):109-13

Field D, Glöckner FO, Garrity GM, Gray T, Sterk P, Cochrane G, Vaughan R, Kolker E, Kottmann R, Kyrpides N, Angiuoli S, Dawyndt P, Guralnick R, Goldstein P, Hall N, Hirschman L, Kravitz S, Lister AL, Markowitz V, Thomson N, Whetzel T. (2008) Meeting report: the fourth Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) workshop. OMICS. 12(2):101-8

Field D, Sansone SA, Garrity GM.(2008) Foreword to the special issue on the Fifth Genomic Standards consortium workshop. OMICS. 12(2):99

Field D et al with 66 authors (2008) The “Minimum Information about a Genome Sequence” (MIGS) specification. Nature Biotechnology 26(5):541-7

Wall P K, Leebens-Mack J, Müller K F, Field D, Altman N S, Depamphilis C W (2007) PlantTribes: a gene and gene family resource for comparative genomics in pants. Nucleic Acids Res. 7:22–31

Smith, B et al with the OBI Working Group (including Field D). (2006) The OBO Foundry: Remoulding Ontology to Support Data Integration. Nature Biotechnology 25(11):1251-5

Wilson G A, Feil E J, Lilley A K, Field D. Large-scale comparative genomic ranking of taxonomically restricted genes (TRGs) in bacterial and archaeal genomes. PLoS ONE. 2007 28;2(3):e324

See full list of publications as a PDF