Joanna Verran is Emeritus Professor of Microbiology at Manchester Metropolitan University (UK). Throughout her career she has maintained her laboratory-based research alongside being an award-winning educator and science communicator, most recently the AAAS Mani L Bhaumik award for Public Engagement with Science, for ‘her commitment to devising and delivering innovative microbiology-focused public engagement with the same rigor as laboratory-based research, with attention to appropriate design, thorough evaluation and wide dissemination’.
She initiated and led the Science Communication activity at the University, for example during Manchester Science Festival and the 2016 events celebrating Manchester as European City of Science. She has continued to link her public engagement practice with microbiology, playing a key role within the Federation of European Microbiology Societies, as well as the Microbiology Society, the Society for Applied Microbiology and the International Biodegradation and Biodeterioration Society. She founded the Bad Bugs Bookclub in 2009, and obtained an MA in Creative Writing in 2019.