Dr Steve Simpson
Associate Professor in Marine Biology & Global Change


I am a marine biologist and fish ecologist, with particular interests in the behaviour of coral reef fishes, bioacoustics, effects of climate change on marine ecosystems, conservation and management. I have also been a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow (2011-2014), which has enabled me to develop strong links between the research community and industry and policy on the themes of European Fisheries and Climate Change, and Anthropogenic Noise and Marine Ecosystems. I joined the University of Exeter as a Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology and Global Change in Sept 2012.

My work combines fieldwork, often through expeditions to remote and challenging environments, with laboratory-based behaviour experiments, data-mining, and computer modelling.

My research focuses on:

  • The impact of anthropogenic noise on marine ecosystems
  • The effects of climate change on fish and fisheries
  • Sensory and orientation behaviour of marine organisms
  • Dispersal, connectivity and biogeography
  • Management

Publications and Research Profiles

Recently awarded PhD positions


Impact Case Studies from my Research


Short films on my research and knowledge exchange activities


Recent activites linking Research with Impact

-> Impacts of Marine Noise

-> Fisheries and Climate Change

  • Understanding and predicting biological responses to climate change in pelagic fish species this summer with a MSc Food Security student embedded in Cornish Sardine Management Association.
  • Collaborating with a Penryn-based social scientist and an MRes student to develop a vulnerability analysis for SW fisheries, with involvement of the Newlyn, Penzance, Plymouth and Brixham fleets.
  • Writing a book with representatives from science, industry, consumers, policy, law and politics on a "Vision of Sustainable Fisheries in 2050" based on a thinktank I organised in London in September 2014.
  • Have worked with a marine lawyer to develop a legal argument that demonstrates the illegality of overfishing and to empower the UK fishery minister for negotiations in Brussels (Plenty More Fish in the Sea?; Covered in the Times by Ben Webster)
  • Wrote the 2013 Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) report on Impacts of Climate Change on Fish which was presented to Westminster in November 2013.


Research Findings and News Stories


2000-2004 PhD, University of York, UK
1998-1999 MRes Marine & Coastal Ecology & Environmental Management, University of York, UK
1995-1998 BSc Marine Biology, University of Liverpool, UK


2016–present Associate Professor, University of Exeter
2012–2016 Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter
2011–2014 NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow
2011 Postdoctoral Researcher, Defra-funded Anthropogenic Noise project, University of Bristol, UK
2008–2011 Postdoctoral Researcher, NERC Sustainable Marine Bioresources Initiative, University of Bristol, UK
2007–2008 Royal Society International Fellow and EPHE Postdoctoral Fellow, Université de Perpignan
2004–2007 NERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh, UK

Contact details

Internal tel2714
Tel+44 (0) 1392 722714
AddressGeoffrey Pope Building
University of Exeter
Stocker Road

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