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


Lead Convenor for FSBI17: the 50th Anniversary Symposium of the FSBI


Publications and Research Profiles


Recently awarded PhD positions


Short films on my research and knowledge exchange activities


Impact Case Studies from my Research


Recent activites linking Research with Impact

-> Impacts of Marine Noise

-> Fisheries and Climate Change

  • Embedded a MSc Food Security student in the Cornish Sardine Management Association to understand and predict biological responses to climate change in pelagic fish species.
  • Collaborating with a Penryn-based social scientist, a PhD and two Masters students to develop a vulnerability analysis for SW fisheries, with involvement of the Newlyn, Penzance, Plymouth and Brixham fleets.
  • Organised a thinktank in London in September 2014 with representatives from science, industry, consumers, policy, law and politics to develop a "Vision of Sustainable Fisheries in 2050."
  • Developed a legal argument with a marine lawyer that demonstrates the illegality of overfishing, empowering 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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