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Benno Simmons

Benno Simmons

PhD Candidate


Biography:

Before starting my PhD in 2015, I read Geography at the University of Oxford, graduating in 2011. My final year dissertation examined the outcome for biodiversity of a hypothetical geoconservation network that prioritised geodiverse landscapes in the United Kingdom. I next studied for an MRes in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Research at Imperial College London, where I completed two theses, one examining the vulnerability of biodiversity hotspots to land-use change, and a second assessing the effectiveness of the UK protected area network in promoting the long-term persistence of biodiversity.

Research Group

Conservation Science Group:
PhD Candidate

Research Interests

Broadly, I am interested in using computational, mathematical and statistical techniques to answer pure and applied questions in ecology and conservation. As such, I sit somewhere between theoretical ecology and applied conservation science. I am particularly interested in ecological networks and community ecology, though almost any topic related to ecology or biodiversity conservation is of at least some interest to me.

My PhD combines simulations and mathematical modelling with several large, empirical datasets to assess the structure and stability of mutualistic networks (networks depicting interactions between mutualists, such as plants and pollinators or plants and seed dispersers).

I am funded by a NERC studentship as part of the Cambridge Earth System Science DTP. My supervisors are Professor William Sutherland and Dr Lynn Dicks.

Key Publications

Rose, D. C., Mukherjee, N., Simmons, B. I., Tew, E. R., Robertson, R. J., Vadrot, A. B. M., Doubleday, R. and Sutherland, W. J. Policy windows for the environment: Tips for improving the uptake of scientific knowledge. (in press). Environmental Science and Policy.

Hudson, L. N., Newbold, T., Contu, S., Hill, S. L. L., Lysenko, I., De Palma, A., Phillips, H. R. P., Alhusseini, T. I., Bedford, F. E., Bennett, D. J., Booth, H., Burton, V. J., Chng, C. W. T., Choimes, A., Correia, D. L. P., Day, J., Echeverría-Londoño, S., Emerson, S. R., Gao, D., Garon, M., Harrison, M. L. K., Ingram, D. J., Jung, M., Kemp, V., Kirkpatrick, L., Martin, C. D., Pan, Y., Pask-Hale, G. D., Pynegar, E. L., Robinson A. N., Sanchez-Ortiz, K., Senior, R. A., Simmons, B. I. et al. (2017). The database of the PREDICTS (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems) Project. Ecology and Evolution, 7, 145-188.

Newbold, T., Hudson, L. N., Arnell, A. P., Contu, S., De Palma, A., Ferrier, S., Hill, S. L. L., Hoskins, A. J., Lysenko, I., Phillips, H. R. P., Burton, V. J., Chng, C. W. T., Emerson, S., Gao, D., Pask-Hale, G., Hutton, J., Jung, M., Sanchez-Ortiz, K., Simmons, B. I., Whitmee, S., Zhang, H., Scharlemann, J. P. W., Purvis, A. (2016). Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment. Science, 353(6296), pp. 288-291.

Gray, C. L.*, Simmons, B. I.*, Fayle, T. M., Mann, D. J. and Slade, E. M. (2016). Are riparian forest reserves sources of invertebrate biodiversity spillover and associated ecosystem functions in oil palm landscapes? Biological Conservation, 194, 176-183.
Joint first authors