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Stephen J Simpson

Professor, ARC Laureate Fellow & Academic Director, The Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney

Professor Stephen Simpson is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences and Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre for the study of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease at the University of Sydney. Stephen returned to Australia in 2005 as an ARC Federation Fellow after 22 years at Oxford where he was Professor of Entomology and Curator of the University Museum of Natural History. Before that he had undertaken his PhD at the University of London, and his undergraduate degree and Honours at the University of Queensland.

Together with colleague David Raubenheimer, Stephen developed an integrative modelling framework for nutrition (the Geometric Framework), which was devised and tested using insects but has since been applied to a wide range of organisms, from slime moulds to humans, and problems, from aquaculture and conservation biology to the dietary causes of human obesity and ageing. A synthesis of this body of work can be found in The Nature of Nutrition: a Unifying Framework from Animal Adaptation to Human Obesity, published in May 2012 by Princeton University Press. In addition to nutritional biology, Stephen’s research on locusts has led to an understanding of locust swarming that links chemical events in the brains of individual insects to landscape-scale mass migration.

Stephen has been Visiting Professor at Oxford, a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Berlin, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the University of Arizona, and Guest Professor at the University of Basel. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, in 2008 he was awarded the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research, in 2009 he was named NSW Scientist of the Year, and in 2010 he was named as the Wigglesworth Medallist by the Royal Entomological Society of London. He is also the presenter of a four-part documentary for ABC TV, Great Southern Land, to be aired in 2012.


  • 2005–present
    Professor, The University of Sydney