Professor Stephen Simpson is the Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Sydney. He 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. 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.
Stephen formally took up the academic directorship of the centre in April 2012. He was also the presenter of a four-part documentary for ABC TV, Great Southern Land, which aired in late September 2012.