Team profile

Dr Will Simonson

"I focus on agroforests and their management for people and nature in a context of changing climate and the multiple demands and pressures on land"

Job title:

Principal Researcher, Agroforesty

Academic qualifications:

  • BA (Hons) Natural Sciences (Botany Part II): University of Cambridge
  • MSc Environmental Technology: Imperial College London
  • PhD Forest ecology and conservation: University of Cambridge

Role and responsibilities:

I am Principal Researcher in Agroforestry at ORC and coordinate our research and development work on farming with trees.

I sit on the committee for the Farm Woodland Forum

Research interests:

In my career I have applied field-based, remote sensing and landscape-level approaches to the areas of climate change adaptation in agro-ecosystems, forest ecology, and biodiversity conservation. These strands come together in my current focus on agroforestry systems, an interest which began during from my 12 years in Portugal studying its rich wood pastures and orchards.

In all approaches to organic and agro-ecological farming, I’m committed to seeing science making an impact on the ground, through partnerships with farmers, policy-makers and other stakeholders.

Interests outside of ORC:

I love being in the great outdoors as much as I can, whether cycling, walking, running, or just enjoying nature – it’s my relaxation and inspiration.

Cambridge has been our home city for the last 15 years, a stimulating mix of tradition and innovation. I keep in touch in various ways with the work of A Rocha, whose Christian motivation I share and explore in reading, writing and speaking