Changing the future of food and farming

Team profile

Dr Will Simonson

Job title:

Head of Research

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:

As Head of Research at the ORC, I am responsible for the management of ORC research, knowledge exchange and policy programmes.

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. Family holidays are often under canvas, and home time in the garden with its small flock of bantams.

Cambridge has been our home city for the last 10+ 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.

Publications: