Biography

Chris Simon is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut and Adjunct Professor at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She is also a research associate of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI. From 2005-2007 she was a Professorial Research Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington. From 1995 to 1998 she was a Senior Fulbright Research Fellow co-sponsored by Victoria University of Wellington, Otago University, and Massey University, New Zealand.

Recent projects in her laboratory focus on the systematics, biogeography, evolution of cicadas worldwide, the application of information on molecular evolutionary processes to the improvement of tree-building, speciation and its relationship to past climates and landforms, evolution of periodical life cycles, the role of song in the evolution of insect species, and molecular evolution of the secondary structure of ribosomal RNA. Funding for these research projects has come from the US National Science Foundation, NZ Marsden Fund, The National Geographic Society, the Fulbright Foundation, the University of Connecticut and Victoria University of Wellington.

Chris Simon received her BS and MS degrees from the University of Florida and her PhD from SUNY Stony Brook. She conducted NSF-sponsored postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago, Washington University St. Louis and University of Hawaii. She taught two 2-month-long field courses In tropical ecology in Costa Rica for the Organization for Tropical Studies. She was an Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Hawaii before moving to the University of Connecticut.

From 2001-2004, she was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Systematic Biology, the most highly rated primary research journal in the field of Evolutionary Biology. She was President of the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB) in 2007. Her past offices in SSB include Secretary, Program Director, and publication committee chair. In the later capacity, she negotiated a new publication contract for the journal and oversaw the transfer to Oxford University Press beginning in 2009. She was Vice President of the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE) and also served on the council. In 1991, she organized the joint meetings of SSE/SSB/ASN in Hilo, Hawaii. She has served on multiple National Science Foundation advisory panels and since 1990 on the Editorial Board of the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Her publications since 1994 have attracted more than 2000 citations.

Chris Simon has advised various news/media organizations including Nature, Science, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, New Scientist (U.K.), Newsday, The Boston Globe, Genome News Network, National Geographic Magazine, National Public Radio, New Zealand Herald, New Zealand National Radio, Radio Live New Zealand, Reuters News Service, Science News, The Scientist, Time Magazine, United Press International, Voice of America, WABC TV News, and a large number of local newspapers. She has been an advisor for TV documentary films for: Japan Television Workshop; and a Sloan-Foundation-Supported Dramatic Screen Play.

See her Research Summary Page for a historical walk through her publications.
Cicada
Cicada
©2014 Chris Simon
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