Dr Mirre Simons


Tel: +44 (0)114 222 0111

Email: m.simons@sheffield.ac.uk

Room C202a, Alfred Denny Building

Webpage: www.simons-lab.group.shef.ac.uk


Sir Henry Dale Fellowship, Wellcome & Royal Society (2019-2024)

Vice-Chancellor's Fellowship, Animal and Plant Sciences, Sheffield (2015-2019)

Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship (2015-2019)

Postdoctoral researcher (NERC-funded), Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2013-2015)

PhD, University of Groningen, The Netherlands (cum laude, 2013)

MSc Research, University of Groningen, The Netherlands (cum laude, 2008)

Key Research Interests

Taking an evolutionary perspective I work on the adaptive value of differences in ageing between and within species to reveal fundamental aspects of the aging process. In this context I have worked on trade-offs concerning reproductive effort and sexual signalling. To increase reproductive effort, I used various experimental manipulations in three-spined stickleback. I also studied senescence and sexual signaling of bill coloration in zebra finches. Both during my PhD at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). Moreover I have conducted several meta-analyses concerning the biology of ageing and sexual signaling (see my publications list). For my postdoctoral work at the University of Sheffield (UK), Molecular Ecology, I have studied senescence and telomere biology in an insular island population of wild house sparrows.

Mirre graph

The current focus of my lab group is on the mechanisms of ageing and modulation by diet. We study demographic ageing, molecular mechanisms of dietary restriction and age-related disease (dementia and cancer). To do this we use the fruit fly, a functional genetics powerhouse. We use a combination of transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics to identify candidate mechanisms. Please refer to our lab web pages for more information and/or contact me. There are always opportunities to collaborate or come work in my lab.

I focus on the following topics:

  • Demography of mortality
  • Dietary restriction
  • Costs of reproduction and the evolution of ageing
  • Biology of cancer and cellular senescence
  • Telomere length and dynamics


I currently teach APS344 Topics in Evolutionary Genetics, in addition to supervising L3, L4, MSc and MRes students.

PhD Students

Andrew McCracken
Sarah Gautrey
Richard Kaskiewicz
Alex Charles
Alex Bardill
Lucy Winder

View Publications