Dr Mirre Simons

School of Biosciences

Sir Henry Dale Fellow

Profile photo of Mirre Simons
Profile picture of Profile photo of Mirre Simons
+44 114 222 0111

Full contact details

Dr Mirre Simons
School of Biosciences
Alfred Denny Building
Western Bank
S10 2TN
  • Sir Henry Dale Fellowship, Wellcome & Royal Society (2019-2025)
  • 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)
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.

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

Journal articles


Research group

PhD students

  • Sarah Gautrey
  • Alex Charles
  • Katie Roome


Teaching activities

I currently teach APS359 Topics in Modern Zoology, in addition to supervising L3, L4, L4 Tutor (Org Env), MSc and MRes students.