Dr Kevin Scott Simon

2000, Ph.D. in Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, U.S.A. 1994, M.S. in Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, U.S.A. 1991, B.A. in Biology, Wittenberg University, U.S.A.

Profile Image
Associate Professor


I received a M.S. and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech where I studied the ecology of cave streams and karst aquifers in the U.S.A. and France. After my Ph.D. I was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Otago in New Zealand where I investigated the ecosystem consequences of brown trout introduction and agricultural land use on streams. I was an Associate Professor in the School of Biology and Ecology at the University of Maine, U.S.A. prior to moving to the University of Auckland in 2012.

Research | Current

Research Interests: Freshwater and ecosystem ecology, watershed biogeochemistry, human influence on lakes and streams.

I have broad interests in freshwater ecology but I am primarily interested in interactions between ecosystem processes and community structure in streams, lakes, and groundwater systems. I am particularly interested in how changes in community structure and interactions translate into changes in how ecosystems function. My research involves a mix of biogeochemistry, invertebrate biology and microbial ecology.  Examples of my current research include understanding how contemporary evolution shapes the ecosystem role of animals, effects of microplastics in freshwater ecosytems, stream response to urbanisation and agricultural land use, ecosystem consequences of invasive fish in lakes and streams.  This research is conducted with collaborators and students in New Zealand and the U.S.A..

Teaching | Current

ENVSCI 101 - Environment, Science and Managment

ENVSCI 201 - Sustaining our Environment

ENVSCI 714 - Environmental Pollution

ENVSCI 701 - Research Practice in Environmental Science

ENVSCI 716 - Applied Freshwater Ecology

MARINE 303 - Freshwater and Estuarine Ecology

Postgraduate supervision

Current (PhD and MSc):

  1. Amy Ockenden (Ph.D., U. Auckland), Ecolgoical effects of microplastics in freshwater systems.
  2. Javiera Benavente (Ph.D., U. Auckland), Role of thermal adaptation and rapid evolution in shaping consumer effects in food webs.
  3. Nicole Hayton (Ph.D., U. Auckland), Changes in fish mating behaviour and sexual selction driven by emerging contaminants.
  4. Rose Gregersen (Ph.D., U. Auckland), Paleolimnological analysis of lake response to agricultural land use.
  5. Nadia Dikareva (Ph.D., U. Auckland), Microplastic transport and ecological effects from streams to nearshore ecosystems.
  6. Finnbar Lee (Ph.D., U. Auckland), Metacommunity structure and connectivity in dendritic networks. (co-supervised with Professor George Perry)
  7. Julia Jakobsson (Ph.D., U. Auckland), Biogeochemical connections from hilltop to ocean. (co-supervised with Assoc. Prof. Luitgard Schwendenmann)
  8. Katie Brassel (Ph.D. U. Auckland), Paleolimnological reconstructions of lake health: applying molecular techniques to investigate biological community shifts related to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. (co-supervised with Drs. Xavier Pochon, Susie Wood and Anastasija Zaiko).
  9. Michelle Brinsden (MSc., U. Auckland), Interactions between native mussels and invasive fish.
  10. Chloe Price (MSc., U Auckland), Destruction and reconstruction: is freshwater offsetting achieving No Net Loss?
  11. Chris Garton (MSc, U. Auckland), Novel methods for controlling nuisance midges in water treatment systems.
  12. Sarah Steward (MSc, U. Auckland), Invertebrate community composition in geothermal springs.
  13. Patricia Clark (MSc, U. Auckland), Interactions between native koura and invasive mosquitofish.

Completed PhD:

  1. Emma Moffett (Ph.D., U. Auckland), 2019, Thermal history drives trait divergence and alters the ecological role of a freshwater consumer (Gambusia affinis).
  2. Bingqin Xu, (Ph.D., U. Auckland), 2019, Understanding the temporal dynamics of regional lakes: from temporal coherence analysis to model predictions.
  3. Corianne Tatariw (Ph.D., U. Maine), 2016, Impact of anthropogenic disturbance on soil microbial community composition and activity: implications for ecosystem function.
  4. Regina Rancatti (Ph.D., U. Maine), 2015, Biogeochemical coupling of multiple element cycles along the terrestrial-aquatic continuum.
  5. Thomas Parr (Ph.D., U. Maine), 2014, Effect of urbanization on dissolved organic matter:  Composition, bioavailability and ecosystem health.
  6. Quenton Tuckett (Ph.D., U. Maine), 2012, Ecological causes and consequences of trait divergence in invasive white perch (Morone americana).

Completed MSc:

  1. Angela Byrne (MSc., U. Auckland), Characterizing phosphorus dynamics in freshwater streams spanning both agricultural and urban gradients.
  2. Tim Hopley (MSc., U. Auckland), Role of first flush in contaminant transport in urban watersheds.
  3. Nikki Burrows (MSc, U. Auckland), Consequences of riparian restoration for greenhouse gas emissions.
  4. Nadia Dikareva (MSc, U. Auckland), Microplastic pollution in urban streams.
  5. Kiran Parmar (MSc, U. Auckland), Land use effects on the role of drainage network structure in determining community composition.
  6. Alexandre Safran (MSc, U. Auckland), Legacy effects of mine sediments in streams.
  7. Alana Wylie (MSc, U. Auckland), 2016, An economic and environmental conundrum: the combined impacts of dicamba and 2, 4-dichloropheoxyacetic acid herbicides on stream ecosystems.
  8. Rose Gregersen (MSc, U. Auckland), 2016, The response of stream ecosystem function to acid mine drainage remediation.
  9. Finnbar Lee (MSc, U. Auckland), 2015, Ecology of Gambusia affinis (Mosquitofish) along an agricultural land use gradient.
  10. Javiera Mulet Bunder (MSc, U. Auckland), 2015, Water quality and macroinvertebrate community structure of mining lakes and ponds across New Zealand.
  11. Weimiao Zheng (M.Sc., U. Auckland), 2014, The Effects of the nitrification inhibitor Dicyandiamide (DCD) in streams.
  12. Emma Moffett (M.Sc., U. Auckland), 2013, Microbial response to urbanisation and earthquake damage.
  13. Maria Hurtado Roa (M.Sc., U. Auckland), 2013, The effects of selected pharmaceuticals and personal care products on two New Zealand’s marine species.
  14. Katie Norris (M.S., U. Maine), 2012,  Dam removal and migratory fish restoration
  15. Lee Demi (M.S., U. Maine), 2010, Anadromous alewives in linked lake-stream ecosystems:  Can trophic interactions in lakes influence streams?
  16. Kristin Ditzler (M.S., U. Maine), 2010, Effects of white perch Introductions on food web dynamics: combining paleolimnological and whole-lake biomanipulation approaches
  17. Beth Cheever (M.S., JMU), 2006, The role of fish in stream communities: Do brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and mottled sculpin (Cottus bairdi) cause trophic cascades in Appalachian streams?
  18. J. Seth Coffman (M.S., JMU), 2005, Evaluation of a predictive model for upstream fish passage through culverts.


Fulbright Scholar


Disciplinary Lead, Environmental Science programme, School of Environment

Areas of expertise

Freshwater and ecosystem ecology

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Dodds, W., Collins, S., Hamilton, S., Tank, J., Johnson, S., Webster, J., ... McDowell, W. (2014). You are not always what we think you eat: Selective assimilation across multiple whole-stream isotopic tracer studies. Ecology, 95 (10), 2757-2767. 10.1890/13-2276.1
  • Mineau, M. M., Fatemi, F. R., Fernandez, I. J., & Simon, K. S. (2014). Microbial enzyme activity at the watershed scale: Response to chronic nitrogen deposition and acute phosphorus enrichment. Biogeochemistry, 117 (1), 131-142. 10.1007/s10533-013-9869-6
  • Tuckett, Q. M., Simon, K. S., Saros, J. E., Halliwell, D. B., & Kinnison, M. T. (2013). Fish trophic divergence along a lake productivity gradient revealed by historic patterns of invasion and eutrophication. Freshwater Biology, 58 (12), 2517-2531. 10.1111/fwb.12229
  • Slemmons, K. E. H., Saros, J. E., & Simon, K. (2013). The influence of glacial meltwater on alpine aquatic ecosystems: A review. Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts, 15 (10), 1794-1806. 10.1039/c3em00243h
  • Mineau, M. M., Rigsby, C. M., Ely, D. T., Fernandez, I. J., Norton, S. A., Ohno, T., ... Simon, K. S. (2013). Chronic catchment nitrogen enrichment and stoichiometric constraints on the bioavailability of dissolved organic matter from leaf leachate. Freshwater Biology, 58 (2), 248-260. 10.1111/fwb.12054
  • Niyogi, D. K., Harding, J. S., & Simon, K. S. (2013). Organic matter breakdown as a measure of stream health in New Zealand streams affected by acid mine drainage. Ecological Indicators, 24, 510-517. 10.1016/j.ecolind.2012.08.003
  • Demi, L. M., Simon, K. S., Coghlan, S. M., Saunders, R., & Anderson, D. (2012). Anadromous alewives in linked lake-stream ecosystems: do trophic interactions in lakes influence stream invertebrate communities?. Freshwater Science, 31 (3), 973-985. 10.1899/11-124.1
  • Simon, K. S., Simon, M. A., & Benfield, E. F. (2009). Variation in ecosystem function in Appalachian streams along an acidity gradient. Ecological Applications, 19 (5), 1147-1160. 10.1890/08-0571.1


Contact details

Office hours

By appointment.

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 7, Room 715
New Zealand

Web links