Profile: Dr Simon Coppard

Dr Simon Coppard

Teaching & Experiential Learning

As a scientist and educator, my aim is to both challenge and encourage my students by providing them with a creative and engaging learning environment. I believe in creating a classroom environment that respects diversity and allows students to develop positive ideas about themselves and others, while teaching them to critically assess and integrate different sources of knowledge. I currently teach BIOL 102  (Fundamentals of Biology: Molecular and Cell Biology ) and BIOL 103 ( Fundamentals of Biology: Organisms to Ecosystems ) at Bader College. These classes include inquiry-based labs and experiential-learning opportunities that allow students to develop their own ideas and take responsibility for their learning.

I really enjoy teaching students in the small class setting at the Castle and greatly encourage class discussion and critical thinking that builds both knowledge and confidence in Biology.


My current research focuses on four main themes:

  • The evolution of venom in sea urchins. How defensive venom has evolved in sea urchins that live in different habitats and has therefore evolved to deter specific pests, parasites and predators.
  • Phylogeography and speciation. Identifying barriers to gene flow and how species arise in the World’s Oceans. How do species maintain their integrity when distributions change and they come into contact?
  • Lunar clocks. How circadian and circalunar genes correlate with lunar spawning cycles and regulate lunar spawning in marine invertebrates. A mechanism for temporal reproductive isolation between sympatric sister-species.
  • Sea urchin gut microbiomes. Does species specificity or locality results in specific gut microbiomes? What role to species-specific gut microbes have?

I am also interested in invertebrate biodiversity and have described a number of new species, including the first new species discovered on eBay


If you are interested in getting involved with research projects on topics in ecology, molecular biology, genetics, marine biology, invertebrate biology, evolution, or any other areas of biology please contact me.

Get Involved with the Environments of Change Project!

The Environments of Change project is a multidisciplinary collaboration that aims to understand better the reciprocal relationship between humans, culture, nature, and the environment, from the late medieval period to the present day. This project involves a team of collaborators from disciplines such as the humanities, archaeology, ecology, geology, video game design, computer-assisted modelling, and computer graphics, amongst many others. See: Environments of Change

At Bader College I am working with students on a range of projects that includes taking tree core samples from the veteran oak trees for dendroclimatology analysis that uses Oxygen isotope ratios to reconstruct summer temperatures and summer precipitation on the Estate, measuring seasonal oak tree growth using dendrometers in different habitats, and conducting exploratory sediment cores across the Pevensey Levels to help understand marine and freshwater incursions through time. We are also interested in documenting and understanding the biodiversity across the Herstmonceux Estate in relation to the Pevensey Levels and trying to determine what is natural and what constitutes human activity.

Recent Publications

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