Molly Simmons

Molly Simmons


I am a first year Sowerby Researcher at the Sustainabilty Research Institute (SRI) in the School of Earth and Enviroment. My research is funded by the Peter Sowerby Foundation, as part of the PhD network on barriers and benefits of landscape-scale restoration in the Yorkshire uplands. Before this project, I achieved a BA in Geography and Spanish and an MSc in Sustainable Cities, both at the University of Leeds.

Research interests

My project title is ‘Landscape-scale restoration of UK uplands: negotiated visions of future upland landscapes’. I am interested in the social, economic and cultural implications of future ecological restoration. I am also interested in the perceptions and lived experiences of landscapes from the perspective of different actors’, and what they may mean for creating shared visions and understanding. I am currently looking at how different groups define restoration and degradation, where these assumptions and values come from, and how they may manifest in agenda setting for restoration projects. I hope to use participatory and collaborative methods to look at case studies in Yorkshire later in the research project. 

I am also interested in interdisciplinary research and research communication; my role as a  Priestley Climate Scholar at the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures provides opportunities to develop my skills and interest in these areas. 

I regularly attend meetings for a number of relevant research groups: Leeds Ecosystem, Atmosphere and Forest (LEAF), Social and Political Dimensions of Food Systems, and Society and Natural Resources in Lanscapes. 


  • MSc Sustainable Cities - Distinction
  • BA Geography and Spanish

Research groups and institutes

  • Sustainability Research Institute
  • Social and Political Dimensions of Sustainability