Meet the team: Erik Simmons

Erik Simmons (photo: G Sheehan)

Erik Simmons says his personal investment in the CCRES project stems from his devotion to fighting injustice with chaste and quality work, elegance and ingenuity.

A behavioural scientist and international PhD candidate at The University of Queensland's School of Psychology, Erik is the leader of the CCRES project's My Future, My Oceans behaviour change activity.

Erik and his team design, implement and evaluate behaviour change programs for low-resource coastal communities. Their aim is to enhance the lives and wellbeing of these communities, and to strengthen the nexus between community systems and ecosystem services. Erik’s team values people as one of the cornerstones in addressing anthropogenic threats to ecosystems – both marine and terrestrial.

“Hopefully our impact will be the empowerment of individuals in these coastal communities,” he said.

“We want to increase more sustainable, positive behaviours to benefit the ecosystems, and we seek to proliferate a healthier quality of life and enrichment of the social infrastructure that holds each of these coastal communities together.”

Erik values his work for CCRES. A lot.

“CCRES is a genuine embodiment of ideas and science applied,” he said. “It’s a sophisticated and graceful amalgamation of the most pure theories with the pragmatic impact that the world requires.”

Despite having achieved much already, Erik doesn’t believe in defining achievement by single occasions.

“I find excellence to present itself through habit, rather than isolated events,” he explains.

“I’d argue my greatest achievement is the sustained positive impact I attempt to impart on the lives around me.”

Erik is an avid participant of combat sports. Interestingly, however, he identifies the learning of the philosophies behind these sports as being his favourite hobby. Erik has a broad range of interests, spanning from writing prose and exploring “the cornucopia of art”, to engaging in stimulating discussion on a variety of topics.   

Erik has many sayings by which he lives his life. Among them is a quote from revered Austrian neurologist and Holocaust survivor, Victor Frankl, who says “those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’”.

For more information, contact Erik Simmons