Simon George was awarded a BSc (Hons) degree in geology from St Andrews University in Scotland in 1985 and then worked as a mudlogger. He obtained his PhD (1990) in organic geochemistry at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, for his work on the influence of igneous activity on petroleum generation and accumulation. From 1991 to 2006 he worked for CSIRO in Sydney, Australia. When he left he was a Senior Principal Research Scientist leading research into the molecular geochemistry of petroleum and petroleum source rocks.
He moved to Macquarie University in 2006, where he is now a Professor with a research group in organic geochemistry, working especially on research areas to do with the geochemical record of the early evolution of life and bioremediation in cold climates. In 2014-2015 he was the Acting Head of Department, Earth and Planetary Sciences for 13 months.