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Alastair Simpson Biologist

Alastair Simpson’s research examines the origin and evolutionary history of eukaryotic cells. He studies ‘protists,’ that is, all those eukaryotes which are not animals, plants or fungi. Most protists are inconspicuous single cells, but they comprise the vast bulk of eukaryote biodiversity and are therefore key to understanding the course of eukaryotic evolution. However, many protists of particular evolutionary significance remain very poorly studied.

Alastair examines the evolutionary history and diversity of several major protist groups (think ‘phyla’ and ‘kingdoms’), using analyses of gene sequences and the internal morphology of the cell. An important emphasis in his research is the examination of newly isolated organisms, especially free-living forms.

Awards

Seymour Hutner Young Investigator Award, 2012.

Relevant Publications

V. Hampl et al, "Phylogenomic analyses support the monophyly of Excavata and robustly resolve relationships among eukaryotic “supergroups”," P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, vol. 106, pp. 3859-64, March 2009.

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Appointment

Senior Fellow Integrated Microbial Biodiversity

Institution

Dalhousie UniversityDepartment of Biology

Education

PhD (Biology) University of Sydney

Country

Canada

Ideas Related to Alastair Simpson

Integrated Microbial Biodiversity | News

A new estimate pegs the number of species on Earth at 8.7 million

Scientists have used a novel analytical technique to narrow down their estimate of the number of species on Earth to...