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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.


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.



Senior Fellow Integrated Microbial Biodiversity


Dalhousie UniversityDepartment of Biology


PhD (Biology) University of Sydney



Ideas Related to Alastair Simpson

News | Integrated Microbial Biodiversity

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