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Simpson, David

Photo of David Simpson
Job title: 

Honorary Research Associate

Identification and Naming
Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 

French (basic), Thai (basic).

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (Hons), University of Wales (Bangor), 1977
  • MSc, University of Reading, 1978
  • PhD, University of Lancaster, 1983
  • Editor-in-chief, Kew Bulletin (2005- )
  • Editorial Boards, Watsonia (1998-2005), Thai Forest Bulletin (1999- ), Flora of Thailand (2000-), Flora of China (2006-2013), Tropical Natural History (2007- ), Thai Journal of Botany (2009- ), Iheringia (2012- )
  • Visiting Lecturer, University of Reading (1989- )
  • Visiting Professor, Khon Kaen University, Thailand, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Trinity College, University of Dublin (2000- )
  • Adjunct Professor, University of New England (2012- )

Honorary Research Associate, based in Kew's Herbarium.

Plant taxonomist with research focusing on: systematics of Cyperaceae, Poaceae and related families worldwide; sustainable utilisation of Cyperaceae worldwide; biogeography and conservation in SE Asia, especially Thailand/Indo-China; floristics of Thai Poaceae; systematics of aquatic monocots, especially Hydrocharitaceae. Also have a broad commitment to taxonomic data dissemination through editorial work and e-taxonomy.

Selected publications: 

Bauters, K., Larridon, I., Reynders, M., Asselman, P., Vrijdaghs, A., Muasya, A. M., Simpson, D. A. & Goetghebeur, P. (2014). A new classification for Lipocarpha and Volkiella as infrageneric taxa of Cyperus s.l. (Cypereae, Cyperoideae, Cyperaceae): insights from species tree reconstruction supplemented with morphological and floral developmental data. Phytotaxa 166: 1-32. Available online

Visser, V., Clayton, W., Simpson, D. A., Freckleton, R. & Osborne, C. (2014). Mechanisms driving an unusual latitudinal diversity gradient for grasses. Global Ecology and Biogeography 23: 61-75. Available online

Larridon, I., Bauters, K., Reynders, M., Huygh, W., Muasya, A. M., Simpson, D. A. & Goetghebeur, P. (2013). Towards a new classification of the giant paraphyletic genus Cyperus (Cyperaceae): phylogenetic relationships and generic delimitation in C4 Cyperus. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 172: 106-126. Available online

Shabdin, Z., Culham, A., Simpson, D. A. & Meekiong, K. (2013). Mapania sapuaniana (Cyperaceae), a new sedge species from Sarawak. Blumea 58: 45-48. Available online

Jermy, A. C., Simpson, D. A., Foley, M. J. Y. & Porter, M. (2007). Sedges of the British Isles. BSBI Handbook no 1. Edition 3. Botanical Society of the British Isles, London.