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Simon Van Noort

Simon van Noort is a Curator of Entomology at the Iziko South African Museum. His research focuses mainly on the systematics, evolution and biology of wasps, particularly from the Afrotropical region, but fig wasps are dealt with on a global level. He works on the systematics of many families of African Hymenoptera. His long-term goal is to document and describe the rich unexplored fauna in the region under the umbrella of the Afrotropical Hymenoptera Initiative – WaspWeb (

ResearchGate profile:

Publication list:

Zootaxa editor: Cynipoidea

African Invertebrates editor: Hymenoptera

Mr Van Noort’s research areas include the systematics of fig wasps as a major interest, including unravelling the evolutionary intricacies of the 80-million-year-old mutualism between fig trees and fig wasps. He attempts to elucidate evolutionary processes, both at the macro and micro scale, through morphological and molecular phylogenetic reconstruction and phylogeographical analyses. See:

He also works on the systematics of many other wasp groups such as the Chalcidoidea, Chrysidoidea, Cynipoidea, Megalyroidea, Platygastroidea and Ichneumonoidea and insect groups such as the Heelwalkers (Mantophasmatodea). Elucidation of patterns of wasp species richness in a spatio-temporal context and development of bioinformatics resources for Afrotropical wasps is an ongoing passion. See: 

He is an avid field biologist, actively pursuing the discovery and documentation of invertebrates. Field work in Africa has included expeditions to Mkomazi Game Reserve (Tanzania), Brandberg Massif (Namibia), Monts Doudou (Gabon), Dzangha-Sangha (Central African Republic), Kibale Forest (Uganda) and numerous excursions within southern Africa (Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa).

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