Simon van Noort Curator

Joined: Sep 19, 2018 Last Active: Apr 17, 2024 iNaturalist

I am an entomologist based at the Iziko South African Museum in Cape Town. My research focuses on the systematics, evolution and biology of Hymenoptera from the Afrotropical region (Africa south of the Sahara, including Madagascar and surrounding islands). Systematics of fig wasps is a major interest, including unravelling the evolutionary intricacies of the 60 million year old mutualism between fig trees and fig wasps. We attempt to elucidate evolutionary processes, both at the macro and micro scale, through morphological and molecular phylogenetic reconstruction and phylogeographical analyses (

I also work on the systematics of other wasp groups such as the cynipoids, megalyroids, platygastroids and ichneumonoids 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 of mine (

I am an avid field biologist, actively pursuing 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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