Back to top

Karl W. Simpson Bio

Karl W. Simpson

Karl received his B.A. degree in Biology from Thiel College, Greenville, Pennsylvania. He earned his M.S. degree in Entomology from the University of Delaware in 1968, studying the effects of moisture and temperature variations on soybean mites. Enrolling at Cornell University for a Ph.D. degree in Aquatic Entomology, he studied the biology and immature stages of Ephydridae (shore flies) and received his degree in 1973.

In 1972 Dr. Simpson was employed as a Research Scientist by the New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York, and headed up the newly formed Stream Biomonitoring Unit. This group performed macroinvertebrate surveys to assess water quality in flowing waters in New York State. Over the next 14 years, the biomonitoring program led into several areas of ancillary research, including taxonomy and ecology of Chironomidae (midges), PCB uptake by aquatic insects, macroinvertebrate communities of acid-stressed streams, and ecology of the Hudson River. Dr. Simpson also continued to publish several papers on the Ephydridae, but was probably best known for his publications on the identification of Chironomidae. He was a member of several scientific societies, and was especially active in the North American Benthological Society and the New England Association of Environmental Biologists.

Karl’s enthusiasm and originality was a major contributing to the success of the bioassessment program in the State of New York.  Along with his colleague, Bob Bode, they made major contributions to the field of applied biology and water quality monitoring.

Selected Publications

  • Simpson, K.W. 1976. The mature larvae and puparia of Ephydra (Halephydra) cinereaJones and Ephydra (Hydropyrus) hians Say. Proc. Ento. Soc. Wash. 78(3): 263-269.
  • Simpson, K.W. and R.W. Bode. 1980. Common larvae of Chironomidae (Diptera) from New York State rivers, with particular reference to the fauna of artificial substrates. N.Y.S. Mus. Bull. No. 439, 105 pp.
  • Simpson, K.W. 1980. Abnormalities in the tracheal gills of aquatic insects collected from streams receiving chlorinated or crude oil wastes. Freshwater Biol. 10(6):518-583.
  • Simpson, K.W. 1982. A guide to basic taxonomic literature for the genera of North American Chironomidae (Diptera)- adults, pupae, larvae. N.Y. S. Mus. Bull. 447, 43 pp.
  • Simpson, K.W., R.W. Bode and P. Albu. 1982. Keys for the genus Cricotopus adapted from "Revision der Gattung Cricotopus van der Wulp und ihrer Verwandten (Diptera, Chironomidae)" by M. Hirvenoja. N.Y.S. Mus. Bull. No. 4 50, 133 pp.
  • Simpson, K.W. 1983. Communities of Chironomidae (Diptera) from an acid-stressed stream in the Adirondack Mountains, New York. Mem. Amer. Entomol. Soc. 35:315-327.
  • Simpson, K.W. and L.E. Abele. 1984. Ripistes parasita (Schmidt) (Oligochaeta:Naididae), a distinctive oligochaete new to North America. Freshwater Invert. Biol. 3(1):36-41.
  • Simpson, K.W., R.W. Bode and J.R. Colquhoun. 1985. The macroinvertebrate fauna of an acid-stressed headwater stream system in the Adirondack Mountains, New York. Freshwater Biology 15:671-681.
  • Simpson, K.W., J.P. Fagnani, R.W. Bode, D.M. DeNicola, and L.E. Abele. 1986. Organism-substrate relationships in the main channel of the Lower Hudson River. J. N. Amer. Benth. Soc. 5(1):41-57.
  • Sloan, R.J., Simpson, K.W., R.A. Schroeder and C.R. Barnes. 1983. Temporal trends toward stability of Hudson River PCB contamination. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 31:377-385.