Myrna Simpson

Myrna Simpson

Associate Director of the Environmental NMR Centre
Environmental Science

Research Interests: 

Our research group studies environmental processes at the molecular-level and we also explore how this information can be used to understand ecosystem and environmental health. We develop and use advanced analytical tools (mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy) to understand the structure and environmental reactivity of natural organic matter found in soils, sediments, water, and ice.

We also study the binding mechanisms of organic contaminants to soils and sediments such that the fate of organic contaminants can be better predicted.  Our latest research focuses on a new area of research and the development of novel environmental metabolomic methods.  These methods are used for the rapid and quantitative measurement of terrestrial and aquatic organism stress responses with environmental change and soil and water contamination.


  • Pautler, B. P., P. Sanborn, A. J. Simpson, and M. J. Simpson. 2013. Molecular characterization of organic matter in Canadian Arctic paleosols for paleoecological applications.  Organic Geochemistry 63:122-138.
  • Nagato, E. G., J. C. D’eon, B. P. Lankadurai, D. G. Poirier, E. J. Reiner, A. J. Simpson, and M. J. Simpson. 2013. 1H NMR-based metabolomics investigation of daphnia magna responses to sub-lethal exposure to arsenic, copper and lithium.  Chemosphere 93: 331-337.
  • Lankadurai, B. P., E. G. Nagato, and M. J. Simpson. 2013. Environmental metabolomics: An emerging approach to study organism responses to environmental stressors.  Environmental Reviews 21: 180–205.
  • Whitfield Aslund, M., G. Stephenson, A. J. Simpson and M. J. Simpson. 2013. Comparison of earthworm responses to petroleum hydrocarbon exposure in aged field contaminated soil using traditional ecotoxicity endpoints and 1H NMR-based metabolomics.  Environmental Pollution 182: 263-268.
  • Pisani, P., K. M. Hills, D. Courtier-Murias, A. J. Simpson, N. J. Mellor, E. A. Paul, S. J. Morris and M. J. Simpson. 2013. Molecular-level analysis of long-term vegetative shifts and relationships to soil organic matter composition.  Organic Geochemistry 62:7-16.

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