We are scientists from all over the world who perform research on protists, single-celled eukaryotic organisms. Individual areas of research involving protists encompass ecology, parasitology, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, evolution and many others. Our Society thus helps bring together researchers with different research foci and training. This multidisciplinary attitude is rather unique among scientific societies, and it results in an unparalleled forum for sharing and integrating a wide spectrum of scientific information on these fascinating and important organisms. Protists are often making headlines… both good and bad. Photosynthetic protists (microalgae) are responsible for costly and sometimes deadly outbreaks called harmful algal blooms in coastal waters around the world, but palatable microalgae also constitutes the base of the food web in most aquatic ecosystems. They may even be a means of mitigating carbon dioxide buildup in the earth’s atmosphere via ‘ocean fertilization’ experiments now under study.
Heterotrophic protists (species with animal-like nutrition) play fundamental ecological roles in virtually all terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, although some of these species are the cause of an enormous amount of human disease, suffering and death (e.g. malaria, African sleeping sickness, amoebic dysentery). Visit the Portal to Protistology to gain a better appreciation of the biological diversity of protists, their importance in nature and to human society, and some areas of active research. Membership applications to the Society are always welcome, as are inquiries regarding sponsorships for symposia at our meetings, research grants, and so on. We are strongly supportive of participation by undergraduate and graduate students. The Society also sponsors annual meetings. In 2010, the Society met in conjunction with the British Society of Protist Biology in Canterbury, England. In addition, many of the Society’s affiliated sections hold meetings; you can learn more about these, and other conferences of interest, on our Meetings pages.
Welcome to our Society website, and the wonderful world of protists. For more information on The Society: