Alasdair H. Neilson was Principal Scientist until retirement from the Swedish Environmental Research Institute in Stockholm. He obtained First Class Honors in Chemistry from the University of Glasgow and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in Alexander Todd´s laboratory at Cambridge. He carried out independent research in Cambridge in organic chemistry and in Oxford in theoretical chemistry with Charles Coulson.
He held academic positions in the universities of Glasgow and Sussex, and obtained industrial experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He consolidated his experience by turning to research in microbiology during a prolonged stay with Roger Stanier and Mike Doudoroff in Berkeley. His interests have ranged widely and included studies on nitrogen fixation, carbon and nitrogen metabolism in algae, and various aspects of environmental science covering biodegradation and biotransformation, chemical and microbiological reactions in contaminated sediments and ecotoxicology.
With his small group of collaborators, these studies have resulted in substantial publications in journals including Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Journal of Chromatography, Environmental Science & Technology, and Ecotoxicology & Environmental Safety, in chapters contributed to several volumes in the Springer Series "The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry" and “Organic Chemicals: an Environmental Perspective”. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Society for Microbiology, the American Crystallographic Association, and the Arctic Institute of North America.