21st-Century Graduates from the Simpson Lab:

Debra Hansen  

Ph.D.: Plant Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, 2012

Dissertation: Systematics and Biogeography of Pectis (Asteraceae: Tageteae)

Now: Lecturer, the Unversity of Texas at Austin
  • Current research:
Sarah Taylor  

Ph.D.: Plant Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, 2012

Dissertation: The Phylogeny of Nama (Hydrophyllaceae) and the Evolution of Gypsophily.

  • Current research:
Juanita Choo  

Ph.D.: EEB, The University of Texas at Austin, 2011

Dissertation: An ethnoecological study on the cultivation and consumption of palms weevils in Venezuela.

  • Current research:
Simone Caroline Cappellari  

Ph.D.: EEB, The University of Texas at Austin, 2010

Dissertation: Pollination Networks of Plant Communities of the Brazilian Cerrado.

Now: Assistant Curator, Havard Herbarium
  • Current research:
Joshua McDill  
Josh McDill

Ph.D.: Plant Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, 2009

Dissertation: The Phylogeny, Biogeography, and Evolution of Linum (flax, Linaceae)

Ruth Timme  
Ph.D.: Plant Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, 2006
  • Dissertation: Reticulate Evolution in Helianthus (Asteraceae); Comparative Chloroplast Genomics of Helianthus and Lactuca.

Now: Post-doctoral researcher, University of Maryland

  • Current research: Sequencing green algae ESTs to identify genes important in early land plant evolution. Delwiche Lab, University of Maryland.
  • Website
Anneke Padolina  
Anneke Padolina.JPG Ph.D.: Botany, The University of Texas at Austin, 2006
  • Dissertation:  Recovering the Reticulate Phylogeny of the Orchid Genus Phalaenopsis.

Now: Lecturer, Virginia Commonwealth University.


Cate Bergman  

M.A..: Plant Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, 2006
  • Thesis: The Flora of Lee County, Texas, including a key to the grasses, sedges, and rushes.

Now: Cate now has a job as a middle school science teacher.



Martin Timaná

Ph.D.: Botany, The University of Texas at Austin, 2005
  • Dissertation: SystematicStudies in Pycnophyllum and Pycnophyllopsis (Caryophyllaceae) of the High Andes.

Now: Living and botanizing in Peru.

Heidi Meudt  
Ph.D.: Botany, The University of Texas at Austin, 2004
  • Dissertation: Biogeography and systematics of Ourisia (Plantaginaceae).

Now: Humboldt Fellow, Germany. 

Joanne Birch  
M.A.: Plant Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, 2004
  • Thesis: Pharmacopoeia of Dr. Gideon Lincecum, a Nineteenth Century Botanic Physician of the Southeastern United States.

Now: Postdoactoral fellow, Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne

Andrea Weeks  
Ph.D: Botany, The University of Texas at Austin,  2003
  • Dissertation: Phylogenetic Systematics and Biogeography of the Burseraceae.

Now: Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, and Director of the Ted R. Bradley Herbarium.

  • Current research: Plant systematics, phylogenetics, and biogeography (particularly in Burseraceae).


<----- Andrea visiting Welwitschia in Namibia.

Geoff Denny  
M.A.: Botany, The University of Texas at Austin, 2002
  • Thesis: The Vascular Flora of The Nature Conservancy of Texas Love Creek Nature Preserve, Bandera County, Texas.

Now: Assistant Professor, University of Mississippi.


Jennifer Tate  
Ph.D.: Botany, The University of Texas at Austin, 2002
  • Dissertation: Systematics and Evolution of Tarasa (Malvaceae): An Enigmatic Andean Polyploid Genus.

Now: Lecturer in Plant Systematics and Evolution, Massey University, New Zealand.

  • Current research: Investigating the genomic and transcriptomic changes that occur in the early stages of polyploid evolution.
  • Website
Sarah Simmons  
Ph.D.: Botany, The University of Texas at Austin,  2002
  • Dissertation: A Molecular Phylogenetic Investigation of Staphyleaceae, With Implications for its Taxonomy and Biogeography.

Now: Assist Dean, College of Natural Sciences, U.T. Austin.

Leah Larkin  
Ph.D.: Botany, The University of Texas at Austin, 2002
  • Dissertation: Phylogeny and Floral Host Choice Relationships of Callandrena (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae: Andrena).

Now: Consultant


20th-Century Graduates:

Student Year Dissertation Topic Current Position
D. Megan Helfgott, Ph.D. 2000 Evolution and Molecular Systematics of Nemophila Nutt. (Hydrophyllaceae) and the Woody Bencomia Alliance (Rosaceae) Lecturer, DePaul University
Kirsten Tripplett, Ph.D. 1999 The Ethnobotany of Resin Use by Modern and Ancient Maya of Guatemala. Post-Doctoral Fellow, The University of California, Berkeley.
Todd J. Barkman, Ph.D. 1998 Evolution of Dendrochilum (Orchidaceae) Assistant Professor, Western Michigan University (Website)
Janna Weiss, Ph.D. 1998 Diagnostic Concepts and Medicinal Plant Use of the Chatino (Oaxaca, Mexico), With a Comparison of Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist
Mark Mayfield, Ph.D.. 1997 The Systematics of Euphorbia sect. Poinsettia (Euphorbiaceae). Research Assistant Professor, Kansas State University, Manhattan KS.(Website)
Phil Stutz, M.A. 1997 Gynodioecy in Callirhoe (Malvaceae). Biology Teacher.
Karen H. Clary, Ph.D. 1997 Phylogeny, Character Evolution, and Biogeography of Yucca (Agavaceae) Environmental Affairs Division, TxDOT
Phyllis Boyd, M.A. 1997 Cotton Cultivation in Texas. Editor of Science Textbooks.
C. Kay McMurray, Ph.D.. 1996 Selection of Floral Features of Delphinium. Lecturer, The University of Texas at Austin.
Janice G. Saunders, Ph.D. 1995 Systematics and Evolution of Waltheria (Sterculiaceae) Botanist, Instituto de Botánica Darwinion, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dennis O. Cornejo, M.S. 1994 Morphological Evolution and Biogeography of Mexican Columnar Cacti, Tribe Pachycereeae (Cactaceae) Travel Consultant, Monterrey CA.
Jung-Ho Lee, M.A.. 1994 Oil secretion in Alophia and Other Iridaceae. Ph.D. from Texas A & M University.
David J. Bogler, Ph.D. 1994 Taxonomy and Phylogeny of Dasylirion (Nolinaceae) Researcher, Missouri Botanical Garden
Luis Hernandez, Ph.D. 1993 Cladistic Analysis of the American Genera of Asparagales and the Systematic Study of Beaucarnia (Nolanaceae) and Hemiphylacus (Hyacinthaceae). Professor, University of Querétaro, Mexico.
Ken Olsen, M.A. 1993 Pollination Effectiveness and Pollinator Importance in a Population of Heterotheca subaxillaris (Asteraceae). Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Maryland.
Leticia C. Cabrera, Ph.D. 1992 Systematics of Rzedowskiela Gen. Nov. with a Provisional REvision of the genus Acourtia (Nassauviinae: Mutisieae: Asteraceae)  
Christopher N. Kernan, Ph.D. 1992 Epiphyte and Canopy Ecology in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica.  Research Scientist, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables FL.
Denis Kearns, Ph.D. 1992 The Systematics of Polyclathra and Schizocarpa (Cucurbitaceae). Environmental Consultant, New Mexico.
Kristin L. Vanderbilt, M.A. 1991 Sexual Allocation in Callirhoe involucrata (Malvaceae) Assistant Research Professor, Sevilleta LTER, University of New Mexico
David R. Morgan, Ph.D. 1990 A Systematic Study of Machaeranthera (Asteraceae) and Related Groups Using Restriction Analysis  of Chloroplast DNA and a Taxonomic Revision of Machaeranthera Section Psilactis Associate Professor, Western Georgia University
Melissa A. Luckow, Ph.D. 1989 Systematics of Desmanthus Willd. (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae) Assistant Professor, L.H. Bailey Hortorium, Cornell University (Website)
Young Bae Suh, Ph.D. 1989 Phylogenetic Studies of North American Astereae (Asteraceae) Based on Chloroplast DNA Professor, Natural Products Research Institute, Seoul National University, Korea (Website)
Gregg Dieringer, Ph.D. 1988 Intrapopulational variation in the pollination biology of Agalinis strictifolia (Benth.) Penn. (Scrophulariaceae).  Professor, Northwest Missouri State University
James P. Folsom, Ph.D. 1987 A Systematic Monograph of Dichaea Section Dichaea (Orchidaceae) Education Director
Carol Hoffman, Ph.D. 1987 Comparative responses to physical and biological stresses: Ecological relationships of Cucurbita. Assistant Professor and Research Associate, Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens GA.
Carol Ann Todzia, Ph.D. 1986 Systematics and Evolution of the Genus Hedyosmum (Chloranthaceae)  
Darlyne A. Murawski, Ph.D. 1985 Pollination Ecology of a Costa Rican Population of Psiguria warscewiczii in Relation to Foraging Behavior of Heliconius Butterflies Writer, Biologist, and Photographer (Website)
Katharine Ann Bear, Ph.D. 1985 Insect Visitation on Rudbeckia hirta L., a Central Texas Wildflower Biology Teacher.
Laurence Dorr, Ph.D. 1983 The Systematics and Evolution of the Genus Callirhoe (Malvaceae). Associate Curator, Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.
Candace Galen, Ph.D. 1983 The Ecology of Floral Scent Variation in Polemonium viscosum Nutt. (Polemoniaceae) Professor, Department of Biology, The University of Missouri-Columbia (Website)
Joan E. Fryxell, M.A. 1980 A Taxonomic Study of Abutilon section Oligocarpae (Malvaceae) Professor of Geology, California State University, San Bernardino (Website)