The Simpson Lab is open to new students.  Here is some information that might be of interest if you are looking for a graduate program and would like to consider joining us:


What can you work on?
  • Students in the Simpson Lab are traditionally free to choose the topic of their dissertation research to suit their own personal interests.  Beryl will not tell you what to work on, although she will provide guidance in your choice.  You needn't work on legumes nor Asteraceae (which are Beryl's stomping grounds), although you can if you really really really want to.  You can work on just about anything, as long as you can convince Beryl that it is interesting (and do-able).
  • That being said, Beryl likes to be useful to her students, and thus prefers that one's research interests coincide at least nominally with one of her specialties, those being:
    • Plant Taxonomy and Monography
    • Floristic treatments
    • Phylogenetic Systematics
    • Biogeography (especially South American)
    • Plant/Pollinator interactions
    • Field work in the American Southwest and Mexico, or South America
    • Ethnobotany or Economic Botany
  • Many of us in the Lab do consider ourselves botanists, but our ranks also include people working on pollinator biology and phylogenetics, and ecological interactions among plants, insects, and humans.
  • Beryl is happy to advise students seeking either a Master's degree or a Ph.D. 
About the Lab:
  • Beryl maintains a lab that is well equipped for molecular phylogenetic research and DNA sequencing, including late-model computers and frequently-updated software, as well as excellent compound and dissecting microscopes and pollination biology whatnots.
  • The Lab is conveniently located (currently) near the Herbarium and the Life Science Library.
  • Tom Wendt, Lindsay Woodruf, and the other staff at the herbarium (TEX) are amazingly nice and helpful with any herbarium-related issues, from specimen identification to acquiring loans from obscure herbaria.
  • The Simpson Lab enjoys an association with Dr. Jack Neff, a specialist on solitary bees native to the American Southwest and South America.  He often lends his expertise in pollination and bee-related matters.
  • The Simpson Lab also has close ties to Bob Jansen's Lab and the Linder Lab, and the famous Hillis Lab is right down the street.
  • Billie Turner occasionally visits.
  • We do a lot of field work at The Dog and Duck, Trudy's, and other places.
Interested in joining?
  • Students in the Simpson Lab typically apply (now) through the Plant Biology Graduate Program, although a few also come through the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior program (ask Juanita or Simone about that).
  • We would all be happy to answer any questions you have about our work, U.T.,  the Lab, living in Texas, whatever.  Feel free to contact us:
    • Beryl Simpson:  beryl at
    • Juanita Choo: juanchoo at
    • Joshua McDill: josh.m at
    • Debra Hansen: drhansen at
    • Simone Cappellari: scappellari at
    • Sarah Taylor: sarah.jackson at
    • Jason Schoneman: schonemanjason at
    • Xaio Wei: viggy_0730 at