Mark P. Simmons
Mark Simmons is an associate professor and curator of the herbarium at Colorado State University.
He completed his Ph.D. at Cornell University in 2000 with funding from a Sage Graduate Fellowship and a Mellon Foundation Fellowship.
After graduating, he
spent thirteen months as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at Ohio State University
before accepting an appointment as assistant professor and curator of the herbarium at Colorado State University
He was thereafter promoted to associate professor in 2007.
He is currently an associate editor for the American Journal of Botany as well as Systematic Botany.
As a systematic botanist, his
research program consists of two interrelated components: conceptual aspects of molecular phylogenetics, and systematics of the flowering-plant family Celastraceae (spindle-tree family).
conceptual research, he
has addressed four steps involved in DNA-based phylogenetics studies: character-sampling strategies, sequence alignment, character coding, and phylogenetic-inference methods.
As one of the few botanists in the world who work on the poorly known Celastraceae, his
primary goals have been to determine the relationships of Celastraceae relative to other families and to infer the intergeneric relationships and patterns of character evolution within the family.
research has been supported by the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation
Guggenheim term, he
will be conducting fieldwork on Catha edulis ("qat"), a species of evergreen shrubs and trees, in eastern Africa.