Louisiana native, Catherine Simpson, Ph.D, joined the faculty team in Texas Tech University’s Department of Plant and Soil Science in September 2020 as an assistant professor of sustainable and urban horticulture.
Simpson completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental soil science and plant and soil science at Texas A&M-Kingsville. It was during this time she found her passion for research and helping students.
After graduating with her doctoral degree from A&M, Simpson took a position with the Texas A&M-Kingsville Citrus Center in Weslaco, Texas, as the Texas physiologist for citrus.
On Texas Tech’s campus, Simpson is working with undergraduate and graduate students and researchers as an assistant professor of sustainable and urban horticulture, which is the production of plants and related activities conducted in an urban or peri-urban environment.
This includes recreation, leisure, business, health, well-being, beautification, economic benefits, restoration and urban remediation.
Simpson’s topics of research will range anywhere from urban horticulture, controlled environment system research, vertical greenhouse production, water conservation and abiotic stress physiology to ornamental horticulture and plant-soil-water relationships.
“I like to think of it as, I have ideas, but it is a conversation with my students,” Simpson said. “I have research priorities, but I don’t want to stifle creativity. If a student has an idea or an area they want to research, I like to work with them on that.”
Her goal in the plant and soil science department at Texas Tech is to get students excited about research and urban horticulture.
Simpson hopes that through her work and hands-on teaching and research experiences with her students, she can help expand the umbrella to make horticulture more visible to the greater sciences.
“I’m curious about everything,” Simpson said. “I want to know how things work. I wouldn’t be in research if I wasn’t curious and completely in love with it.”
“I’m curious about everything. I want to know how things work. I wouldn’t be in research if I wasn’t curious and completely in love with it.”CATHERINE SIMPSON, Ph.D.