The Team

Research Mentors

Dr. John Pauley – Professor of Philosophy at Simpson College. Dr. Pauley holds a PhD in Philosophy from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has taught at Simpson since 1990. Dr. Pauley became involved in the Palmer Project after Dr. Spellerberg and the student research team explained the scope of the problem in 2015 and was quickly convinced of the need of an interdisciplinary solution.

Dr. John Pauley at the Purdue Palmer amaranth Field Day

Dr. John Pauley at the Purdue Palmer amaranth Field Day.


Dr. Clint Meyer – Associate Professor of Biology & Environmental Science and Co-Director of Undergraduate Research at Simpson. He grew up on a farm in northeast Nebraska. After earning his BS degree in Biology at Wayne State College, he earned his MS Degree in Entomology from Kansas State University and his PhD in Zoology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. At Simpson, Clint teaches a range of courses in the Department of Biology & Environmental Scientists that focus on plants, invertebrates, and freshwater ecology. His research interests include measuring impacts of habitat disturbance on plant and invertebrate communities, as well as factors important to recovery of those habitats through restoration. The Palmer Amaranth project allows Clint to combine his background in agriculture with his research interests in assessing the impacts of invasive species. He is excited to offer a biological perspective to help improve model parameters and arrive at potential solutions to combat this invasive weed.


Dr. Clint Meyer studies a specimen in the field.



Dr. Brady Spangenberg – Market Intelligence and Research Manager at BASF in the Research Triangle of North Carolina. Dr. Spangenberg is a 2004 Graduate of Simpson College and also holds an MA and PhD in Comparative Literature from Purdue University.

Dr. Bob Hartzler – Extension Weed Specialist and Professor of Agronomy at Iowa State University. The student team reached out to Dr. Hartzler in 2015 to gain a better understanding of the impact of herbicide resistance on farming in Iowa. His work motto is, “It takes more than herbicides to keep a good weed down.”

Bill Bruere – Bill has been farming since 1975 and selling seed for the past 35 years. During the past 35 years Bill has acquired a great amount of knowledge about agriculture and agronomy and is deeply committed to learning about new trends and issues.

The Student Team

Graduate Fellow

Research assistants with consultant Bill Bruere.

Research assistants with consultant Bill Bruere.

Molly Monk ’16 – international relations, political science

Senior Research Assistants
Maggie Long ’18 – biochemistry, neuroscience, mathematics
Park Mikels ’17 – applied philosophy, computer science, mathematics

Research Assistants
Zoe Muehlip, December ’16 – applied philosophy
Tre Loge ’19 – computer science, mathematics
Andrea Van Wyk ’19– chemistry, mathematics
Leslie Decker ’19 – biochemistry, mathematics

Former Research Assistants
Teig Loge ’17 – computer science, mathematics


The Fleming Foundation
Dr. Albert H. & Greta A. Bryan ’57
Ned and Mickey Burmeister