As a plant systematist, Dr. Panero is interested in the distribution, diversity, and evolution of flowering plants. His research focuses on the elucidation of phylogenetic relationships among Neotropical members of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) using traditional and molecular techniques. Another important activity of the lab and the University of Texas Herbarium is the documentation of the floristic diversity of the southwestern USA and Mexico. Ongoing research involves documenting the vascular plant flora of the states of Durango and Oaxaca, in southern and northwestern Mexico. Important benefits of these activities include the identification of economically important and endangered species, their distribution, and a better management of the natural resources of the area. Opportunities for graduate study in Dr. Panero's lab are available for students interested in pursuing floristic and monographic projects dealing primarily with the Neotropical flora.