PhD Candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University


My name is Kate, and I am fascinated by flowering plants.

Sometimes Clarkia xantiana is taller than me. Kern County, California. June 2016.

Photo credit: Liz Richards.

I am excited about plants because

The mutualism that occurs between plants and pollinators is an incredible evolutionary response to the challenges plants face as rooted, generally immobile organisms. I find it fascinating that, in order to have other organisms assist with their reproduction, plants have evolved a whole suite of traits to attract pollinators and insure efficient pollination, including pungent floral scents, intoxicating nectar rewards, bright petal colors, and wild floral shapes.

My academic & professional background

I graduated from Amherst College with B.A. in Environmental Studies. I took a diverse array of courses in ecology and evolutionary biology, environmental history, economics, and statistics. I then worked as a Research Associate for Dr. Christina Caruso at the University of Guelph in Ontario. In the Caruso Lab I worked on a wide array of projects that included time maintaining and measuring plants in the greenhouse, contributing to database projects, and developing methods to study pollen presentation.

I am currently a fifth year PhD Candidate in Dr. Monica Geber's lab in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. In addition to conducting research I participate in a number of outreach programs where I enjoy sharing my passion for science with people outside of academia. You can read my CV to learn more about my background and current work.

Outside of Science I enjoy

rock climbing, ice cream, exotic fruit, yoga, travel