Katherine Huxster

427 E. Tyler Mall Drive
PO Box 874601
Grad Intern
Graduate Assistant/Associate
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
4601

Student Information

Graduate Student
Biology
Liberal Arts & Sciences

Biography

Kate
comes to ASU to pursue her doctorate in Biology with a background as
a botanist and research ecologist. She graduated with her Bachelors
of Science from University of California, Berkeley in 2006 earning a
degree in Conservation and Resource Studies, with an emphasis in
Plant Ecology. During her undergraduate summers between semesters,
she participated on a research project studying restoration methods
of invaded coastal prairie grasslands at UC Bodega Marine Reserve
with Professor Peter Alpert based out of University of Massachusetts
at Amherst.

While
at UC Berkeley, she also held a research position studying
mycological symbionts of a non-photosynthetic plant, Pyrola
picta
, with a graduate student (Nicole Hynson, now PhD) in Tom
Bruns' lab at UC Berkeley. She also worked as an undergraduate
research assistant in a hydrogeomorphology research group in
Professor Mathias Kondolf's lab studying the effects of stream
augmentation and restoration in post-project appraisals.

After
graduating from UC Berkeley, she went to work as a Research
Assistant in David Ackerly's lab studying the population genetics of
the effects of grassland mesocosms under simulated conditions of
climate change. 

In
2008, Kate pursued her botanical and field interests in a field
position for the California Native Plant Society as an Assistant
Field Botanist identifying and classifying California vegetation in
the San Joaquin Valley and surrounding foothills of California.

She
later accepted a position as a Plant Ecologist for an environmental
consulting firm, H.T. Harvey & Associates, working to survey
parcels of land for clients, delineating wetlands, performing rare
plant surveys, and writing Environmental Impact Reports and
Environmental Impact Statements to assist clients with adhering to
environmental regulations.

After
working for private industry, she returned to her science research
interests with the U.S. Geological Survey in the Biological
Resources Division, and transitioned to the federal service
accepting a position to work as a Biologist studying the effects of
fire and restoration methods on degraded desert shrublands. She
worked for the USGS for nearly three years, before returning to
higher education to pursue her graduate degree here at ASU.

Research Interests

As
a student in Professor Martin Wojciechowski's lab, Kate has begun
work on a genus of legume shrubs, Psorothamnus, also known as
Fremont's Dalea.  The genus has not had a revised taxonomic
treatment since Rupert Barneby published 

Dalea Imagines

 in 1977. Her work
will use molecular phylogenetics to investigate relationships
between populations and species, and will investigate synapomorphies
of those evolutionary groups to improve the understanding and
taxonomic descriptions of those groups.

Kate is also
collecting plant community classification data based on the Federal
Geographic Data Committee standards of Releve and Rapid Assessment
methods to describe the plant communities in which the populations
of the species she investigates occurs. These species assemblages
will be studied to ground-truth some of the conceptual theories of
ecophylogenetics, which is a study of the patterns and processes of
evolutionary and ecological relationships.

Courses

Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
BIO 345 Evolution
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
BIO 345 Evolution
Fall 2014
Course Number Course Title
BIO 345 Organic Evolution
Summer 2014
Course Number Course Title
BIO 345 Organic Evolution
Spring 2014
Course Number Course Title
BIO 345 Organic Evolution
Fall 2013
Course Number Course Title
BIO 345 Organic Evolution
Summer 2013
Course Number Course Title
BIO 181 General Biology I