Katey joined the Hopkins lab as a MS student in the summer 2020. She is interested in the physiological mechanisms that aid in the survival of herpetofauna species and how they respond to anthropogenic factors like climate change. Her research is focused on the red blood cell mobilization associated with the fight-or-flight response in the Eastern Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) and how it is influenced by pathogens, season, environmental quality, and behavior. Katey feels privileged to have the opportunity to work with hellbenders and hopes her research findings will contribute to their conservation efforts.
Katey completed her undergraduate degree at Mississippi State University where she studied Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science and received a minor in Geospatial and Remote Sensing Technology. During her time at Mississippi State, Katey accumulated a broad research background. She worked for the United States Forest Service in the unique longleaf pine ecosystem where she assisted in conservation efforts for endangered species such as Dusky Gopher Frog, Gopher Tortoise, Black Pine Snake, and Red Cockaded Woodpecker. She also worked with Oregon State University at HJ Andrews Experimental Forest on a long-term community monitoring study to assess spatial and temporal habitat shifts in different species of birds in response to climate change. Additionally, Katey was an REU student with Dr. Britt Heidinger investigating heterophil-lymphocyte ratios in response to stress in developing House Sparrows. She was also selected to participate in an Undergraduate Research Scholars Program where she worked with Dr. Scott Rush studying blood-borne parasites in Passerines.