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Kathi received a B.A. in Biology from Whitworth College in 1989, an M.S. in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in 1995, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2001. She began working at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center as a National Academy of Sciences NRC Post-doctoral Fellow in 2001. She is currently a Supervisory Research Biologist in the Exposure Assessment and Diagnostics Group and PI on a National Institutes of Health (NIH)/ National Science Foundation (NSF) joint RO1 for developing a novel antibody-based biomarker for toxicity of chronic exposure to a common seafood toxin. Collaborators for the project include the University of Washington and the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Kathi's research focuses on the effects of naturally occuring marine seafood toxins on wildlife and human health. Her research encompasses four main topics: 1) pathways of trophic transfer of algal toxins through marine food webs, 2) assessment of acute and chronic exposure risks, 3) identification of physiological health impacts related to low level chronic exposure, and 4) development of biomarkers of chronic exposure and disease.