Laura Aline Katz

Dr. Laura A. Katz

Elsie Damon Simonds Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Smith College


Postdoctoral, Princeton University, 1997-1999
Ph.D. Cornell University, 1997
A.B. Harvard University, 1989

Research Area: Evolution and Ecology, Genomics and Genetics
Field of Study: Phylogenomics and genome evolution in eukaryotic microbes, plant microbiomes

Work in the Katz lab aims to elucidate principles of eukaryotic evolution through phylogenomics, community analyses of microbial diversity and studies of genome evolution.  The work intersects with Plant Biology in three main ways: 1) our studies of testate amoebae focus on the diversity of these protists living on Sphagnum in local bogs and fens, and much remains to be learned about the co-evolution between these hosts and microbes; 2) we have begun studies of plant microbiomes, focusing on pitcher plants in the field and in greenhouses; and 3) we are also using our phylogenomic tools to study the origin of genes involved in photosynthesis from lineages across the eukaryotic tree of life.  A plant biology graduate student joining my lab would learn diverse techniques/approaches in microscopy, molecular biology, and bioinformatics.