Katherine began her academic journey in 1996 in her hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada with an honours degree in botany. An interest in phytochemicals took her to the University of Calgary where she began her PhD studying the biosynthesis of morphine and codeine in opium poppy. Upon completion in 2008, she was offered a postdoctoral position at the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia and spent 2 years studying volatile terpenes produced by conifers trees as a defence response to insects.
Katherine got her first taste of Western Australia in 2010 as a visiting scientist at the University of Western Australia to study terpene biosynthesis in Sandalwood, after which she landed an Office of the Chief Executive (OCE) postdoctoral position at the CSIRO studying terpene production in Medicago as a defence response to aphids. In 2015 Katherine started at the CCDM to study the pathogen side of things, investigating how net blotch of barley attacks its host. She now works on the molecular biology of fungicide resistance at the CCDM, teaches and coordinates ‘Agricultural Microbiology’ within the Agribusiness degree at Curtin.