MS, Biological Sciences, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond
BA, Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder
Cathy supports Arboretum leadership in developing strategies and processes to enhance Science and Conservation programs. She works closely with the Director of the Center for Tree Science to grow the Center into a hub of tree science knowledge and facilitator of research worldwide. She is managing the development of a demonstration area on Arboretum grounds that will showcase the range of tree science research conducted at the Arboretum. Cathy is passionate about the key role biological collections play in supporting ecological research, and about how botanical gardens and other conservation organizations can facilitate scientific research, help train the next generation of scientists, and influence public attitudes towards science and conservation. She plays a crucial role furthering the Arboretum’s mission in these areas. Cathy has a strong research background in avian habitat use, tropical ecology, and the influence of management strategies on wildlife populations. At the Arboretum, she has enjoyed conducting background research on the conservation of threatened plant species and urban ecology.
Cathy helped develop foundational strategies for several key Arboretum conservation programs, including the Center for Tree Science, the Chicago Region Trees Initiative, and the Global Tree Conservation Program. She manages the tree science demonstration area project, a new exhibit on tree science to open in fall 2018, as well as a project to modernize and expand the capacity of the genetics laboratory and Herbarium at the Arboretum. Cathy has performed ecological research in ecosystems around the world, including tropical forests in Brazil, Cameroon, Hawaii, and Australia; southwestern deserts and mountains; coastal islands; and longleaf pine savannas. She has funded and led expeditions to collect data in remote locations and worked in multiple languages. Her experiences give her unique insight into the mechanisms behind how ecological research is conducted in diverse countries and organizations, and how institutions can work to facilitate research and training.