Katharine has been a member of the Specht lab for 4 years!!! As a freshman, Kat was recruited to work with former lab manager Heather Driscoll to help with some projects on phylogenetics of various lineages within the Zingiberales. Kat was a volunteer at the University and Jepson Herbaria, and was spotted by Heather as a motivated and engaged researcher interested in natural history, eager to add molecular biology techniques to her repertoir of skills for studying plants and evolution. Last year, Kat began working with Graduate Student Stephen Yee on genetics, genomics and evolution of Physcomitralla patens, a species of moss that has been developed for genetic studies. In addition to helping Stephen collect and correctly identify approximately 100 species of moss, Kat worked long hours in the lab collecting gametophyte, protonema, and sporophyte tissue for genomic studies. Her work focuses on understanding the role of the EMF2 genes in the development of Physcomitrella patens, and extending this to a more general understanding of the evolution of moss growth and development.