My name is Katherine Dziedzic and I'm currently a fourth year PhD student at Oregon State University. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, IL, where I somehow fell in love with the ocean. Annual family vacations to the Caribbean, routine visits to the aquarium, and multiple internships at the Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium developed my enthusiasm and interest in pursuing marine science as a career. My first scientific introduction to field work was on the Shedd Aquarium’s High School Marine Biology week-long field-excursion, where we conducted our own research and were allowed to think critically and scientifically about ocean processes. This profound introduction solidified my decision to pursue marine science as a career.
Well, I was a land-locked student interested in studying the ocean, so inevitably when it came time to apply for college I looked towards the coast. I attended the University of Miami (the U!) where I double majored in Marine Science and Biology. While pursuing my degree, I took part in various activities, internships and study abroad programs, that helped me towards graduate school.
In 2011, I worked in Madagascar for Blue Ventures, a London based company that sponsors conservation, education and sustainable development of worldwide coral reef communities. I participated in the collection of abundance and biodiversity data, analyzed data and determined scientific trends within the area.
For three years of my undergraduate career, I worked in a coral reef ecology research laboratory at RSMAS under the instruction of Dr. Andrew Baker. I learned various techniques such as PCR, quantitative PCR, RFLP and other amplification processes to examine DNA sequences of coral species and interpret their relationship to coral bleaching, ocean acidification, and other stressful events. This experience truly fostered my passion to study coral reefs as a graduate student. During my third year as an undergraduate, I participated in a study abroad program to the Galapagos Islands with courses that were designed to teach the material in the classroom and then build on the lectures in the field. I was enthralled by the diverse ecosystems and the culture and to this day, I still dream about going back to visit my Galapagos family and explore a bit more!!
Besides being a graduate student, I love ceramics, running, playing board games and of course, drinking beer! I love traveling and being outdoors, especially in the Pacific Northwest. I am slowly but surely making my social media debut, and am loving it! Check out my twitter below!
B.S. Marine Science and Biology
University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
Ph.D Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Advisor: Dr. Eli Meyer
SSIMBIO (Systems Science in Marine Biology)
Oregon State University
Gene Expression on the intertidal sea anemone, Anthopleura elegantissima
Dr. Jay Reichman
Oregon State University
Evaluating symbiont communities in nine coral species over periods of acclimation and thermal stress