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PhD Candidate 2017- 2023

Kate Lagerstrom

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The Hadly Lab broadly seeks to understand the impacts of human actions on global climate change and biodiversity.  My work specifically addresses the impacts of human-derived waste, both biological and pharmaceutical, on wild animal populations. Since 2017 we have collected fecal samples from resident wildlife at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Using a combination of standard bacterial culturing methods and genetic analyses via PCR and genome sequencing, I am studying the genetic diversity and geographic distribution of Escherichia coli among wild animal populations at Jasper Ridge. Gaining a better understanding of the role of E. coli in a wild ecosystem will aid source-tracing efforts and help prevent contamination outbreaks in commercial produce. It will also shed light on the risks of wildlife reservoirs of antibiotic resistance and pathogenic E. coli significant to human health.  

My undergraduate degrees are from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Microbiology and Environmental Studies. At UNL's Center for Plant Science, I studied plant pathology and immunology utilizing the model organisms Pseudomonas syringae and Arabidopsis thaliana.


B.S. Microbiology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2017
B.S. Environmental Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2017


Escherichia coli genetics, antimicrobial resistance, zoonotic disease, wildlife microbiomes