Katy is a PhD candidate in the environmental science and engineering program under the supervision of Professor Alexandria Boehm. Her research focuses on viruses in urban stormwater runoff and treatment of stormwater runoff using low impact development (LID). Urban stormwater runoff is an understudied source of human pathogens, including human viruses, to the San Francisco Bay and coastal waters. Her research investigates the fluxes of these viruses to the Bay and the coast, as well as the removal of these viruses in vegetated biofilters that can reduce the volume of runoff in urban areas and thus potentially reduce microbial pollution in recreational waters. Her projects are funded by the NSF ERC ReNUWIt (Re-Inventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure). Her research interests include the development of new tools for pathogen detection in environmental waters and water reuse technologies. She completed her MS in Environmental Engineering at Stanford in 2017.
Katy grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her interests in environmental science grew from her experiences outdoors in the Ohio River Valley and experiencing the impacts of floods and aquatic pollution where she grew up. She studied chemical engineering at the University of Michigan and spent several summers there working on research projects in biomedical engineering and environmental engineering. At Stanford, she has worked on many research projects, including an investigation of the beach microbiome, a collaboration with UC-Berkeley quantifying the removal of indicator viruses from wastewater effluent in a horizontal levee, and a literature review and meta-analysis of the decay of fecal indicators and bacteria in surface waters.