Glew, Ph.D.,Katherine

Curatorial Associate, Lichens
206-543-1682 (office)

Research Overview

Lichens from alpine and island ecosystems.
Phytosociology of lichens with vascular plants.
Floristics of the Pacific Northwest, focusing on Washington State.
Lichen succession in Alaskan Arctic frost boils.


Katherine Glew, Ph.D. is Curatorial Associate of lichens at the University of Washington Herbarium, Burke Museum, where she manages historic collections and processes lichens from the Russian Far East. In addition to curation responsibilities, her research interests include alpine lichen community structure on Mount Rainier and lichens from island ecosystems.
Katherine had 20 year career as a high school biology teacher. She then returned to the University of Washington for her Ph.D. There her research focused on lichen taxonomy and alpine vegetation ecology in the northeast Olympic and North Cascade Mountains. Following graduation she pursued post-doctoral research in Bergen, Norway and the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
From 2000 through 2003, Katherine taught biodiversity, ecology, and cryptogamic botany at the University of Puget Sound. She mentored four students, while at the university, resulting in undergraduate senior theses. The students' research documented alpine lichen community phytosociology from Mount Rainier. 

During the summers of 2001 and 2003, Katherine joined Ted Pietsch, from the University of Washington, in the International Sakhalin Island Project (ISIP) to study the lichen biodiversity of temperate regions from the Russian Far East,  The results were part of a larger floristic and faunal study, including researchers from the Russian Far East Institute and Japanese universities. 

Katherine’s interests also include lichens found from the smaller islands in Washington's San Juan Archipelago, lichen succession occurring after the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and from frost boils in Alaska’s arctic tundra.  She is actively involved with conservation in the lichenological community.  A new project involving lichens, initiated by Ted Pietsch, takes place along the Elwah River in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.   Katherine joins other biologists to study the impact of dam removal on the cryptogams and insect populations.

Katherine is the Program Organizer for the Visit Biology Project in the Department of Biology, funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  This program offers opportunities for students and teachers to be involved with research projects in the Biology Department.

Katherine heads a weekly lichen study group, meeting at the University of Washington.

She is vice president for Northwest Lichenologists and President of the Northwest Scientific Association.