My full name is Katherine R. Urban-Mead, and I go by Kass. My pronouns are she/her/hers.
I grew up near Poughkeepsie in New York State, where I attended FDR High School in Hyde Park NY. My childhood as an active member of Got Goat Milk! 4H Dairy Goat Club was crucial in my formation as an ecologist.
I did my undergraduate in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, where I worked in Nancy Moran’s lab on honeybee gut microbes for two years before completing an undergraduate thesis with Os Schmitz, where I began to explore the wide world of wild and native bees.
After undergrad, I spent an incredible summer learning plants (and mulching, pruning, and mowing) at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, MA. The next fall I began a year-long internship working on trait-based ecology in greenhouses at CEFE CNRS in Montpellier, France. I spent two seasons as a farmhand at Rose Hill Farm & Orchard in my hometown in the Hudson Valley.
I returned to New Haven both for its absolutely heavenly pizza and to obtain an MSc is from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. That year, I again worked with Os Schmitz in my familiar old-field meadows, but this time approached them with a manipulative experiment. I also took a bunch of forestry courses and will never forget my weekly work with the Urban Resource Initiative, as part of the street-tree planting crew.
After many adventures, I am grateful to have now returned to a familiar upstate NY ecosystem to do my graduate work in the Entomology Department in Ithaca, NY.