Kathryn Docherty

Photo of Kathryn Docherty
Kathryn Docherty
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
(269) 387-5654
3159 Wood Hall, Mail Stop 5410
Mailing address: 
Department of Biological Sciences
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5410 USA
Research interests: 
  • Environmental microbiology
  • Microbial ecology

Dr. Kathry Docherty is an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Western Michigan University.

In the Docherty Lab, we are broadly interested in understanding how human activities influence microbial community diversity and functioning. Under this overarching goal, research is divided into two main topic areas. First, we are interested in understanding how changes in land use influences the types of microorganisms that are present in soil or are associated with animals, and how these change may alter global microbial distribution patterns in the air. Second, we are interested in how specific chemical pollutants influence natural microbial diversity and processes. Projects in this area have examined how winter road salt influences methane production in Michigan lakes, how long-term global change factors influence soil microbial carbon cycling and how microbial communities from wastewater treatment plants can be used to degrade harmful aquatic pollutants. Our research integrates work in the field and laboratory, and relies on bioinformatics and multivariate statistical approaches to assess changes in microbial communities.

Students in Docherty's research group:

  • Steven Aiello, undergraduate student
  • Kristen Bergh, undergraduate student
  • Barbie Buehler, undergraduate student
  • Katie Walker, undergraduate student

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