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Cathe Smith

Cathe Smith

     Fan / Scientist


Cathe Smith has always been interested in insects. As an entomology undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she worked as a crop scout in an integrated pest management lab that worked with potatoes, cabbage, and mint. That experience led her to pick up a second Bachelor of Science in agronomy. She also had a paid internship with a butterfly lab where she was trained as a lab tech in molecular genetic work, preparing her for her later job in an insect molecular genetics lab for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She worked for six years for the USDA in a quarantine lab assisting in efforts to find non-chemical based population controls for wide-spread pests of plant crops. These attempts at genetic manipulation gave her a real appreciation for amount of work that goes into biotechnology. After six years toiling "in quarantine," she entered the Entomology and Plant Pathology master's program at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where she specializes in Insect Genetics. Her thesis looks at the genetic diversity within genus Orchesella of Springtails in North America; her work has already doubled the number of genetically described species within that genus. Cathe has been active in fandom for over a decade and has been a repeat contributor to Stephen Euin Cobb's podcast, "The Future and You." She is a First Dan black belt and former assistant instructor in the Korean martial art of Han Mu Do. She currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she crochets and really does need all that yarn