Kathi received a B.A. in Biology from Whitworth College in 1989, an M.S. in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in 1995, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2001. She began working at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center as a National Academy of Sciences NRC Post-doctoral Fellow in 2001. In 2005 she was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for her research on harmful algal bloom toxins and health effects. She is currently a Supervisory Research Biologist in the Biomedical Diagnostics Group at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and a Co-PI on a National Institutes of Health (NIH)/ National Science Foundation (NSF) joint RO1 for developing a novel antibody-based biomarker for toxicity of chronic exposure to a common seafood toxin. Collaborators for the project include Co-PI Dr. Dave Marcinek, University of Washington and Dr. Don Smith, University of California, Santa Cruz.