Cather earned tenure at CWRU exploring fundamental chemical physics before moving to Auckland in 2007. Her research focuses upon the ultrafast interaction of light with matter, with a particular emphasis upon how molecules and materials convert light into more useful forms of energy. At Auckland, she took a joint position in Physics and Chemical Sciences, and founded a multi-user, outwardly-facing laser centre called the Photon Factory. The Photon Factory’s mission is to exploit exotic, ultrashort pulsed lasers to enable cross-disciplinary research from the very fundamental to the applied and entreprenurial. Her research led to two internationally award-winning spin-out companies. Engender Technologies (est. 2011; acquired internationally 2018) is developing technology to sort sperm by sex for the dairy industry. Orbis Diagnostics (est. 2016) is commercialising a rapid quantitative immunity test for COVID-19 at point-of-need. She recently moved back to the university from Engender, and took up a part time position as a Partner in Pacific Channel, helping hard-tech startups succeed in translating university research into impact. She is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry and the Royal Society Te Aparangi. Recent accolades include a National Tertiary Teaching Excellence - Ako Aotearoa Award, Kiwinet Researcher Entrepreneur & Supreme Award Winner, the Shimadzu Prize from the NZ Institute of Chemistry and the Pickering Medal from the Royal Society Te Aparangi.