Katherine L. Petrie

Assistant Teaching Professor, University of California San Diego

As an evolutionary biologist, Dr. Petrie is interested in understanding the driving forces for evolution, including the mechanisms underlying evolutionary innovations. As an assistant teaching professor at UC San Diego, she brings bioinformatics and genomics—key tools for doing biology in the 21st century—into the undergraduate curriculum. She focuses on developing effective and inclusive teaching strategies for building scientific literacy, and on expanding access to STEM fields by incorporating research with primary data into the classroom experience.

Dr. Petrie earned a BPhil in molecular biology and a BA in anthropology and Japanese from the University of Pittsburgh, and a PhD from The Scripps Research Institute. She completed her postdoctoral work as an EON Research Fellow, splitting her time between UC San Diego and the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) in Tokyo, Japan. In addition to teaching at UC San Diego, she remains an affiliate of ELSI.


  • 2018–present
    Assistant Teaching Professor, UC San Diego
  • 2016–2018
    Postdoctoral fellow, UC San Diego & ELSI, Tokyo Institute of Technology