Katherine Muller


B.A., Biology and Music, Oberlin College, 2006-2010

M.S., Plant Biology and Conservation, Northwestern University, 2011-present



I am interested in species interactions in altered landscapes.



I am studying the relationship between Echinacea angustifolia and a specialist aphid, Aphis echinaceae. This recently-discovered species is exclusive to E. angustifolia and little is known about its biology. While Echinacea is fed upon by many herbivore species, A. echinaceae is the most consistent inhabitant we have observed.

My research investigates effects of aphid infestation on host fitness, the spatial and temporal distribution aphids in host populations, and differences in the distribution and phenology of aphid infestation among remnant populations of Echinacea. I am also analyzing long-term patterns of aphid infestation in a common garden experiment.