Katey Bender

Katey Bender

Title: IB PhD Student
Dept/Program: Biology
Email: keb154@zips.uakron.edu


I am a student in the Barton Lab, studying the microbial ecology of Lechuguilla Cave, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. My research focuses on understanding antibiotic production and resistance in this environment, and whether the extreme nutrient limitation in this environment may be driving the evolution of mechanisms to overcome antibiotic resistance. The increasing prevalence and severity of antibiotic resistance in the clinic presents a serious risk to modern medicine; finding novel mechanisms to counteract resistance will help prevent the return of a "pre-antibiotic" era in which antibiotics are no longer effective.


I earned my bachelor's in science with a minor in biology from the University of Waterloo in Canada. During the course of my undergraduate studies I took a year abroad to the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. While there I started caving and am now an experienced expedition caver. Joining the Barton Lab has allowed me to combine my recreational caving skills with my academic interests by studying the microbiology of a remote cave environment. I am a member of organizations including the Explorer's Club, the National Speleological Society, and the British Caving Association.


B.Sc. Honours Science, Biology Minor, Dean's Honours List; University of Waterloo