Kathy is a geologist, paleoecologist and astrobiologist. The broad theme of her research is paleoecology – the interaction of ancient organisms with their surrounding environments – whether they were living in normal marine environments, along geologically dynamic active margins, nestled within coastal dunes and marshes, or are/were surviving in harsh ‘extreme’ environments such as undersea cold hydrocarbon seeps or terrestrial hot springs. Her extremophile / extreme environment studies have broad implications for questions concerning the origin and nature of early life on Earth and whether life ever existed on Mars.