field of trees

Instructor Spotlight: Kate Hanes

Dr. Kate Hanes is a lecturer in the Biology department at Washington University in St. Louis.  She regularly teaches lab sections of the foundational biology courses, Principles of Biology I and II.  She has also taught Introduction to Ecology.  In addition, she is an advisor to both Biology majors and Pre-Health students.

Dr. Hanes was born and raised in St. Louis, where she attended John Burroughs School.  She received her undergraduate degrees in Biology and History from Swarthmore College.  She spent the fall of her junior year in college studying marine biology in the Turks and Caicos Island, British West Indies.  After college, she was a field assistant for a staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, conducting research on an egg-brooding coral reef fish in the San Blas Islands.  She then worked as an intern at the Palau campus of the School for Field Studies before beginning her graduate studies.  

She earned her Master’s degree and PhD in the Zoology department at the University of Florida.  For her Master’s thesis, she studied the thermal cues that loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings use to time their emergence from the nest.  She measured sand temperatures above nests from which hatchlings were emerging in both Melbourne Beach, FL and Fort Lauderdale, FL.  Her dissertation work centered around the role that herbivorous green sea turtles play as keystone species on their seagrass foraging grounds.  She simulated turtle grazing of seagrass near Lee Stocking Island in the Exuma Cays, Bahamas and compared seagrass structure and nutrient composition in grazed plots compared with adjacent ungrazed plots.

After graduate school, Dr. Hanes began teaching at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, CA.  She taught courses such as Marine Biology, Honors Biology, AP Biology, and AP Environmental Science.  She eventually moved back to St. Louis and taught AP Environmental Science, Animal Behavior, Neuroscience, and Marine Biology at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School before beginning work at Washington University in 2016. Dr. Hanes has been teaching with A&S Pre-College Programs since 2019.

Dr. Hanes will be teaching the 2023 Environmental Studies Institute and Intro to Environmental Science Exploration Course.

Experience WashU from home this summer!