Dr. Katharine Criswell

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Position: Assistant Professor

Department: Biology

Office: Science Center 103


About Dr. Katharine Criswell


  • B.S. Geoenvironmental Studies, Shippensburg University
  • M.S. Vertebrate Paleontology, University of Texas at Austin
  • Ph.D. Integrative Biology, University of Chicago
  • Postdoctoral research in the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge


My research combines developmental biology and vertebrate anatomy to answer questions about the evolution of the vertebrate body plan. I am particularly interested in how the skeleton develops in fishes, and what differences in fish skeletal anatomy can tell us about their evolutionary history. Research in my lab includes techniques like histology and tissue staining, gene expression, building 3D skeletal models from microCT scans, and tracing anatomical changes across phylogenetic trees. I spend time in the summers studying cartilaginous fish (skate and shark) development at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA.

Courses Taught

Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy Lecture & Lab Vertebrate

Zoology Lecture & Lab

Human Anatomy & Physiology I Lecture & Lab

Human Anatomy & Physiology II Lecture & Lab