With a broad interest in all things living from biochemical to organismal, Catharine White has studied and done research in a wide variety of fields. During her undergraduate studies she did research on stoneflies (aquatic insects important to stream ecology), and also worked in the field of bioremediation (using living organisms to clean-up environmental contaminants). In 2005 she graduated from Cornell University with a PhD in Microbiology with Biochemistry and Plant Science Minors. Her PhD focused on how bacterial cells communicate with each other in their environment. She then moved to Munich, Germany to work as a post-doctoral associate for a few years at the Institute for Genetics and Microbiology at Ludwig Maximilians University. The research group that she worked with in Munich studies interactions of plants with symbiotic bacteria and fungi that are important to nitrogen fixation in both natural and agricultural ecosystems. She then returned to Canada and did research in the field of microbial ecology in the laboratory of Dr. Turlough Finan at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. During her research and studies, Catharine has published a number of peer-reviewed research articles, review papers, and book chapters.
In 2010, Catharine joined the faculty group at NWCC. She teaches primarily biology, ecology, and plant science. Being enthusiastic about learning through research, she incorporates research projects into her courses, taking advantage of the amazing bioregion of the area as an outdoor, living laboratory.