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Katie McFarland, Ph.D.

Shellfish Biologist
Ecosystems and Aquaculture
Aquaculture Systems and Ecology
Email: katherine.m.mcfarland@noaa.gov

Katie McFarland, Ph.D.

Shellfish Biologist


  • Ph.D. Marine Biology, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, (European Institute of Marine Science), 2015
  • M.S. Marine and Ecological Science, Florida Gulf Coast University, 2011
  • B.Sc. Biological Sciences, The Ohio State University, 2008

Professional History

  • Research Biologist; NOAA Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Milford CT - March 2020 - Present
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate; University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences, Horn Point Laboratory - Jan 2018 – Nov 2019
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate; Cornell University, Department of Natural Resources - May 2016 – Oct 2017
  • Affiliate Faculty and Adjunct Lecturer; Virginia Commonwealth University - Oct 2015 – May 2016

Katie is a broadly trained shellfish biologist whose research includes understanding physiological response to environmental extremes and the evolutionary capacity to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. During her graduate work she studied the population dynamics of the invasive green mussel (Perna viridis) including physiological response to low salinity at the individual level and population response to naturally occurring red tide blooms (Karenia brevis) at the population level. She then went on to a post doc at Cornell University in 2016 where she studied growth, survival, reproduction, and recruitment of experimental oyster outplants with different genetic backgrounds across a wide environmental gradient in the Hudson River Estuary, NYC. In 2018, she moved to a post doc at the Horn Point Laboratory at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science to investigate the potential for domestication selection during the hatchery production of oysters.

Katie joined the Milford Lab in March 2020, where she will contribute to future and ongoing research related to bivalve aquaculture, conservation, and physiological response to environmental change.

Find out more about Katie's work on LinkedIn and ResearchGate