Curriculum Vitae

PDF version (7/3/17)

kokeeffe [at] live [dot] unc [at] edu

Ph. D. Candidate (Fall 2014-Present)
● Advisor: Charles Mitchell

Bachelor of Arts, cum laude (May 2012)
● Major: Biology (Thesis: Allelic Diversity at the S-RNase gene in Lycium carolinianum)
● Advisor: Jill Miller


O’Keeffe K, Carbone I, Jones CD, Mitchell CE. 2017. Plastic potential: how the phenotypes and adaptations of pathogens are influenced by microbial interactions within plants. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 38:78-83 ( (Invited).

Bowman TA, O’Keeffe K, D’Aquila T, Yan QW, Griffin JD, Killion EA, Mashek DG, Buhman KK, Greenberg AS. 2016. Acyl CoA synthetase 5 (ACSL5) Ablation in Mice Increases Energy Expenditure and Insulin Sensitivity and Delays Fat Absorption. Molecular Metabolism doi: 10.016/j.molmet.2016.01.001


O’Keeffe, K. and C.E. Mitchell, 2017. Effects of endophyte symbiosis and pathogen intraspecific variation on the growth of a fungal plant pathogen. Ecological Society of America, Portland OR (Poster presentation).

O’Keeffe, K., C.E. Mitchell, C.D. Jones, 2017. Challenges for analyzing dual RNA-seq data for non-model host/pathogen systems. Ecology & Evolution of Infectious Diseases Conference (14th Annual), UC Santa Barbara (Poster presentation).

O’Keeffe, K. 2016. Can we use RNA-seq to Investigate Host/Parasite Interactions? UNC Department of Biology Lunch Bunch Series, Chapel Hill, NC (Oral Presentation).

O’Keeffe, K., C.E. Mitchell, C.D. Jones 2016. Analyzing Mixed Transcriptomic Samples of Hosts and Pathogens: A Comparison of Reference-based Mapping Methods. Ecology & Evolution of Infectious Diseases Conference (14th Annual), Cornell University (Poster presentation).


National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2016-2019 ($138000)
Alma Holland Beers Scholarship and W.C. Coker Fellowship, Summer 2016 ($3500)
Amherst College John Woodruff Simpson Fellowship, 2015-2016 ($6000), 2016-2017 ($4500), 2017-2018 ($4500)
Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine Graduate Fellowship, Spring 2016 ($15,500)
Ford Predoctoral Fellowship Program Honorable Mention, 2015
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate Merit Assistantship, 2014-2015 ($18000)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Mrs. Louise Coker Fellowship, 2014 ($9000)
Junior Member of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society (2012-Present)
Research Experience for Undergraduates Award, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), 2010

Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Boston, MA
Research Technician in Obesity and Metabolism Lab (September 2012-June 2014)
Advisor: Dr. Andrew Greenberg

Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT
Field Assistant in Vector-Borne Disease Lab(May 2012-August 2012)
Advisor: Dr. Maria Diuk-Wasser

Amherst College Department of Biology, Amherst, MA
Honors Student in Mating System Evolution(May 2011-May 2012)
Advisor: Dr. Jill Miller

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD
Summer Intern in Fish and Invertebrate Ecology Lab (Summer 2010)
Advisor: Dr. Eric Johnson

Hofstra University, Uniondale, NY
Intern in Microbiology Lab (Summer 2009)
Advisor: Dr. Joanne Willey

Fall 2016 Guest Lectures: “Pathogens in Multi-Species Host Communities”
                                                 “Multi-Parasite Systems”
Course: Disease Ecology; Instructor: Charles Mitchell
Summer 2016   Guest Lecture: “Global Change and Infectious Disease”
Course: Global Change Ecology; Instructor: Mara Evans
Fall 2015        Guest Lecture: Population Growth
Course: Ecology and Evolution; Instructor: Mara Evans
Fall 2015        Teaching Assistant for Ecology and Evolution (Biology 201)


Genetics Society of America
Science Writing Intern (June 2015-December 2015)

Amherst College Department of Biology, Amherst, MA
Evolutionary Biology Teaching Assistant (Fall 2011)


Summer 2017-current: Undergraduate Mentor, Brandon Wheeler, Summer Research, UNC

2015-2017: Undergraduate Mentor, Anita Simha, Biology Senior Honors Thesis, UNC (Graduated with highest honors; Recipient of Robert E. Coker Award for excellence in organismal biology and ecology)

Organizing Committee Chair, ComSciCon-Triangle 2017
Pre-Graduate Education Advisor, University Career Services, UNC-Chapel Hill
Vice President, Biology Graduate Student Association, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (May 2016-Present)
Judge, NC Science and Engineering Fair 2016
Organizing Committee, ComSciCon-Triangle 2016, a science communication workshop
GED Science Tutor, Durham Adult Literacy Center (March 2015-December 2015)
SciREN participant, Designed lesson plan for teaching disease ecology with high school students
Webmaster, Biology Graduate Student Association, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (October 2014-May 2016)


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