Curriculum Vitae

PDF version (2/13/18)

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


Hansen, W. D.J. P. SchollA. E. SorensenK. E. FisherJ. A. KlassenL. CalleG. S. KandlikarN. KortessisD. C. KuceraD. E. MariasD. L. NarangoK. O’KeeffeW. RecartE. Ridolfi, and M. E. Shea2018How do we ensure the future of our discipline is vibrant? Student reflections on careers and culture of ecology. Ecosphere 9(2):e0299.

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 5(3):210-220.


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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