Headshot of Kate Goddard
Headshot of Kate Goddard

Kathryn Goddard

In our laboratory we study the effects of pollution and other problems caused by humans in freshwater and marine ecosystems.

Kate Goddard earned her B.A. degree at Gettysburg College and a master’s degree at Bucknell University. Her undergraduate and masters research was on freshwater plankton ecology of ponds and marshes. She earned her PhD at the University of Connecticut. Her research allowed her to spend part of the time studying at the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, MA. where she studied the enzymes involved in pollution metabolism in fishes. In her doctoral research she collaborated with Dr. Robert Dawley to uncover clonal reproduction in Phoxinus, freshwater fishes native to the United States and Canada. She did postdoctoral research at Yale University on Drosophila (fruit fly) genetics. Dr. Goddard taught at the American University in Washington, D.C. before joining the faculty at Ursinus College. Since her undergraduate years, Dr. Goddard is interested in environmental problems in the marine and freshwater environment. Dr. Goddard and her students are currently studying whether pollution has led to the evolution of pollution resistance in the salt marsh minnow Fundulus heteroclitus in southeastern Delaware Co, PA streams near the Philadelphia International Airport. Further, we are determining whether the F. heteroclitus in this region is the northern or the southern subspecies of this fish, or hybrids between the two subspecies. Severe storms are increasing in frequency due to climate change. We are also studying the effect of decreased salinity and increased temperature due to severe storms on nearshore non-reef building corals.

Dr. Goddard and her students interact with school groups and watershed volunteer organizations in both educational and research activities. She is the editor of The Valley - the quarterly newsletter of the Darby Creek Valley Association (DCVA), a watershed protection organization in southeastern PA. Dr. Goddard has served as a board member of DCVA since 2004, and secretary since 2015. She is a member of the Easttown Township Environmental Advisory Council in Chester County, PA.




  • B.S., Gettysburg College
  • M.S., Bucknell University
  • Ph.D., University of Connecticut


Biological Oceanography

Marine Biology

Freshwater Biology

Professional Experience

Dr. Goddard taught at American University for four years before joining the faculty at Ursinus College in 1992.  She has served as a peer reviewer for several journals and as a grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation.  She currently is the principle investigator for the Supporting Inclusive Excellence Scholarship grant at Ursinus College.  She is a member of the Outcomes Assessment Committee and the Core Curriculum Implementation Committee.

Research Interests

Dr. Goddard is interested in environmental problems in the marine and freshwater environment.  She and her students interact with school groups and watershed volunteer organizations in both educational and research activities.  They study water quality in streams as revealed by the presence and absence of aquatic invertebrates in the streams.  They are also studying whether salt marsh fish (genus Fundulus) in the Delaware estuary have evolved pollution resistance as has been found elsewhere in the country. 

Recent Work

Goddard, K.A., D. Cameron, C. Favero, J. King, and S. Price. An Intersession Program to Address Retention-Risk Factors for First-Year-College Biology Students. Bioscene 48, (1): 3-9.

Goddard, K.A. 2022. Microplastics, Marine Copepods and Freshwater Cladocerans: Investigations for College Biology Laboratory Classes. American Biology Teacher 84 (4): 223–228

Hawkins, W., K. Goddard, and C. Favero. 2021. A Co-Curricular program that encourages specific study skills and habits improves academic performance and retention of first year undergraduates in introductory biology. CBE-Life Sciences Education 20:ar4:1-11.

Reig, A. J., K. A. Goddard, R. E. Kohn, L. Jaworski, and D. Lopatto. 2018. The FUTURE program: Engaging underserved populations through early research experiences. Chp. 1 Gourley and Jones (eds) Best Practices for Supporting and Expanding Undergraduate Research in Chemistry ACS Symposium Series; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2018. doi: 10.1021/bk-2018-1275.ch001

Requa, E*, K. Much*, J. Bell*, K. Bemis*, L. Cappa*, S. Ordog*, P. Chi and

K. Goddard. 2017. Geographical distribution of metazoan parasites of

Rhinichthys atratulus atratulus and Fundulus heteroclitus throughout the

suburban-urban watershed of the Darby Creek, Pennsylvania. J. Penn.

Acad. Sci. 91(2): 112-133.