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Kathleen E. Fischer, PhD

Kathleen E. Fischer, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
Campbell Hall 378
Volker Hall G133B
Phone: (205) 934-0259
Kathleen E. Fischer, PhD

Dr. Fischer studied rainforest canopy ecology in the remote mountains of Papua New Guinea (PNG), where she worked for five years with local villagers and mining companies to establish the Mekil wildlife management area and research station on Mount Stolle. Following her work in PNG, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) asked her to conduct a marine survey of Lampi Island in Myanmar. The survey resulted in a management plan for the Mergui Archipelago designed to protect natural resources and the traditional subsistence and artisanal resource use of the nomadic Moken people who live in the region. She went on to work in Indonesia and Brazil before returning to the United States in 1999.

While working at the Christensen Fund, Dr. Fischer helped to establish the endowment for the Christensen Fellowship at WCS, helped endow a similar fellowship program at the Missouri Botanical Garden and helped secure bridge funding for the Conservation and Research Center at the National Zoo. She has also worked on conservation and resources use issues in in the United States, including research on Sudden Oak Death and most recently working for the Yurok Tribe. Dr. Fischer returned to aging research in 2010, when she joined the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Research. She joined the Department of Biology in 2014.

Research and Teaching Interests:

Biology of Aging, Sex Differences, Evolution, Ecology, Energetics, Animal Behavior and Conservation.


  • BA, University of California, Santa Cruz, Biology and Environmental Studies
  • Graduate Certificate, University of California, Santa Cruz, Science Writing
  • MA, Harvard, Anthropology
  • PhD, Harvard, Biology and Anthropology


Selected Publications:

  1. Fischer KE, Gelfond JAL, Soto VY, Han C, Someya S, Austad SN, "Effects of Long-term Rapamycin Treatment: the Impact on Mouse Health of Enteric Rapamycin Treatment from Four Months of Age throughout Life" PLOS ONE (submitted).
  2. Richardson A, Fischer KE, Speakman JR, deCabo R, Peterson CA, Rabinovitch P, Chiao YA, Taffet G, Miller RA, Finch C, Rentería RC, Bower J, Ingram DK, Ladiges WC, Ikeno Y, Sierra F, Austad SN, "Measures of Healthspan that Might be Informative of Aging in Mice — a Recommendation," The Journal of Gerontololgy Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (2014).
  3. Tomczyk S, Fischer KE, Austad SN, Galliot B, "Hydra, a powerful model for aging studies," Invertebrate Reproduction & Development (2014, DOI:10.1080/07924259.2014.927805).
  4. Zhang Y, Bokov A, Gelfond J, Soto V, Ikeno Y, Hubbard G, Diaz V, Sloane L, Maslin K, Treaster S, Rendon S, van Remmen H, Ward W, Javors M, Richardson A, Austad SN, Fischer KE, "Rapamycin extends life and health in C57BL/6 mice," The Journal of Gerontololgy Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 69 (No. 2, 2014): 119-30.
  5. Fischer KE and Austad SN, "The Development of Small Primate Models for Aging Research," ILAR Journal8:52 (2011): 78-88.
  6. Fischer KE, Orsak LO, Letourneau DK, Siaguru P, "Research, resource use and sustainable conservation," Proceedings, 20th Waigani Seminar, Port Moresby, Papua Guinea, 1996.
  7. Fischer KE and Chapman CA, "Frugivores and fruit syndromes: differences in patterns at the genus and species level," Oikos 66 (1993): 472-82.
  8. Austad SN and Fischer KE, "Mammalian aging metabolism and ecology: evidence from the bats and marsupials," Journal of Gerontology 46 (No. 2, 1991): B47-B53.
  9. Austad SN and Fischer KE, "Primate longevity: its place in the mammalian scheme," American Journal of Primatology 28 (1992): 251-61.