Meet the Team

Kate Buckley

As an undergraduate, Dr. Buckley studied biochemistry at Hood College in Frederick, MD. She became an evolutionary immunologist during her PhD work at George Washington University. After postdocs at the University of Toronto and Carnegie Mellon University, she moved to Auburn.

When not in the lab, you can find her scouring estate sales, turning bacon fat into soap, or with her cat Amelia Grace, who is objectively the best cat on the planet.

Email: kbuckley[at]auburn[dot]edu
Current CV

Ethan Tucker, Graduate Student

Ethan is pursuing his Master’s degree in Biological Sciences. He is interested in understanding how the larval immune system shapes the microbiome. Hailing from Mississippi State with a degree in microbiology, Ethan is growing accustomed to his new wardrobe in Auburn blue and orange.

Chad Hamm, Lab Technician

Chad comes to us from Dothan, Alabama. On top of mastering embryology and molecular biology in the lab and keeping our undergraduate researchers in line, he also sees that the sea urchins are fed and the tanks are in working order.

Abbey Behler, Undergrad Researcher

Abbey Behler is a Microbial, Cellular & Molecular Biology Major with an emphasis on Microbiology from New Jersey. She is using ATAC-Seq to identify regions of DNA that regulate gene expression during immune response. Abbey is remarkably good at fantasy football and plans to pursue an MD/PhD in immunology.

English Todd, Undergrad Researcher

English Todd is a Biomedical Sciences Major here at AU. She is currently working to understand the role of perforins in the sea urchin larval immune response. English has arguably the best sneaker collection in the lab and objectively two very large dogs that keep her busy. She is planning to attend medical school.

Nick Kraieski, Undergrad Researcher

Nick Kraieski is a Marine Biology Major from Georgia. Nick’s strengths include microscopy, biochemistry, and evolution. Nick’s weakness is remembering lists formatted with bullet points. He is planning to pursue a PhD in biology.

Harrison Carrell, Undergrad Researcher

Harrison Carrell is a Marine Biology major and our resident expert in phylogenetics who is currently analyzing the evolutionary histories of mitochondrial carrier family proteins across the eukaryotic tree of life. His love for building trees from molecular data is truly outstanding. He is the only person from Iowa that most of the lab has ever met.


We are actively looking for PhD students who are interested in uncovering fundamental properties of animal immunity.

The Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn has funded positions available for both Master’s and PhD level graduate students. Contact Dr. Buckley for more details.