Katherine is a doctoral candidate focusing on the French polar exploration, empire, and the history of science. Her dissertation, tentatively titled "Regimes of High Fantasy: Experiments in Sovereignty on the French Kerguelen Islands from 1893 to the Present," focuses on the French state's efforts to claim sovereignty over isolated, uninhabited islands in the Southern Indian Ocean, and the many difficulties the state encountered in doing so. She received her B.A. in history from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014, an M.A. in History and Literature from Columbia University in 2015, and a Master de recherche in contemporary European history from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in 2016.