1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Egenis · People

Dr. Catherine (Katie) Kendig

Research Student - completed


020 7679 1328


01392 264676




I began my studies in philosophy at Syracuse University. After completing my BA in Philosophy with a minor in Biology, I moved to Washington DC and worked in a policy studies think tank. I then came to London to study for the MSc in Philosophy and History of Science taught jointly at King’s College London and LSE.

I began to consider metaphysical questions about the nature of biological kinds, self-organization, and causation in light of genomic, developmental, and epigenetic research. This led me to the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society. Under the supervision of Professor Lenny Moss, I recently completed my dissertation and passed my viva with no corrections.

In September 2009, I’ll be Teaching Fellow for University College London’s Department of Science and Technology Studies where I’ll be teaching two undergraduate courses: Science and Ethics, and The ‘New Genetics’ and Society, and one graduate course, Advanced Philosophy of Science.

Teaching experience

  • Knowledge and Reality II: Section Instructor, University of Exeter
  • Philosophy of Science: Lecturer, University College London
  • Introduction to Philosophy: Sessional Lecturer, Birkbeck, University of London
  • Analytic Philosophy: Teaching assistant, American University, Washington, DC

Research Interests

My research is in metaphysics and philosophy of science in general and philosophy of biology in particular. Much of my work has concentrated on criticizing and reconfiguring the ontological framework within which discussions of the organization, ontogeny, and evolution of organic form have often been conducted. I focus on how the meanings of “trait,” “homology,” “organism,” and “species” change when organic form is reconceived from an organism-centred view that takes the organism to be the centre of its own self-organization. In formulating this perspective I draw inspiration from Kant as well as from contemporary discussions in philosophy of biology centring on niche construction.

Selected presentations

“An Organism-centred view of Species: a neo-Buffonian alternative to the BSC.” Paper accepted for presentation at the upcoming biennial conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, 21-24 October 2009.

“Organism and Niche Construction.” University of Exeter Annual Postgraduate Conference, University of Exeter, UK, June 2008.

“Why should microbial taxonomy be interesting to philosophers of biology?” Biennial conference of the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology, University of Exeter, UK, August 2007.

“The Ontology of Race.” Biennial conference of the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology, University of Exeter, UK, August 2007.

“Are there Natural Kinds (or even Natural Units) in Biology?” ERSC Genomics in Society Seminar series, University of Exeter, UK, November 2006.

“Reconstruction of the Concept of Homology for Genomics.” Pittsburgh-London Workshop in Philosophy of Biology and Neuroscience, University of London, UK, September 2001.

“The Explanatory Role of Homology in Comparative Genomics.” British Society for Philosophy of Science Annual Conference, University of York, UK, July 2001.

“How Does the Study of Homological Relationships within Comparative Genomics Provide Explanation and Understanding of Genomes?” 12th Biennial conference of the International Society for Philosophy and Technology, Nature and Technology, University of Aberdeen, UK, July 2001.

“A New Motivation for Species Pluralism.” British Society for the Philosophy of Science Annual Conference, University of Sheffield, UK, July 2000.

“Anomalies of Bacterial Taxonomy.” International Philosophy of Science Conference (in conjunction with the journal International Studies in the Philosophy of Science), Dubrovnik, Croatia, April 2000.