Karrie Davidson Rathbone, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Email: karrier@tabor.edu
Department: Biology

Growing up on a farm in Kansas was a great introduction to studying science. Through observation and inquiry, I gained an admiration for how nature is dynamic and interconnected. I am engaged in our earth’s stewardship in relation to God’s commandment to love our neighbors. Managing our earth’s resources and biodiversity for all people and subsequent generations promotes environmental stability, peace and justice.

The best way to learn in the sciences is through natural inquiry and hands-on activity. I develop scientific educational outreach programs for schools, youth conferences and Expanding Your Horizons conferences (promoting sciences for young women). A senior research project is required of science students to integrate their four years of scholarship. Research is an important component to learning and the development of critical thought. I enjoy working with students on their capstone projects and witness their progress and maturation of thought.

A distinctive to Tabor College is an intercultural experience for our students to be globally relevant. Dr. Richard Wall developed a tropical field studies course for Tabor College that traveled to Belize during January interterm. I have continued this course with diversity studies of the tropical rain forest, island cays and barrier reef ecosystems.


  • Animal Behavior
  • Botany
  • College Biology
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science
  • Human Physiology & Anatomy
  • Research Methods/Senior Research Projects (Team)
  • Tropical Field Ecology (Belize Travel)
  • Vertebrate Anatomy/Development
  • Zoology


Professional Memberships:
  • Kansas Academy of Science
  • Sigma Xi
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Council of Undergraduate Research


  • Published papers concerning the phytoremediation of petroleum contaminated soils
  • Watkins Research Fellow, Wichita State University


Degrees and Institutions:
  • Ph.D., Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
  • M.S., Emporia State University, Emporia, KS
  • B.S., Emporia State University, Emporia, KS

Research Interests

  • Rhizosphere dynamics
  • Phytoremediation of petroleum contaminated soils
  • Allelopathic potential of opportunistic weeds versus established prairie systems
  • Community diversity structure
  • Ecosystem impact studies