Postdoctoral Research

Dr. Kathryn Flowers

Dr. Kathryn Flowers

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Kathryn (Katie) joined Mote Marine Laboratory in 2023 as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Ray Biology and Conservation. For her Ph.D. research, she used a multi-analytical approach to investigate how sharks, environmental factors, and human pressures influence stingray abundance and behavior in Caribbean coral reef ecosystems. Part of this work was with Global FinPrint, where she was a research assistant, science communicator, and led data quality improvements for the Western Atlantic Ocean. She is a passionate advocate for science-based conservation and her collaborative efforts led to extended marine protected area boundaries for reef sharks and full protection of all rays in Belize. Katie will study the biology and ecology of rays in the Greater Caribbean region in order to identify major threats to populations, support the management and recovery of threatened species, describe key habitats, and refine geographic distributions.


Ph.D. Biology, Florida International University, Florida, USA (2023)

M.A. Marine Conservation & Policy, Stony Brook University, New York, USA (2015)

B.A. Anthropology, St. Thomas University, New Brunswick, Canada (2012)


Cook ND, Clementi GM, Flowers KI, Fanovich L, Cable J, Perkins SE, Wothke A, Mohammed RS, Chapman DD (2024) Elasmobranch diversity around the southern Caribbean Island of Tobago: opportunities for conservation in a regional trade hub. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 104: e8.

Simpfendorfer et al. (KI Flowers one of 153 authors) (2023) Widespread diversity deficits of coral reef sharks and rays. Science 380: 1155 – 1160. 

Flowers KI, Babcock EA, Papastamatiou YP, Bond ME, Lamb N, Miranda A, Nuñez R, Valentin-Albanese J, Clementi GM, Kelley MC, Chapman DD (2022) Varying reef shark abundance trends inside a marine reserve: evidence of a Caribbean reef shark decline. Marine Ecology Progress Series 683: 97 – 107.
Clementi GM, Bakker J, Flowers KI, Postaire BD, Babcock EA, Bond ME, Buddo D, Cardeñosa D, Currey-Randall LM, Goetze JS, Harvey ES, Heupel M, Kiszka JJ, Kyne F, MacNeil MA, Meekan MG, Rees MJ, Simpfendorfer CA, Speed CW, Heithaus MR, Chapman DD (2021) Moray eels are more common on reefs subject to higher human pressure in the greater Caribbean. iScience 24: 102097.
Clementi GM, Babcock EA, Valentin-Albanese J, Bond ME, Flowers KI, Heithaus MR, Whitman ER, van Zinnicq Bergmann MPM, Guttridge TL, O’Shea OR, Shipley ON, Brooks EJ, Kessel ST, Chapman DD (2021) Assessing anthropogenic pressures on reef-associated sharks in jurisdictions with and without directed shark fishing. Marine Ecology Progress Series 661: 175 – 186.
Clark-Shen N, Xu Tinting K, Rao M, Cosentino-Roush S, Sandrasegeren R, Gajanur AR, Chapman DD, Lee Xin Ying E, Flowers KI, Feldheim KA, Manjaji-Matsumoto BM, Ng Zheng Hui S (2021) The sharks and rays at Singapore’s fishery ports. Fisheries Research 235: 105805.
Flowers KI, Heithaus MR, Papastamatiou YP (2021) Buried in the sand: Uncovering the ecological roles and importance of rays. Fish and Fisheries 22: 105 – 127.
Flowers KI, Chapman DD, Kemp T, Wert D, Feldheim KA (2020) Annual breeding in a captive smalltooth sawfish, Pristis pectinata. Journal of Fish Biology 97: 1586 –1589.

MacNeil et al. (KI Flowers one of 121 authors) (2020) Global status and conservation potential of reef sharks. Nature 583: 801 – 806.
Flowers K, Kelley M (2020) Resting whitespotted eagle ray Aetobatus narinari (Aetobatidae). Journal of Ichthyology 60: 122 – 123.  
Flowers KI, Henderson AC, Lupton JL, Chapman DD (2017) Site affinity of whitespotted eagle rays Aetobatus narinari assessed using photographic identification. Journal of Fish Biology 91: 1337–1349.
Flowers KI, Ajemian MJ, Bassos-Hull K, Feldheim KA, Hueter RE, Papastamatiou YP, Chapman DD (2016) A review of batoid philopatry, with implications for future research and population management. Marine Ecology Progress Series 562: 251-261.