Katrina Derieg

Katrina Derieg

Vertebrate Collections Manager

Areas of Expertise

• Mammals

• General vertebrate zoology


• Taxonomy


•Biodiversity informatics 


Katrina Derieg is a dynamic biologist and museum professional with a deep-rooted passion for natural history and research. She embarked on her journey with NHMU in 2020, following the completion of her M.S. in biology at the University of New Mexico (UNM). However, her connection with museum science was forged during her undergraduate years at the Museum of Southwestern Biology (MSB), where she began as a dedicated volunteer in the bird and mammal collections. 

Katrina's fascination with mammals blossomed during her Mammalogy course at UNM. From there, she honed her skills in collecting and identifying small mammals, meticulously preparing holistic voucher specimens for the museum's invaluable archives. Her contributions extended beyond the lab as she led field expeditions across New Mexico for a variety of projects, including her thesis project on woodrats (Neotoma) systematics and phylogeography in the American Southwest. 

Drawing from her experience at MSB, Katrina has seamlessly transitioned into her role at NHMU, where she spearheads field trips across Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, enriching NHMU's collections with valuable specimens. Her dedication to documenting biodiversity doesn't stop at mammals; she has initiated a notable collection of parasite specimens associated with mammal hosts. Katrina's training underscored the importance of natural history collections in unraveling intricate parasite-host dynamics and pathogen emergence, a focus she upholds at NHMU. 

Katrina has mentored numerous high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, instilling in them the same fervor for museum science that ignited her own academic journey. While managing the vertebrate zoology collections at NHMU and guiding emerging scientists, she continues to push the boundaries of research. Her work has culminated in four peer-reviewed publications to date, showcasing her dedication to advancing our understanding of the natural world. 

Katrina Derieg is not just a biologist; she is a curator of the past, present, and future, preserving our natural heritage and inspiring the next generation of museum scientists.