Laboratory Coordinator & Technical Assistant

Spencer Hall 252 / ext. 3305

Lab Preparation, Safety Management, Purchasing, Lab Instructor

Kataren (Johnson) Ray, a native of Historic Tuskegee, AL, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

During her graduate school tenure, she served as a teaching assistant for undergraduate level introductory biology and graduate level animal physiology labs. In addition to being a graduate teaching assistant, she was academic mentor to several students, participating in various activities which involved providing valuable information to undergraduate students regarding graduate school and funding opportunities and preparation for interviews, resumes and the GRE. Mrs. Ray wrote and completed a Master’s Report entitled “Tools for DNA analysis and physiological measurements used for instructional teaching laboratory exercises.” The abstract of the report was printed in the April issue of Alabama Academy of Sciences Journal in 2003.

Upon earning her Master's degree, she was employed as a Research Associate in a molecular evolution plant science laboratory at Auburn University in Auburn, AL where she assisted in efforts to create a systematics system for the North American grapevine family Vitis and to aid in dissolving the urbanization of invasive plants such as Wisteria using a number of molecular tools. One scientific paper was co-authored by Ms. Johnson and published in the Plant and Cell Physiology Journal in 2007.

Currently, as the department’s lab coordinator, Mrs. Ray’s main duties include preparing for intermediate cell and molecular biology labs, maintaining chemical safety files and a chemical inventory, training work students in the laboratory and purchasing.


• Efficiently maintain all lab equipment in introductory and advanced biology labs
• Coordinate care of animals and animal room maintained for teaching and research
• Serve as safety officer for department and direct disposal of biohazardous waste


Johnson, K.J., A.D. Johnson, J.U. Johnson. 2003. Tools for DNA analysis and physiological measurements used for instructional teaching laboratory exercises (Abstract). Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science

Trusty, J. L., K. J. Johnson, B. G. Lockaby, and L. R. Goertzen. 2007. Bi-parental cytoplasmic DNA inheritance in Wisteria) (Fabaceae): evidence from a natural experiment. Plant and Cell Physiology


  • Nalgene and Nunc Professional Training Fund Award (2008)
  • DOT Hazardous Materials Training
  • National Association of Scientific Materials Managers
  • Laboratory Safety Institute
  • Hazardous Waste (RCRA) Training
  • Sewanee Multicultural Health Society, Adviser
  • Girl Scouts USA, Adviser