An ecologist by trade, Dr. Karin Gastreich completed her B.S. in Biology at Rice University and her Ph.D. in Zoology at the University of Texas at Austin. She has conducted research in animal behavior, community ecology, plant-insect interactions, and biodiversity conservation, as well as interdisciplinary work exploring the interface between literary and scientific modes of inquiry. Areas of special expertise include spiders (Araneae) and the social Hymenoptera. Her current projects focus on native bees that persist in Midwestern urban landscapes. She lived and worked for many years in Costa Rica, where she served as Director of the Undergraduate Semester Abroad Program for Duke University and the Organization for Tropical Studies. In 2007, Dr. Gastreich accepted a faculty appointment at Avila University, returning to the greater Kansas City area where she grew up. She has served as Chair and is now Professor of Biology, where she enjoys sharing her love of life and literature with all her students.
As a fantasy fiction writer, Dr. Gastreich is a recipient of the OZMA Award and the Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency, as well as a winner of the Women on Writing Flash Fiction Contest. Her women-centered fantasy trilogy, including Eolyn, Sword of Shadows, and Daughter of Aithne, has been favorably reviewed by top editorial magazines such as Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. In addition to The Silver Web trilogy, Karin has published short stories in Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, and World Jumping.