Kathryn is the Principal Advisor for Science and Head of Profession for Science and Engineering for Natural Resources Wales (NRW), responsible for science and evidence quality assurance, building the strategic evidence base through external liaison across Defra, the Research Councils, universities, and other research providers, and ensuring NRW uses the latest scientific evidence and futures analysis. She was previously with the Environment Agency for several years. Earlier, she worked for 18 years in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and South America in conservation, sustainable forest management, and governance, partnering local communities, business, universities, and top government. Her last post before returning to the UK was as director-general of an international rain forest conservation, research and development centre in Guyana, with responsibility for 350,000ha of rain forest and focusing on ecologically and economically sustainable forest businesses.

She is the chair or member of a range of government, academic, and charitable committees and boards, such as Chair of the Research & Innovation for our Dynamic Environment Forum, a forum of 19 public sector member organisations who hold a stake in environmental change research, innovation, training and capabilities, as funders, providers and/or users, and a member of the Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences sub-panel for REF2021. She has held various honorary academic positions for research and teaching (Oxford, Reading, Dalhousie, Banda Aceh) and is now Honorary Professor in Biosciences at Swansea University. Her early training included a post-doctoral fellowship in agricultural systems at the University of Reading, a PhD in ecological entomology from Imperial College at Silwood Park, and a BSc in ecology from the University of Durham.

Kathryn is a Court appointed lay member of Swansea University Council and a member of Court.