Research Summary

Professor Havstad is a philosopher of science and values with a background in scientific practice. She has worked on a marine reserve, on invasion plant genetics, in a gene expression lab, and behind the scenes at a natural history museum. She has written on animal ethics, avian origins, chemical kinds, climate science and policy, homology, human reproductive cloning, macroevolution, mechanism, natural selection, nuclear receptors, philanthropy, voucher specimen collection, and more.


  • BA, Philosophy of Life Science, University of California San Diego. Project: Individual Major
  • MA, Philosophy, San Diego State University. Project: Biological Individuality and Natural Selection
  • PhD, Philosophy - Science Studies, University of California San Diego. Project: Biochemical Kinds and Selective Naturalism


Professor Havstad has performed an extended ethnography of the laboratory—but also countless tail clips, PCRs, and Western blots.  She has published in Bioethics, Biology & Philosophy, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Nature, Perspectives on Science, Philosophy of Science, Public Affairs Quarterly, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and Systematic Biology.  She is an editor at Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology, has written informally for The OUP Blog, has appeared on The Brain Scoop, and is a founder and contributor at Extinct, the philosophy of paleontology blog.  She is trained and certified as an Ombuds and serves in that capacity for her primary academic society, the Philosophy of Science Association.

Other Profile Data

Professor Havstad teaches philosophy of science and values, the responsible conduct of research, and ethical theory, history, and practice to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City—where she is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy.  She also works with the University of Utah's Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and its Office of Research Integrity and Compliance (ORIC)—as lead of the institution-wide Research Ethics Consult (REC) service.  Throughout her professional work, and whenever warranted, she aims to ensure that complex matters of scientific practice are nonetheless accessible, responsible, and rigorous.