Karen has been Music and Academic Services Librarian at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotlandsince 1988.She previously completed a research Masters at the University of Exeter in 1981,and was awarded PhD in Music from the University of Glasgow in 2009. Her book,Our Ancient National Airs: Scottish SongCollecting from the Enlightenment to the Romantic Era, was published by Ashgate in March2013.

In October 2012, she embarked upon a 3-year AHRC-funded project at Glasgow University, secondedfor two days a week to be post-doctoral Researcher with Principal Investigator Dr David McGuinness,researching bass culture in Scottish fiddle music.