Dr. Katherine Esau (April 3, 1898 - June 4, 1997) is the author of "Plant Anatomy" and "Anatomy of Seed Plants", which are two of the most influential textbooks in structural botany.

Born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, she moved to Davis in 1927. She technically obtained her doctorate from Berkeley since UC Davis did not have a graduate program at the time although her work was done in Davis. She then taught at UC Davis through the mid to late 20th century.

In 1957, Dr. Esau became the sixth woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In 1989, she was awarded the National Medal of Science by President George Bush.