Roland Kays

Head, Biodiversity Research Lab

11 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601


  • Ph.D. in Zoology, University of Tennessee, 1999
  • B.S. in Biology, Cornell University, 1993


  • Research Associate Professor, Fisheries, Wildlife & Conservation Program, NC State University
  • Research Associate, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
  • Research Associate, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Research Interests

Roland Kays is a zoologist with a broad interest in ecology and conservation, especially of mammals. He seeks out questions that are scientifically interesting but also have real-world relevance through educational or conservation value. He is an expert in using new technologies to study free-ranging animals, especially to track their movement with telemetry, GPS, and remote camera traps. He combines this high-tech work with traditional methods, collecting data through new field work and studies of museum collections.

For more on Roland's research please visit

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Jansen, P. A., Hirsch, B. T., Emsens, W., Zamora-gutierrez, V., Wikelski, M., & Kays R. (2012). Thieving rodents as substitute dispersers of megafaunal seeds. Proceedings National Academy of Science, USA, 109, 12610-12615. doi:10.5441/001/1.9t0m888q
  • Kays, R., Curtis, A., & Kirchman, J. J. (2009). Rapid adaptive evolution of northeastern coyotes via hybridization with wolves. Biol Lett, 6, 89-93. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.0575
  • Kays, R., Tilak, S., Kranstauber, B., Jansen, P. A., Carbone, C., Rowcliffe, M., Fountain, T., et al. (2011). Monitoring wild animal communities with arrays of motion sensitive camera traps. International Journal of Research and Reviews in Wireless Sensor Networks, 1, 19-29.
  • Kays, R. W., Gittleman, J. G., & Wayne, R. K. (2000). Microsatellite analysis of kinkajou social organization. Molecular Ecology, 9, 743-751.
  • Kays, R. W., & Wilson, D. E. (2011). Mammals of North America - Smart Phone App. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Fields of Research