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

Selected Publications

  • McShea, W.J., Forrester, T., Costello, R., He, Z. & Kays, R. (2016) Volunteer-run cameras as distributed sensors for macrosystem mammal research. Landscape Ecology, 31, 55–66.
  • Kays, R., Crofoot, M.C., Jetz, W. & Wikelski, M. (2015) Terrestrial animal tracking as an eye on life and planet. Science, 348, aaa2478–aaa2478.
  • Kays, R. (2016) Candid Creatures: How Camera Traps Reveal the Mysteries of Nature. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Helgen, K.M., Pinto, M., Kays, R., Helgen, L., Tsuchiya, M., Quinn, A., Wilson, D. & Maldonado, J. (2013) Taxonomic revision of the olingos (Bassaricyon), with description of a new species, the Olinguito. ZooKeys, 324, 1–83.
  • Kays, R.W. & Wilson, D.E. (2009) Mammals of North America. Second Edition. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Fields of Research