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

Wild Animals Podcast

Crazy stories about animals, told by the people who study them.

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