MSUToday
Published: March 21, 2018

‘Hyena Scientist!’ to feature MSU professor Kay Holekamp

Contact(s): Allyson Hamzey Media Communications ally.hamzey@cabs.msu.edu, Layne Cameron Media Communications office: (517) 353-8819 cell: (765) 748-4827 Layne.Cameron@cabs.msu.edu

Kay Holekamp, one of the world’s leading behavioral ecologists, will be featured in East Lansing Public Library’s event “Hyena Scientist!” as part of the critically acclaimed “Scientist in the Field” series at 10:30 a.m. on April 26.

This myth-busting new addition to “Scientist in the Field” series by Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop debunks myths about hyenas, while featuring the pioneering research of Holekamp, MSU Distinguished Professor of integrative biology. Montgomery will join Holekamp at the event.

As a scientist studying one of the only mammalian societies led entirely by females, Holekamp has made it her life's work to understand hyenas since the beginning of her studies in 1988.

Her MSU lab conducts a long-term field study of behavioral development and associated endocrine changes in spotted hyenas in Kenya. 

More than 100 students have spent more than a year in Masai Mara, Kenya for these studies. For most of them, it’s a “life-changing experience.”

Holekamp received a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a Ph.D. from the University of California.