Roland Kays

What’s My Story: Zoologist

Roland Kays started studying animals in a physics class. He thought he wanted to work in a genetic engineering lab but thought better of it when he saw a film about a zoologist peering into prairie dog mounds looking for burrowing owls. He switched his major to zoology and fell in love with mammals. Today, he keeps tabs on thousands of mammals in their natural habitats with the aid of new technology and citizen volunteers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

NC Museum of Natural Sciences and Smithsonian Team Discover Rare Mammal Species

On August 15, 2013, the world heard a story of mistaken identities set right. A small team of scientists on a routine research task discovered something amiss in rarely seen, decades-old museum artifacts. They had a hunch that something wild lay hidden behind established ideas and old bones.

They followed their hunch to the Andean cloud forest: a mountainous region of dense canopy-rainforest cloaked in fog. After flying, driving and hiking old mule trails into this mysterious region, they found what they spent years searching for waiting amongst the misty leaves.