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What Animals Tell Us About Ourselves: Meet Roland Kays

Roland Kays has spent his life studying the behavior and history of animals.

It started in high school when he ran the eggs of a fruit fly through an x-ray machine at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The experiment did not yield the results he wanted, but it did lead to a life as a zoologist. 

Today, Roland has a number of expeditions under his belt, including trips to Africa and South America. In 2013, he was part of the team that discovered a new relative of the raccoon, called the olinguito.

The olinguito is the first new species of carnivore discovered in the western hemisphere in 35 years.
Credit NC Museum of Natural Sciences
The olinguito is the first new species of carnivore discovered in the western hemisphere in 35 years.

Meet Roland Kays, director of the Biodiversity Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Kays' latest work is uncovering more about climate change by comparing animal specimens from 100 years of data from Mt. Kenya.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Kays, director of the Biodiversity Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, about his life and career.

Kays holds an ocelot in July 2001.
Roland Kays /
Kays holds an ocelot in July 2001.
Kays carrying a kinkajou in a trap in 1996. For his zoology doctorate, he researched the diet of the kinkajou.
Roland Kays /
Kays carrying a kinkajou in a trap in 1996. For his zoology doctorate, he researched the diet of the kinkajou.
Kays working with bats
Roland Kays /
Kays working with bats
Rob Nelson / Untamed Science
/
Untamed Science
Rob Nelson / Untamed Science
/
Untamed Science

Copyright 2015 North Carolina Public Radio

Will Michaels started his professional radio career at WUNC.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.