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Kaitlyn Gaynor

PhD Institution: University of California, Berkeley Class: 2019 Fellow Postdoctoral institution and lab:

National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara

Specialism: Ecology

Kaitlyn studies how animals interact with their environments and with each other, and how these interactions are being impacted upon by humans. 

Kaitlyn trained as a behavioral and community ecologist during her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, where her work in both the United States and Mozambique focused on understanding the roles and impacts that people have on ecological systems, and in particular, how humans have changed large animal behavior and distribution. 

Kaitlyn is motivated by a fundamental interest in understanding how animals think and behave. She is also driven to explore how human activity is creating ripple effects of change across entire ecosystems, as species adapt to human impact on the planet. 

As a Schmidt Science Fellow, Kaitlyn will pivot from field ecology research into data and computer science. She will identify computing tools and develop accessible, open-source workflows to develop novel analytical tools for the processing and synthesizing of a wide range of environmental data. 

Based at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California, Santa Barbara for her Fellowship year, Kaitlyn aims to provide the science to identify patterns and drivers of environmental change so as to better target interventions to conserve biodiversity. This work has the potential of benefitting both animal species and human societies that are dependent on ecosystem services.