Ask Our Featured Researcher

Ask Our Featured Researcher

Anna K. "Kay" Behrensmeyer

Researcher Paleobiologist,
Taphonomist

Kay out in the field sitting in a tent
Kay out in the field taking a break in the tent.
  • What activities did you do as a kid?


  • “I rode ponies down to the creek to look for snakes and fossils.”

    “I painted watercolors and wanted to be an artist.”

    “My aunt took me on nature walks and gave me unusual rocks and fossils.”

  • What have you achieved as a scientist?


  • “I’ve gone on field trips to Kenya, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Wyoming trying to determine how the fossil record reflects the ancient world.”

    “I collaborate with colleagues across many disciplines from geology to anthropology.”

    “I study many types of fossil animals and reconstruct the environments where they lived and died.”

  • What is the biggest challenge for mammals in the 21st century?

  • “As habitats decline during the 21st century, we’ll likely see a decrease in mammal diversity, especially the extinctions of large mammals and very specialized mammals. In the fossil record, there are many examples that show the larger and more specialized animals were among the first to go extinct during times of environmental change.”