Kay E. Holekamp is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at Michigan State University.
Professor Holekamp grew up in St Louis, Missouri, then earned her undergraduate degree from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She spent a year working in the Amazonian jungle, then earned her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, studying dispersal behavior in mammals. After spending three years as a post-doctoral fellow in behavioral endocrinology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, she joined the research staff at the California Academy of Sciences, and began her on-going study of the behavioral ecology of free-living spotted hyenas in Kenya in 1988. In 1992 she joined the faculty at Michigan State University. Her research interests focus on the ontogenetic development, physiological mediation, and evolution of mammalian behavior. Much of her recent work focuses on the selection pressures favoring the evolution of intelligence. She enjoys travel, puzzles, and sailing.