In 2015, I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife (Conservation Biology/Applied Vertebrate Ecology) with a minor in English Writing from Humboldt State University.

I am currently a biology master’s student at North Carolina State University under Drs. Jennifer Campbell and Emily Lynch, studying the impacts of diet and husbandry practices on red wolves in collaboration with the North Carolina Zoo.

I am featured in Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop’s beautiful nonfiction book The Hyena Scientist, available here. Read it to learn about spotted hyenas, zoologist Kay Holekamp, and the research we were doing in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya in 2016. For more information about the MSU Mara Hyena Project, check out their blog here. I wrote a few posts that can still be found in the archive.

I am a coauthor on a paper that’s been accepted for publication in Wildlife Research, comparing equipment for recording and localizing dog, wolf, and coyote vocalisations:

Bethany Smith, Holly Root-Gutteridge, Hannah Butkiewicz, Angela Dassow, Amy Fontaine, Andrew Markham, Jessica Owens, Loretta Schindler, Matthew Wijers, Arik Kershenbaum. Acoustic localisation of wildlife with low-cost equipment: lower sensitivity, but no loss of precision. Wildlife Research 2021 (Just Accepted:

I am a coauthor on a paper that was published in Current Zoology about feral cat vocalizations:

Jessica L. Owens, Mariana Olsen, Amy Fontaine, Christopher Kloth, Arik Kershenbaum, Sara Waller; Visual classification of feral cat Felis silvestris catus vocalizations. Curr Zool 2017; 63 (3): 331-339. doi: 10.1093/cz/zox013

I collected wolf howls in Yellowstone National Park for research that was published in a paper in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America:

Arik Kershenbaum, Jessica L. Owens, Sara Waller; Tracking cryptic animals using acoustic multilateration: A system for long-range wolf detection. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 2019; 145 (3), 1619-1628. doi: 10.1121/1.5092973

I am listed in the acknowledgments for the data I contributed. You can listen to some of the recordings from that project here:

For an overview of some of my past wildlife adventures, see this post: