a woman smiles at the camera

Leann Kanda

Associate Professor, Biology
Phone: 607-274-3986
Office: Center for Natural Sciences 159, Ithaca, NY 14850
Specialty: Animal Ecology

Office Hours: Fall 2023

Wed 2-4 and Thurs 11-1
Open-door policy, drop in or email me to set up a time

About Me


  • BA, Dartmouth College, Dual: Biology (Ecology and Evolution) and Religion
  • MS, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
  • PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Research Interests

I am a behavioural and population ecologist with a background in mammalian behaviour and population dynamics.  My driving interest is understanding the choices made at the individual animal level to explain where they are found and how they move on the landscape.

A fascinating component to this is the personality of the animal itself.  I look at mammalian temperament both in the lab and in the field.  In the lab, we can test animals over and over again, which helps us examine the development of behavioral tendencies, the plasticity of these behaviors, and how different temperaments may correlate with one another in the population (a phenomenon called a behavioral syndrome).  Using the Siberian dwarf hamster as a model, we are currently examining whether juvenile movements during early independence (including dispersal-like movements) are consistent with their activity personality later in life. 

In the field, we are also piloting examining wild mouse personality and movements in relation to recreational paths.  Using RFID (microchipping) technology and automated readers at running wheels set in the field, we can evaluate free-ranging mouse activity personality.  Readers in conjunction with field cameras will allow us to observe the fine-scale behavior of these mice when encountering human trails. 

In addition, we have an ongoing project to see if wildlife, mostly deer, react differently to novel objects depending upon whether the animals live in small urban fragments or more remote forest habitat.  We capture the behavior with video trail-cameras.  Watch for random plastic flamingos (our novel object) in the woods!

Student Research in my Lab

 If you interested in conducting research in my lab see details below: