Kelly Iknayan

I am a PhD student in the Beissinger Lab. My research interests include global change biology and community ecology with a particular focus on Californian avifauna.  I am conducting my dissertation research, which focuses on avian distributional response to climate change in the Desert Southwest, as part of the Grinnell Resurvey Project ( Through my research, I will be investigating if species interactions are impacting individual species responses to a changing climate, and how this may vary across the three deserts biomes of California: the Sonoran, the Mojave, and the Great Basin deserts. Historic data for this survey were collected as part of a broader systematic inventory of the vertebrates of California by Joseph Grinnell and colleagues at UC Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Dynamic multi-species occupancy models will allow me to advantage of this invaluable dataset, as they can correct for detection differences from survey methods between the historic and modern surveys.

Prior to coming to UC Berkeley, earned a BS in Biology from the University of Michigan in 2006. Following graduation, I performed ornithological field research in Northern Minnesota with the University of Minnesota and in Arizona and Southeast California with PRBO.  From 2009-2012, I worked as a researcher, specializing in GIS and data management, with the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project, where I worked with the island’s endangered honeycreepers.



Rapacciuolo, G., Maher, S.P., Schneider, A.C., Hammond, T.T., Jabis, M.D., Walsh, R.E., Iknayan, K.J., Walden, G.K., Oldfather, M.F., Ackerly, D.D., and Beissinger, S.R. 2014. Beyond a warming fingerprint: individualistic biogeographic responses to heterogeneous climate change in California.Global Change Biology 20(9), 2841-2855.

Iknayan, K.J., Tingley, M.W., Furnas, B.J., and Beissinger, S.R. 2014. Detecting diversity: emerging methods to estimate species diversity. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 29:97–106.

Mounce, H.L., Iknayan, K.J., Leonard, D.L., Swinnerton, K.J., and Groombridge, J.J. 2013. Management implications derived from long term re-sight data: annual survival of the Maui Parrotbill (Pseudonestor xanthophrys). Bird Conservation International 1-11.

Mounce, H.L., Leonard, D.L., Swinnerton, K.J., Becker, C.D., Berthold, L.K., Iknayan, K.J., and Groombridge, J.J. 2013. Determining productivity of Maui Parrotbills, an endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper. Journal of Field Ornithology 84, 32–39.

Streby, H.M., Peterson, S.M., Lehman, J.A., Kramer, G.R., Iknayan, K.J., and Andersen, D.E. 2013. The effects of force-fledging and premature fledging on the survival of nestling songbirds. Ibis 155, 616–620.