Kristen Walker

Kristen Walker

Associate Professor of Teaching


MacMillan 187, 2357 Main Mall

University of Calgary, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, 2011

University of British Columbia, PhD in Animal Welfare, 2010

Portland State University, MSc in Biology, 2005

San Diego State University, BSc in Biology, 1999

Kristen has had a fascination with wildlife since she was young. During her undergraduate studies, she discovered that veterinary school was not the only route to pursue to work closely with animals. While a BSc student she began volunteering with an endangered species recovery program with giant pandas, which lead to an opportunity to study the behaviour of these charismatic animals in China. After this experience Kristen continued on in her pursuit of the study of animal behaviour. Her passion for wildlife grew and so did her desire to help give wild animals greater humane treatment. Kristen completed an MSc in Biology working on sea otter ecology and behaviour through Portland State University. She then joined the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia to complete a PhD where she assessed and helped mitigate the pain responses of sea lions to highly invasive marking procedures including abdominal surgery and hot-iron branding. After her graduate studies, Kristen spent time as a wildlife biologist and a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Veterinary Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences at the University of Calgary.

Kristen now focuses on urban wildlife. She has worked closely with the Stanley Park Ecology Society’s Co-Existing with Coyotes program. Collaborative research has been aimed at identifying humane deterrents systems and reducing coyote conflicts for urban coyotes. In addition, Kristen is a part of the UBC Farm Biodiversity Monitoring project assessing the diversity of vertebrates through the use of remote trail cameras. Kristen also has students involved in projects using trail cameras both at Stanley Park and UBC, monitoring bird collisions on campus, and various public perception surveys related to human-wildlife conflicts.

As a teaching professor, Kristen teaches a variety of courses in the Applied Animal Biology Program. Her courses focus on compassionate conservation, wildlife welfare, and animal behaviour. Kristen has developed courses that give students immersive experiential learning opportunities. Kristen supervises many students for independent directed studies (APBI 497) and thesis (APBI 499) wildlife projects.

Walker, K.A. and Koralesky, K.E. (2021) Student and instructor perceptions of engagement after the rapid online transition of teaching due to COVID‐19. Natural Sciences Education 50 (1): e20038.

McLellan, B. and Walker, K.A. (2020) Efficacy of motion-activated sprinklers as a humane deterrent for urban coyotes (Canis latrans). Human Dimensions of Wildlife 26 (1).

Horning, M., Haulena, M., Tuomi, P.A., Mellish, J.E., Goertz, C.E., Woodie, K., Berngartt, R.K., Johnson, S., Shuert, C.R., Walker, K.A., Skinner, J.P., Boveng, P.L. (2017) Best practice recommendations for the use of fully implanted telemetry devices in pinnipeds. Animal Biotelemetry 5:13. DOI 10.1186/s40317-017-0128-9

Walker, K.A., Trites, A.W., Haulena, M., and Weary, D.M. (2012) A review of the effects of different marking and tagging techniques on marine mammals. Wildlife Research 39: 15-30.

Walker, K.A., Duffield, T.F., and Weary, D.M. (2011) Identifying and preventing pain during and after surgery. Invited review, Applied Animal Behaviour Science 135: 259-265.

For a list of Kristen’s publications click here.

UBC Killam Teaching Prize, 2019/2020