In 2013, Kayleigh Chalkowski earned a B.Sc. in Biology from Cornell University and began her scientific career working as a technician for avian conservation in Hawaii. Through this immersion working with the imperiled assemblages of endangered avifauna, she became interested in the roles of invasive species and infectious disease in native species declines.

Currently, she is a PhD student at Auburn University in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Science studying under Dr. Sarah Zohdy and Dr. Christopher Lepczyk. Her main focus is ecological drivers of Toxoplasma gondii genetic diversity in island systems, with broad interests in the roles of introduced species in parasite ecology and disease dynamics.

In addition to her research, Kayleigh has a strong interest and background in illustration and science communication. Through projects such as The Endangered Ark, the Honolulu Wetland Revival Project, and childrens book collaborations with Kauai Forest Bird Recovery project, she uses her illustrative skills to vividly capture natural history narratives and to portray ecological relationships and processes.


Chalkowski K, Zohdy S. Under the Radar: Undocumented Spread of an Avian Eyefluke with Zoonotic Potential. (under review).

Chalkowski K, Zohdy S, Lepczyk C. Parasite Ecology of Invasive Species. (manuscript in prep).


The Endangered Ark (Group Exhibit, 2017) Ark of the Unicorns, Honolulu, HI

Field Notes (Solo Exhibit, 2017) The Outpost Gallery @ Hound & Quail, Honolulu, HI

Return of Alala (Juried, 2016) Volcano Art Center, Volcano, HI

In Press

Murals bring native birds, plants back to Chinatown
Honolulu Star Advertiser 2018

The concrete bulb-outs in Chinatown are now much less of an eyesore
Hawaii News Now 2018

Ybor chickens are more than local color, they're subjects of scientific research
Tampa Bay Times 2017

Exhibition encourages action on endangered species
Honolulu Star Advertiser 2017