Kayla Kolis

Research Affiliate

Kayla Kolis is an evolutionary biologist with a focus in invertebrate paleontology. 


I am broadly interested in the topic of paleoecology and unraveling the tempo and mode of speciation and extinction events through geologic time. I am currently interested in the idea of using GIS to reconstruct ranges of both marine and terrestrial invertebrates from the Pennsylvanian to better understand the ecology during this geologic time period.  


Kolis, K. C., and Lieberman, B. S. 2019. Using GIS to examine biogeographic and macroevolutionary patterns in some late Paleozoic cephalopods from the North American Midcontinent Sea. PeerJ 7: e6910. DOI://10.7717/peerj.6910



Illinois College, B.S. Biology

University of Kansas, M.S. Biology

Current Academic Appointments: 

Graduate Research Assistantship-Invertebrate Paleontology Collections

Professional Presentations: 

Kolis, K., Widga, C., Countryman, P., Wanamaker, A., and Walker, J. D., 2014. A modified technique for in situ micro-sampling Mammuthus tooth enamel for stable isotope analyses. VIth International Conference on Mammoths & their Relatives, Grevena & Siatista, Northern Macedonia, Greece - May, 2014. Invited Poster Presentation. ​Abstract Book of the VIth International Conference on Mammoths and their Relatives. S.A.S.G., Special Volume 102: 91.


Major Field Experience: 

Costa Rica Field Research

Illinois College Tropical Ecology Class

University of Georgia Campus, San Luis, Costa Rica - March 3 – 10, 2014

●   Conducted research with partner Gabrielle Kuhn at University of Georgia’s Ecological Station to investigate the presence of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi in the kissing bug (family Reduviidae) population surrounding UGA campus and in San Luis, Costa Rica

Entomology Collection Fieldwork

Illinois College Entomology Class, Central Illinois - Fall Semester 2013

●    Collection of insect specimens was conducted in various habitats throughout central Illinois and U.P. Michigan

Botany Collection Fieldwork

Illinois College Botany Class Central Illinois - Fall Semester 2014

       ●   Collection of botanical specimens in various habitats throughout central Illinois and U.P. Michigan

Professional Societies: 

Tri-Beta National Biology Honor Society Member