When Kelly Reyna joined the U.S. Navy, he never expected to serve nine tours on a submarine and never expected to miss being outdoors so much. The outdoors becomes sacred when 800 feet underwater. While gone, quail and other wildlife populations crashed drastically. No longer bound by the confines of a submarine, Reyna pursued an education in wildlife and biology. He now runs The Quail Research Laboratory at A&M-Commerce, a nationally renowned program that uses modern science to develop sustainable solutions for quail and grassland birds. Reyna accomplishes this through wildlife research, conservation and education. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, hunting and exploring wild places with his friends, family and bird dogs.
A Conversation with Dr. Reyna
What draws you to your discipline ?
“I have always had a passion for wildlife and to make the world a better place. So, my occupation of trying to save quail populations and habitats allows me to be involved in wildlife and hopefully improving the earth for future generations.”
What would you tell a student who’s thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?
The great thing about A&M-Commerce is that it’s student oriented; the focus is really on the students. You get a really good education.
What has been your favorite course to teach?
That would be Human Dimensions of Wildlife. It goes beyond science and you get to know how human decisions, biases and influences affect conservation in addition to data driven decisions.
- Ph.D., Biology, University of North Texas, 2010
- M.Sc., Wildlife and Fisheries Science, Texas A&M University, 2008
- B.Sc., Wildlife Biology, Tarleton State University, 2005
- A.Sc., Nuclear Science and Technology, Georgia Military College, 1996
- Quail and Grassland Bird Sustainability
- Developmental Physiology of Game-birds
- Agriculture and Wildlife Integration
- Human Dimensions of Wildlife
Awards and Honors
- Chuck Arize Junior Faculty Award, A&M-Commerce
- Eminent Faculty Scholar Award, A&M-Commerce
- Group Achievement Award, National Bobwhite Technical Committee
- National Legacy Landscape for Bobwhite Conservation Award, National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative
- The Wildlife Society
- IUCN: Galliformes Working Group
- National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative
- Quail Forever
- AG 335 Wildlife Management I
- AG 336 Wildlife Management II
- AG 316 Becoming a Wildlife Professional
- AG 415/515 Upland Game Bird Ecology and Management
- AG 440/540 Human Dimensions of Wildlife
- Texas Valley Quail Translocation Project
- Game Bird Development in Heat Stressed Environments
- Predator Avoidance Behavior of Quail
- Texas Quail Restoration Initiative
- Quail Tracking Improvements