Dr. Kelly Ronald

Assistant Professor of Biology
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Dr. Kelly Ronald is a sensory physiologist/ecologist who began her faculty appointment in Hope's Department of Biology in summer 2019. She is interested in understanding the relationship between animal behavior and sensory physiology by asking the question: What are the physiological mechanisms that contribute to animal behavioral decisions? Dr. Ronald is proud of her history of working with undergraduate student researchers and is excited to bring students into the lab. She values mentorship, teamwork, family and curiosity.

Areas of Expertise

Dr. Ronald has broad training in animal physiology, behavior and neurobiology. She uses both field and lab approaches to address her research questions.

She is interested in the meaning of animal signals and the mechanisms of signal perception across multiple sensory modalities. Dr. Ronald asks questions like:

  1. How are animal courtship signals displays of quality?
  2. How do multimodal signals propagate across different environments?
  3. How does receiver sensory biology affect behavioral decisions?


  • Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Biology, Indiana University
    Funded by the National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award T-32, "Themes in Reproductive Diversity"
  • Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University
  • B.A. Department of Biology, Transylvania University
  • B.A. Department of Psychology, Transylvania University

Honors, Grants and Awards

Published Work

Outside the College

Dr. Ronald enjoys spending time with her family — her husband, Michael, and their three kids: twin sons, Caleb and Ian, and daughter, Norah. They all love their rescue dog, Monty. Kelly and Michael enjoy brewing beer, cooking Indian food, watching horror and science fiction films, completing home projects and pretending they can run distances like they did in their twenties. The Ronald family loves the Gospel and people.

Profile photo of Dr. Kelly Ronald
Dr. Kelly Ronald

Phone Number616.395.7249

A. Paul Schaap Science Center 2021 35 East 12th Street Holland, MI 49423
A map showing the location for Dr. Kelly Ronald A. Paul Schaap Science Center 2021 35 East 12th Street Holland MI 49423