Kathryn Montovan

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Kathryn Montovan uses mathematical modeling and analysis to understand complex ecosystem interactions and to discover the potential evolutionary causes of insect and animal behaviors. Her teaching is based on active learning techniques and is focused on engaging students of all levels in authentic mathematical inquiry.


Montovan is an applied mathematician who uses modeling and analysis to better understand animal behavior, ecosystem interactions, and self-organization in biological systems. She has worked on questions related to honey bees, the Colorado potato beetle, and the checkerspot butterfly ecosystem. Her work focuses on determining evolutionary causes of behavior, self-organization in biological systems, and the complex results of ecosystem interactions. Her work has been published in The American Naturalist, Journal of Mathematical Biology, Natural Resources Modeling, Theoretical Ecology, and Global Change BiologyMontovan is also committed to encouraging a diverse next generation of mathematicians and scientists and has developed outreach programs aimed at girls, women, underfunded rural schools, and underrepresented minority students. BA, University of Minnesota, Morris; master’s degree and PhD, Cornell University. Montovan has taught at Bennington College since 2013.