Katherine Ralls is a mammalogist and conservation biologist emerita at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Center for Conservation Genomics. She was one of the first scientists hired at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and was one of the founders of the Society for Conservation Biology. Ralls studies the behavioral ecology, genetics and conservation of terrestrial and marine mammals. She has conducted field studies of sea otters, San Joaquin kit foxes and island foxes.
Ralls' research interests include:
- Genetic management of small captive and wild populations
- Behavioral ecology, genetics and conservation of mammals
- Field studies of sea otters and foxes
- Sexual dimorphism, mating systems, scent marking and tool-use