Dr. Kyle Burks joined the leadership team at Audubon Nature Institute in July 2017. Trained as an animal behavior researcher, Kyle has dedicated his career to the zoo, aquarium and conservation profession for more than 26 years.

Originally part of the Zoo Atlanta Research Department while in graduate school, Kyle later finished his PhD while part of the opening team at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In 2004, Kyle shifted his focus away from more than a decade of studying elephant and gorilla behavior to help manage organizational strategy for the four Walt Disney World theme parks. Knowing that he wanted to return to non-profit, conservation-focused organizations, Kyle left the Walt Disney Company in 2008 and served as the Chief Operating Officer at Denver Zoo and as the Executive Director & CEO of the Sacramento Zoo before joining the Audubon Team.

With a life-long love of New Orleans and the Audubon Zoo, Kyle and his fiancé were thrilled to relocate here where he serves as the Vice President & Managing Director of Audubon Zoo & Park and the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center.