Custom technology designed to simplify and enhance behavior management and data collection.
What We Do
We are a technology consulting company that specializes in animal behavior and welfare. We know that data based decisions enhance the lives of animals both in the wild and under human care. We want to help build the infrastructure that will allow our like-minded clients to do just that.
Do you have specific behavioral goals, but aren't sure where to start? Maybe you have a specific idea and need help with design and/or execution.
Wherever you are in your project, we are happy to work with you to meet your needs and budget.
Have a design idea you need help with? Have a behavioral goal for your animal, but aren't sure where to begin? Interested in using data to help better understand your animals needs, but need some help getting started?
We can help.
We can build custom equipment to meet your specific needs. We can also integrate with existing hardware. We will work with you to exceed your goals and meet your budget.
Have data, but aren't sure what to do with it? Are you collecting data off-site, and need a systematic way to deliver it safely to your computer (wherever you are)? Maybe you have multiple data streams and you need a way to integrate your data and present it in a single dashboard for multiple users.
We develop software to collect, store, analyze and visualize your data. Whether you are using our hardware or existing hardware, we can work with you to get your data to you safely, easily, and continuously in a manner that makes sense for you and your team.
Want to share your data with the public?
Interested in starting to collect data or publish existing data?
Looking to create educational materials?
Seeking collaborators to make your data go even further?
We can help. Our goal is to help you help animals and the people who care for them.
Real Time Animal Tracking to Enhance Welfare: Penguins
Tracks Technology is the first to use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to continuously track penguin behavior. We are proud of our collaboration with the Cincinnati Zoo to create an award winning exhibit that allows for keepers to make real-time, data based decisions about the animals in their care, and avenues for the public to learn about each unique individual penguin.
Real Time Animal Tracking to Enhance Welfare: Shelter Cats
Does that cat really want to sit in their litter box? Is a double sided house worth the additional space for a shelter cat? Tracks Technology is collaborating with researchers to better understand the housing preferences of shelter cats. Using RFID technology and custom-made software, we are able to deliver this valuable data to a single location from multiple shelter sites. These data will be used to inform best practices in shelters.
Can you enhance kidney function through changes in drinking behavior?
Kidney disease will affect 1:3 cats in their lifetime. Treatment often includes routinely providing subcutaneous fluids. But what if we could train a cat to drink more water voluntarily? Challenge accepted. Tracks Technology is working with researchers to create a device that continuously measures drinking behavior and provides food incentives (treats!) based on incrementally more water consumption. The settings of the device can be changed virtually (anywhere an internet connection can be made) and the data are available online, allowing this valuable research to be conducted continuously and easily.
Custom Software for Laboratory Research
Tracks Technology is working with animal research laboratories to create systems to integrate and deliver data in a systematic, safe way both on and off site. If you have data you are already collecting, or looking for ways to streamline your data (from collection to analysis), we can help create a custom system to meet your needs.
Education and Conservation
Tracks Technology works with local high schools and universities to make the most of the data we can make available. In line with many of our clients mission statements, we have worked to help educate the public in a variety of ways. As a company, we are working to integrate the stories behind our projects into valuable lessons in engineering, animal behavior, data analysis, and other fields.
If you are an educator and are interested in learning more, or an institution looking for ways to integrate your animals' data into education and conservation, please contact us!
Who We Are
Katie Kalafut, PhD, BCBA
Katie has a Master's in Behavior Analysis, and a PhD in Experimental Psychology. She has over 10 years of experience as a behavioral consultant to zoos and animal care facilities. She is a published researcher and is passionate about creating environments that allows animals to truly thrive using science and data-based decisions.
David Freestone, PhD
David is a trained research scientist and an animal neurobiologist. He has over 10 years of experience of data analysis, 15 years of designing hardware, and over 20 years of experience designing software. David is passionate about designing and building the hardware and software that will meet your needs.
Kalafut, K. L. & Kinley, R. (2020) Using radio frequency identification for behavioral monitoring in little blue penguins, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 23:1, 62-73, DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2019.1571922
Freestone, David & Balci, Fuat. (2018). Temporal Decision-making: Common Procedures and Contemporary Approaches. 10.1163/9789004280205_007.
Gallistel, Charles & Balci, Fuat & Freestone, David & Kheifets, Aaron & King, Adam. (2017). A Cognitive Neurogenetics Screening System with a Data‐Analysis Toolbox. 10.1002/9781118540770.ch20.
Kalafut K. L., Church R. M. (2017) The quantification of behavior in the presence of compound stimuli. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 43(1):96-108. doi: 10.1037/xan0000128. PMID: 28045297.
Freestone, David & Balci, Fuat. (2015). The biology of economic choice in mammals.
Kalafut, K. L., Freestone, D. M., MacInnis, M. L. M., & Church, R. M. (2014). Integrating Timing and Conditioning Approaches to Study Behavior. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xan0000037