A biologist mom and an artist mom teamed up to create a series of books that use kids' innate fascination with nature to teach them
about the world around them!

Budding Biologist creates fun, engaging, and scientifically accurate materials for young children. The company was founded in 2012 by biologist Dr. Kristine Callis-Duehl and artist Katy Castronovo in response to their realization that many children’s books contain scientific inaccuracies. Our first book, Am I an Insect? was quickly followed by Where Do I Live? All Budding Biologist products are tested by teachers and parents before their release. Budding Biologist realizes that in order to engage young children in science, we need to use technology tools – which already retain children’s interest. Budding Biologist received a National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research grant to create a series of video games that engage elementary school students in inquiry-based learning

Katy and Kris met at a birth center while they were both pregnant with their first babies. As they ventured into parenthood, they both became extremely disappointed by the biological inaccuracies of children’s books. They decided to do something about it, so in 2012 Kris wrote and Katy illustrated their first book in the Budding Biologist series, Am I an Insect?

Dr. Kristine Callis-Duehl
Founding Partner/CEO/Head of Research and Development

Dr. Kristine (Kris) Callis-Duehl has a PhD in Biology from the University of Florida. She is a Post-Doc at the University of California-Irvine and Davis. She has been published in the academic literature for her research on plant-insect interactions and plant defense as well as on science education. She lives outside of Sacramento, CA with her husband and two young boys.
See her website at kcallisduehl.jimdo.com| contact Kristine

Katy Castronovo
Founding Partner/Executive Producer/Head of Art and Design

Katy Castronovo is an artist and mother. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting & Drawing from Ohio State University in 2007. Since graduating, she has been self-employed doing projects that range from graphic design to murals to illustration. She is delighted to be one of the founders of Budding Biologist, where she is the Illustrator and Art Director, and is grateful for the excellent team of collaborators that it has become! Katy currently lives in Iowa City, Iowa with her husband and two young children. See her artist website at kcastronovo.com | contact Katy

Karen Boley
Partner/ Chief Editor/Head of Education Development

Karen Boley is the education director at Budding Biologist. She has a BA in elementary education from the University of Mount Union and an MS in language education from Indiana University, with a focus on ESL and reading. She has over a decade of experience as a teacher and an administrator both in the U.S. and Switzerland, and is currently involved with the Beaty Biodiversity Museum in Vancouver, British Columbia. | contact Karen

Emily Zora
Partner/CFO/Head of Business and Finance

Emily is the business manager of Budding Biologist. She has a degree in computer science from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Indiana University.

Walter Hsiao
Sr. Computer software engineer/designer

Walter is the Head of Video Game Design and Production and is the lead programmer on Lizard Island. He has a BS in Computer Programming from UC-Berkley and 15 years of industry experience.

Rosalva Hernandez

Roslava is the Head of Media and Public Relations. She has a BA in Journalism from the University of Southern California and 15 years of experience in media and communications. | Contact Rosalva

Budding Biologist corporate headquarters address: 1034 Marcy Street, Iowa City, IA 52240