- Ph.D. – 2015 – University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
- MSc – 2012 – University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Keenan obtained his BSc (Honours) in Range and Wildlife Management from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa in 2007. After obtaining his degree, Keenan gained experience working as a field guide in a game reserve in South Africa. Keenan returned to graduate school to gain both an MSc (2012) and a Ph.D. (2015) in Ecology. For his Ph.D., Keenan studied the habitat use and foraging ecology of the then endangered oribi antelope in South Africa. He applied his findings to understand how livestock may influence oribi behavior. Keenan joined the McCauley Lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2016 (current position). In the McCauley lab, Keenan investigated how anthropogenic water extraction from rivers influenced the seasonal space use, habitat selection, nutrient dynamics, and the cascading ecological impact that the common hippopotamus has on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In 2019, Keenan was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Research Foundation of South Africa and joined the South African Environmental Observation Network and formed a collaboration between the McCauley and Burkepile Labs. Keenan’s current research is focused on how anthropogenic disturbances to bottom-up processes influence the herbivore community in African savannas.
Keenan’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that explain large mammal habitat use and distributions at both large and small spatial scales. Much of his work focuses on how local and global changes affect multiple levels of ecological organization and how these changes may be mitigated by management plans to maintain biological diversity and ecosystem function.