Marina did a great job on her defense yesterday, successfully defending her dissertation entitled “Modeling Southeast Asian Bat Distributions: Assessing the Effect of Ecology and Spatial Biases on Model Accuracy”. The first data chapter is in revision for Ecological Informatics. Thanks to her committee members Nancy McIntyre, Dylan Schwilk, Guofeng Cao, and Rich Strauss for their service and support of Marina. Thanks also to Blake Grisham for acting as Dean’s Rep.
Ain’s wonderful paper entitled “Resource availability and roosting ecology shape reproductive phenology of rain forest insectivorous bats” is available online in Biotropica DOI: 10.1111/btp.12430 (or you can request through my Researchgate page).
Ain spent 20 months tracking reproductive activity in 11 species of female bats in a Malaysian rainforest, and is the first study to simultaneously track both available insect biomass and local weather. The findings show different reproductive patterns in cave- vs. forest-roosting bats, which we suggest may be attributed to the cost of commuting.
Iroro’s project is entitled “Ecological predictors of forest interior insectivorous bat habitat and conservation of the vulnerable Hipposideros curtus” and she received special recognition as a “Women in Conservation Science Award Recipient”. Iroro is out in the field even as we speak.
Ben’s project “Conservation assessment of Rousettus aegyptiacus: hunting effects and ecosystem services in southern Nigeria” is off to a flying start — he heads to the field this summer.
Before Marina started working on spatial bias in species distribution models and the SEABCRU database, she spent a couple of summers exploring the efficacy of driven transects in detecting bats in the low bat-density habitats around Lubbock. In our arid, largely treeless, waterless plain (the study was conducted during a 4-yr drought), stationary bat detectors remain silent, and pretty much the only way to detect bat activity is by extending the spatial extent of sampling by driving. This has implications for others surveying and monitoring bats in arid environments, and her findings are out this week in the J. Arid Environments. This is open access until December 9th.
Marina Fisher-Phelps, Dylan Schwilk and Tigga Kingston. (2017). Mobile acoustic transects detect more bat activity than stationary acoustic point counts in an urban-rural landscape matrix. Journal of Arid Environments 136: 38-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2016.10.005
The first publication from Kendra’s dissertation came out online in July, but it is out this month in the September issue of Biological Conservation.
Phelps, K., Jose, R., Labonite, M., & Kingston, T. (2016). Correlates of cave-roosting bat diversity as an effective tool to identify priority caves. Biological Conservation, 201, 201-209.
She and her team surveyed no less than 60 caves on Bohol Island, Philippines — a lot of hard work. Here are the highlights:
- Correlates of cave bat diversity were used to develop cave – prioritization schemes.
- Surface-level disturbance and cave complexity correlated with bat diversity.
- Prioritization schemes selected caves with greater richness than random selection.
- Open-source data and/or rapid cave surveys can prioritize caves for conservation.
Several of the lab were able to make it to the 17th International Bat Research Conference in South Africa at the end of July/August. It was a great meeting. Iroro presented on her first full field season with an oral paper “Preliminary data on the distribution of insectivorous forest bats along elevational gradients in the Nigerian/Cameroon mountains”, and Kendra summarized her recent work “Correlates of cave-roosting bat diversity as an effective tool to identify priority caves”. Tigga gave a Plenary talk “Perish or persist? The ecology of vulnerability in Southeast Asia’s modified landscapes”
Tigga and Iroro then headed to the 5-day Bat Conservation Africa Workshop for young African researchers that Iroro had organized. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the young talent of the continent, and share experiences. Iroro did a great job pulling it all together!