Marina Fisher-Phelps

I first became passionate about bats in my hometown of Tucson, AZ. My family would hang nectar feeders with the hopes of attracting the local hummingbirds. Little did we know, but we would also attract some nocturnal visitors.  Mexican long-tongued bats (Choeronycteris mexicana) and Mexican long-nosed bats (Leptonycteris curasoae) visited our feeders during their late summer migration to maternity roosts. I was able to take some wonderful pictures as the bats hovered around the feeders.

Photos I took of bats in Tucson, AZ around my childhood hummingbird feeder.

My first bat research experience was a short desert bat class in the Mojave Desert. We listened to bat calls on an Anabat detector and caught at least three different bat species in the mist nets. After that experience I knew I wanted to be a bat biologist. I have worked with many animal groups including birds, tortoises, and primates, but bats are by far my favorite.

I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of California Davis. Before I joined the Kingston Lab at Texas Tech University, I worked with captive fruit bats at the Lubee Bat Conservancy in Gainesville, FL.

Me feeding Kuri a captive spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) from Australia.

My research focuses on biases in occurrence data and how bias may affect uncertainty in species distribution models for bats of Southeast Asia. I am currently working to help build the SEABCRU bat database, which will be a great aid to my research. I will also be investigating the effects human demography variables have on bat distributions; specifically looking at how the distribution of religion may affect the presence of Pteropus.


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