My name is Nurul Ain Elias, and I prefer people call me Ain. I come from a small kampung (village) in the southern part of Peninsular Malaysia. I would like to share the two important events in my childhood life which turned me as I am now. When I was kid, I really enjoyed playing all kind of kampong boys` games (climbing trees, catching fish with bare hands, soldier and war, etc) with my brothers. My childhood experiences with them made me became a boy-looking little girl. Indirectly, I feel that being united with the mother of nature is my second happiness besides enjoying the precious time with family. People who know me realize I keep on repeating this – `I am a big fan of MacGyver and Dr Quinn Medicine Woman`. These two television programs triggered me to learn more about science.
Twelve years ago, I did my undergraduate program in Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, majoring in Zoology. That was also my first time encountering bats, while helping my friends with their research. Since then, I have been involved in studies on small vertebrates, especially small mammal ecology, and contributed to efforts in order to establish a faunal database in Malaysia. Currently I am doing my PhD in Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University. My research focuses on the reproduction of insectivorous bats in Malaysia and relates this to the potential impact of climate change. The main objectives of my study are:
- To understand the relationship between seasonal climate changes and breeding phenology in insectivorous bats.
- To describe the relationship between the reproductive cycle of insectivorous bats with food availability.
- To understand the effect of seasonal climate changes on the pattern of insect abundance (in terms of food availability to the insectivorous bats).
I propose to study the three major phylogenetic groups of insectivorous bats at Kuala Lompat Research Station (Krau Wildlife Reserve, Pahang, Malaysia); Rhinolophidae, Hipposideridae and Vespertilionidae (Kerivoulinae and Murininae) to find the ecological explanation for reproduction phenology among insectivorous bat in Malaysia. A diet study to determine energy supply is also involved in this study since it also plays a role in the reproductive pattern of bats. At the end of the study, I hope to understand the mechanisms in bat reproductive phenology, and the impact of local climate variables on demographic processes that influence population change in insectivorous bats in Malaysia. It is important to stress that climate change is a critical and serious issue to long-term conservation for them.