Ashraf’s First Field Season Yields ~550 Bats and ~17 Species!

Research assistants (Left to right – Tania Akhter and Rifat Hasan) in the field collecting tissue and fecal samples.

Ashraf just finished his long waited first season of fieldwork this Summer 2022 in Bangladesh. The field season started with a Seminar as Dr. Tigga Kingston was invited to speak at the Jagannath University, Dhaka, Bangladesh as keynote speaker. Dr. Kingston’s talk was entitled “Diversity and Conservation of Bats in Paleotropics”. A further talk was given by Ashraf on the human dimension of bats and current bat research in Bangladesh, and the project “Bats of Bangladesh: Bat Assemblage Structure and Species Responses to Land-use Change” he was undertaking. Later, Dr. Kingston visited Ashraf’s field site to see if the study design was feasible and build bat research capacity. As part of the capacity building, Ashraf, and his team (4 students) received hands-on training on complementary field methods such as harp traps, mist nets, and acoustics to capture and record bats. They also got training on collecting morphometric data of bats and taxonomy.

In this season, Ashraf worked in three protected areas of Bangladesh. He and his team caught ~550 bats and ~17 species!  The project was funded by the Rufford Foundation, Bat Conservation International, Michelle C. Knapp Memorial Scholarship, and obviously, the equipment support was provided by the Kingston Lab.

Nick and Joe’s presentations

The end of last month brought a couple of presentations. Nick attended the 2014 CFLRP (Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Project) “All Hands” meeting in Santa Fe, NM on Thursday, March 27th.  People from multiple agencies were there along with members of the public to discuss the status of the restoration of the southwest Jemez Mountains after the Las Conchas Wildfire of 2011.   The title of Nick’s talk was “Impacts of the Las Conchas Wildfire on bat activity”.

That weekend, Joe presented at the 5th Texas Tech Annual Biological Sciences Symposium, giving a talk entitled “Roost Ensembles of Insectivorous Bats Differ in Response to Coffee Agriculture in Southeast Asia”.

Both talks were well received — great job guys!


3rd International Berlin Bat Meeting and Max Planck Institute

Tigga had a great time at the 3rd International Berlin Bat Meeting: Bats in the Anthropocene, where she opened the session on education and outreach with a plenary talk entitled “From research to outreach: integrative approaches and a call to arms” which was well received. The conference was a great success — congratulations to the organizers Christian Voigt and Ana G. Popa-Lisseanu.

Tigga at the conference banquet in the famous dinosaur hall of the Museum of Natural History in Berlin.

Tigga at the conference banquet in the famous dinosaur hall of the Museum of Natural History in Berlin.

She then went on to give a seminar (“Bat Diversity and Conservation in SE Asia”) at the Max Planck Institute of Ornithology, hosted by Daniela Schmieder of the late Bjoern Siemers’ Sensory Ecology Group. It was a marvelous trip all round!

NASBR 2012 in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Tigga, Marina and Maria had a great time at NASBR during the last week of October. Tigga gave a talk entitled “The Role of Extreme Bandwidths in Frequency-modulated Echolocation Calls: A Tribute to Björn Siemers” in the acoustics session, which also featured a paper that Maria was a co-author on “Acoustic Behavior at Roosts of Two Distantly Related Disc-Winged Bats” (speaker was Karina Montero), and Marina’s poster “Comparing Three Bat Acoustic Sampling Methodologies for Large-scale Surveys” was very well received. Liz Siles from the Baker lab presented an oral paper in the student award section”New Insights on the Phylogenetic Diversity within the Genus Micronycteris (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae)” (so had 15 whole minutes!!).

Tigga went on a slightly disappointing quest one evening to see Noctilio up close  – it rained :0( – and I’m really sorry but Eptesicus fuscus just isn’t much of a substitute. However it was interesting to learn about the NOCTILIO project – an education research initiative. Keep up the great work!

The next meeting is combined with IBRC and is in Costa Rica (hurray!– Maria as to find me an Ectophylla alba – I still haven’t seen one).

EEB Seminar & SEJ

A busy week for the lab — Maria gave an excellent presentation to the TTU Ecology Behavior and Evolution seminar series on Wednesday entitled “Understanding Ecological Effects on Social Behavior: Insights From Tent-roosting Bats”.  A summary of her PhD research which exemplified the integration of ecology, behavior and genetic approaches at levels that ranged from social groups to the entire phylogeny. Didn’t hurt that she had Ectophylla alba photos!

Tigga, Marina and Kaitlan had fun on the trip with the Society of Environmental Journalists down to Carlsbad Caverns, and Tigga was then a speaker at the Lunch round-table session on Thursday, leading a discussion on “Bats and humans – is there a future?”

Tigga, Maria and Marina are off to Puerto Rico for the NASBR next week.