My research goals are to understand the biology and ecology of eastern forest bats to develop methods and guidelines for their conservation and recovery. Areas of current research include ecology of threatened and sensitive species such as the Indiana bat and Rafinesque’s big-eared bat, effects of forest management practices on bat habitat use and community structure, and developing and testing methods to monitor bat populations across the landscape.
I am interested in the ecology, evolution, and conservation of mammalian species in natural systems and how these species adapt to anthropogenic changes. I am also interested in developing and testing new techniques for furthering our knowledge of mammalian species.
importance of research
Bats are important components of healthy forest ecosystems and provide critical ecological services in forests, agroecosystems, and urban areas. Bat populations throughout the world have been declining for decades due to habitat disturbance, destruction and fragmentation. However, in recent years bat species have experienced even higher rates of mortality due to collisions with wind turbines and White-nose Syndrome, an emerging disease that has decimated bat populations throughout the eastern U.S. Further, some bat species will likely suffer negative effects due to climate change although other species may benefit from changing climates. Unfortunately, our knowledge and understanding of bat biology and ecology is not sufficient to allow managers to develop comprehensive conservation and recovery plans for most of these species.
My previous research addressed interactions between the southern flying squirrel ( Glaucomys volans ) and the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker ( Picoides borealis ). I also studied the importance of coarse woody debris and other forest structural characteristics on small mammals of southeastern forests.