16th European Bat Research Symposium

Keynote Speakers

Vanessa Mata

Dr. Vanessa Mata

In guanum veritas: from bat diets to pest control and beyond!

She is a junior researcher working at the Bat Ecology and Applied Ecology group from CIBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources - InBIO Associate Laboratory. During her PhD, she focused on technical developments of metabarcoding techniques for the study of trophic interactions and proved its usefulness in the study of both intra-specific and inter-specific variation in the diet of bats and birds.
Currently, she is working on many different projects across the world, using metabarcoding for the study of trophic interactions in mammals, birds, fish, and insects. She is mostly interested in how communities are structured, as well as how resources are shared among species, the factors that lead to these patterns, and how human-altered landscapes affect these interactions.

Orly Razgour

Dr. Orly Razgour

Using genomics to inform bat conservation under global change

She is a molecular ecologist and conservation biologist, researching evolutionary and ecological responses to global environmental change. Her research sits at the interface between ecology, molecular biology, evolutionary biology, and physical geography. She aims to understand how environmental heterogeneity at different spatial and temporal scales affects geographical distributions, genetic composition, and ecological interactions. She carries out multidisciplinary research, combining genomic tools with ecological research and spatial, ecological, and mathematical modeling. Her research is applied in nature, aiming to provide the evidence base for managing our environment and conserving biodiversity. Much of her research has focused on bats as indicators of environmental change.

Dina Dechmann

Dr. Dina Dechmann

Social information use in foraging bats

She is a classical behavioral ecologist with a passion for evolution. Her emerging focus is increasingly on the role that resource distribution in time and space plays for animals. What are the strategies animals use in terms of their behavior, morphology, and physiology to deal with daily, seasonal, or even rare bottlenecks in resource availability? In terms of behavior, a strong focus is on movement, for example of flying foxes, the energetics of tropical and European bats, and information transfer in a foraging context when resources are unpredictable in space and time but clumped and can be shared. She is strongly involved in the ICARUS initiative which will finally let her track the migration of my flying foxes. In terms of morphology, she likes to use traits that describe the foraging ecology of animals, for example, wing shape in comparative approaches. A strong focus is also on seasonal phenological changes, especially the brain.

Winifred Frick

Dr. Winifred F Frick

Global challenges in bat conservation

She is the Chief Scientist at Bat Conservation International and an associate research professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz. She directs high-priority research and development of scalable solutions for achieving meaningful conservation outcomes for bats, including research on the threat of climate change, the disease White-nose Syndrome, and contributing conservation evidence to protect bats globally. Her research is broadly focused on exploring how populations respond to anthropogenic and natural stressors and how we use science to inform conservation. She believes good science combines natural curiosity, a dedicated work ethic, and remembering to have fun.