Faculty, staff and students from EEB gathered on May 18, 2023 to celebrate the end of the semester, recognize award-winners, and honor retirees. Check out this YouTube video to see all of the winners, along with some photos from the celebration.
A new paper by Gary McCracken and colleagues will be published online in the Royal Society journal Open Science on November 9, 2016:
RSOS-160398. Airplane tracking documents the fastest flight speeds recorded for bats. McCracken, G.F., K. Safi, T.H. Kunz, D.K.N. Dechmann, S.M. Swartz, M. Wikelski
This study reports new research demonstrating that Brazilian free-tailed bats achieve flight speeds that are faster than previously documented for any bat or bird. Using a novel airplane tracking method, we document that moderate flight speeds, which are consistent with existing literature, are punctuated by bouts of very rapid flight. Much current literature indicates that birds fly faster and more efficiently that bats. These unexpected flight abilities of bats will stimulate research into the interplay of phylogeny, adaptation, and physical constraints in determining the functional capabilities and structural architecture of animals. When most people think of animals moving at high speed, they envision cheetahs or swiftly diving raptors, but probably not small and unfamiliar nocturnal flying mammals. The mystery around bats ensures public fascination, and we anticipate that this study will improve public perceptions of bats.
Gary McCracken and Emma Wilcox (FWF) have received a Community Engagement Incentive Grant to build a bat house over in the UT Gardens. The house will be large, about the size of a faculty office, and raised on stilts. McCracken hopes to attract Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) to the house. These insectivorous bats often roost in large numbers.
Gary McCracken will be interviewing tomorrow (Wednesday 1/14) on the NPR radio show “On Point with Tom Ashbrook.” This show is a call-in format that airs live from 11 AM – 12 Noon. We’ll be talking about bats, Ebola, and hopefully bat conservation.
Here are directives to the show from NPR: The site for our hour is located at this link: http://wbur.fm/14S6wjq
We’re located on Twitter @OnPointRadio and on Facebook at Facebook.com/OnPointRadio. Our host, Tom Ashbrook, tweets @TomAshbrookNPR. Feel free to direct your friends and followers to the show on any digital platform that works best for you. #OnPointRadio
Congratulations to Gary McCracken, Emma Willcox (FWF) and Riley Bernard! They were recently notified of a $10,000 grant from the UTIA Center for Wildlife Health to do a project titled: “Understanding Lower Pseudogymnoascus destructans Loads and Susceptibility to White-nose Syndrome in Gray Bats.”
EEB PhD student Jessica Welch, a grad student with Gary McCracken and Dan Simberloff, recently received grants to study how invasive species affect a bat. From her abstract:
Aguiguan, a small island in the Northern Mariana Islands, is home to the only known population of the Emballonura semicaudata rotensis, a subspecies of Pacific sheath-tailed bat. Immediate research is necessary to determine an appropriate approach to its conservation. Two ubiquitous invaders, feral goats and lantana shrub have dense populations on Aguiguan. It is unknown whether these invasive species affect the Pacific sheath-tailed bat.
The grants were funded by Sigma Xi and Bat Conservation International. Jess was also inducted into Sigma Xi as an associate member.
PhD student Jennifer Krauel (a Gary McCracken student) was recently funded by Bat Conservation International for her project, “Identifying insect communities fueling bat migration in an agriculturally important area”. Her project involves high throughput sequencing of bat guano to identify their food sources.
EEB undergrad Devin Jones won first place in the EUReCA undergraduate research symposium, Ecology, Evolution, and Water Quality category, at UT. Devin’s poster was on “Fall Migration of Corn and Rice Strains of Spodoptera fruigperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Southwest Texas”. She conceived of the project and performed all the field and lab work as well as the analyses. She was mentored by EEB Dept. Head Gary McCracken and EEB PhD student Jennifer Krauel.