I have been exploring the secret lives of bats for many years, mostly across the diverse archipelago of the Philippines in Southeast Asia. In collaboration with Filipino scientists and conservation professionals, colleagues at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Lawrence undergraduates, and many others, we have documented bat diversity within forests along elevational gradients, in limestone caves, and agricultural areas to better understand how bats respond to human-caused landscape changes. After years of eavesdropping on the echolocation calls of bats, my research has shifted to the realm of sensory ecology—specifically, how the acoustic environment serves as a niche axis structuring animal communities. While most work in this area has focused on human-generated noise and its consequences for wildlife, I am currently interested in animals’ evolved strategies for living in naturally noisy environments. Rice paddies, tropical forests and Midwest prairies provide a cacophony of animal sounds that cause annoyance to some, prey or mate cues for others, and possibly a signpost indicating habitat-related information to others. I am excited to learn how bats and insects interpret and respond to these acoustic environments.
B.S. Biology (1994) Loyola University, Chicago
Ph.D. Ecology & Evolution (2001) University of Illinois, Chicago