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Current projects


Social calling in disc-winged bats

The neotropical insectivorous bat, Thyroptera tricolor, or Spix’s disc-winged bat, is known to form very cohesive social aggregations despite moving daily between roost-sites. Our research over the last 15 years shows that T. tricolor uses a combination of acoustic signals to locate each other during flight and while roosting. Current projects on this topic focus on the causes and consequences of the variation in vocal behavior we see within and among groups, vocal interaction networks, leaf acoustics, and many others.


Ecology and conservation of cave-roosting bats

This project is focused on research and protection of cave dwelling bats and cave ecosystems in the Brunca region, Costa Rica, an area known to harbor the most complex cave system in the country and the most diverse bat community. Another major component of this research is to understand the potential contribution of cave bats to stream nutrients. The project leader is Stanimira Deleva (Ph.D. student at the University of Costa Rica).


Climate change and Neotropical bats

Global warming is affecting the distribution of many species, yet the underlying mechanisms that drive these changes are still poorly understood. This project seeks to understand how predicted changes in temperature and humidity will affect bat species that inhabit tropical premontane forests, an ecosystem particularly vulnerable to global warming. The project leader is Paula Iturralde-Pólit (Ph.D. student at the University of Costa Rica).

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