Bat ecology

My master's research concerned the effects of fire periodicity in facilitating bat use of the endangered (and beautiful) longleaf pine - wiregrass ecosystem. I found that high-frequency prescribed fire allowed large-bodied, fast-flying bats to forage beneath the canopy due to the reduction of physical clutter in these habitats. I also tested and developed software for the automated processing and classification of bat echolocation calls recorded on ultrasonic detectors.

Microbial mats

Surveys of microbial diversity often encounter thousands of species coexisting within a sample. One reason for this astounding diversity may be due to the fact that what researchers often consider a single habitat is likely partitioned by niche specialists at the micron-scale. By combining metagenomic and marker gene approaches, I documented marked spatial and temporal turnover of bacteria in a salt marsh microbial mat. Such mats have great value as teaching and research tools in microbial ecology.

Fig. 1 — Deployment of ground and canopy bat detectors at a recently burned longleaf pine savanna.

Fig. 1 — Deployment of ground and canopy bat detectors at a recently burned longleaf pine savanna.

Fig. 2 — An example of a laminated microbial mat in the Sippewissett Salt Marsh near Woods Hole, MA.

Fig. 2 — An example of a laminated microbial mat in the Sippewissett Salt Marsh near Woods Hole, MA.