I will be joining the Bat Conservation Research Lab in October 2023 to begin my PhD assessing the impact of anthropogenic noise on bats. The PhD will be part-funded by RSK Biocensus Ltd, a UK-wide ecological consultancy that I have worked for since completing my undergraduate degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology at the University of Glasgow in June 2022.
During my studies, I developed an interest in anthropogenic impacts on ecology, with sensory pollution particularly attracting my attention. This is why I chose to explore the effects of different wavelengths of artificial light at night on invertebrate drift for my honours project. I also relished the opportunity to study the impacts of noise on cetaceans and have since discovered many parallels between them and bats in relation to bioacoustics. At RSK Biocensus, in addition to gaining extensive bat surveying experience, I have benefitted from many bat-focused training opportunities, including workshops, webinars, acoustics analysis courses, and continuous mentoring from bat specialists.
While I already possessed a strong interest in mammals, these experiences ignited my passion for bats and led to my pursuit of this postgraduate research programme. My research will explore the impacts of anthropogenic noise on bats’ roosting, emergence, foraging and commuting behaviour, with a particular focus on Plecotus auritus and Rhinolophus hipposideros. I will use experimental studies to identify disturbance thresholds, with the aim to inform industry guidance on the mitigation of noise impacts on bats.