New paper on convergence in the gut microbiomes of vampire bats

In this study led by recent PhD graduate Karthik Yarlagadda at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, we looked for evidence for social convergence in vampire bats that clustered, groomed, and shared food. Karthik used shotgun sequencing to measure the microbial similarity of samples from six zoos in the USA, a wild colony in Belize, and three … Continue reading New paper on convergence in the gut microbiomes of vampire bats

New paper on analyzing animal social networks

My former postdoc advisor, Damien Farine, and I have a new paper entitled Permutation tests for hypothesis testing with animal social network data: problems and potential solutions. There is some debate around the topic of using permutation tests for hypothesis-testing with network data, so I’ll write a bit about that a bit here from my own perspective. … Continue reading New paper on analyzing animal social networks

Podcast interview

There are a growing number of bat fanatics around the world! The new podcast "Give Bats a Podcast" interviews people who work in bat research and conservation. It can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc or here: https://linktr.ee/GiveBatsABreak I was featured on the latest episode "Episode 4: "Friends don't let friends die". We talk … Continue reading Podcast interview

New paper on social foraging in vampire bats

Our latest paper entitled "Social foraging in vampire bats is predicted by long-term cooperative relationships" is out in the open-access journal PLOS Biology. This study has so far received press coverage at Science Magazine, CBS, Smithsonian Magazine, Reuters, Daily Mail, Science News, IFLScience, Popular Science, and several others. It was also featured on the Canadian … Continue reading New paper on social foraging in vampire bats

Gerry named as 2021 “outstanding new investigator” by Animal Behavior Society

The Animal Behavior Society awarded me with "Outstanding New Investigator" of 2021. I thank my students, peers, mentors, and collaborators who generously nominated me. We often highlight individuals, but all the work I've done has been in collaboration with students, peer collaborators, and mentors. This award was almost entirely due to the support I've received … Continue reading Gerry named as 2021 “outstanding new investigator” by Animal Behavior Society

New paper on social rank in female vampire bats

MSc student Rachel Crisp, Laurent Brent, and I published a paper today in Royal Society Open Science, entitled "Social dominance and cooperation in female vampire bats" We did this study because, although I've worked on cooperation in female vampire bats for years, but we had no idea about the role of competition among females. We … Continue reading New paper on social rank in female vampire bats

New paper: measuring ages of wild bats using an epigenetic clock (with general insights into aging)

Many people would like to know how to prolong human lifespan, so many well-funded labs are actively working on the biology of aging. One of the most interesting findings from this vast body of research is that aging is strongly correlated with DNA methylation. This work, pioneered by Steve Horvath, led to the creation of … Continue reading New paper: measuring ages of wild bats using an epigenetic clock (with general insights into aging)

Recent updates: March 2021

Soon-to-be-postdoc Basti Stockmaier just published a paper in Science entitled Infectious Diseases and Social Distancing in Nature. Our collaborator Liz Hobson just published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences entitled Aggression heuristics underlie animal dominance hierarchies and provide evidence of group-level social information. I recently joined the Board of Directors at … Continue reading Recent updates: March 2021

Adoption in vampire bats

We have a new short note about nonkin adoption in vampire bats published in Royal Society Open Science. I never thought we would write a paper based on a single observation, but we have such interesting longitudinal data leading up to this event. Here's the story: One of the "facts" I often hear about vampire … Continue reading Adoption in vampire bats

Recent lab updates, January 2019

Some recent press focused on work by postdoc Simon Ripperger entitled "Today I learned bats are trendsetters in tracking tech", based partially on this nice interview. Along with other past and present members of the Farine Lab, I helped write a review paper just published in Journal of Animal Ecology: The importance of individual‐to‐society feedbacks … Continue reading Recent lab updates, January 2019