New paper: “Forced proximity promotes the formation of enduring cooperative relationships in vampire bats”

The latest paper from our lab by Imran Razik, Bridget Brown, and I can be found here at Biology Letters. This plot shows the experimental design. Imran let female vampire bats groom each other (network on left), then randomly selected bats to house together in a small cage for one week (middle), and then let … Continue reading New paper: “Forced proximity promotes the formation of enduring cooperative relationships in vampire bats”

Lab updates March 2022

Imran Razik, Jorge Lopez Donado, Maddy Foote, Basti Stockmaier, May Dixon and I captured familiar and unfamiliar female vampire bats from several different sites to create three captive colonies in Panama.Imran, Jorge, and Maddy are currently in Panama conducting a long-term experiment on partner choice during relationship formation in vampire bats. Imran was awarded a Smithsonian … Continue reading Lab updates March 2022

Updates for January 2022

Some recent news from our lab: Former undergraduate lab member Emma Kline published her research project entitled "Habituation of common vampire bats to biologgers" in the open-access journal Royal Society Open Science. Emma showed that vampire bats habituate to proximity sensors if they are securely attached; however, they spend much of their time trying to … Continue reading Updates for January 2022

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 here from my own perspective. My thoughts … 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

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