Developing an integrated framework for investigating biodiversity responses to global environmental change

Lead Research Organisation: UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
Department Name: Biosciences

Abstract

Biodiversity continues to decline worldwide even though it is widely recognised that human survival and the maintenance of ecological processes rely on its effective conservation. A major challenge is to understand how biodiversity responds to global environmental change so we can predict and prepare for the effects of future conservation threats. Climate change will produce a range of new selection pressures due to rising temperatures and increased frequency of droughts and extreme events, forcing many species to move in search of suitable conditions or adapt. Anthropogenic habitat loss and land use changes are likely to intensify these pressures and limit the movement of individuals and their ability to colonise new areas. Whether species can respond to these threats depends on their sensitivity to change, their ability to adapt or adjust to new environmental conditions, their ability to move away, and the rate and magnitude of change. As species' responses depend on a multitude of factors, studying their responses requires a combination of different tools from different research fields. The aim of this project is to establish a new way of studying the responses of biodiversity to global change by combining genetic tools with ecology, geographical data and computer modelling.

This project focuses on several threatened European forest bat species with the aim of providing the evidence base for their conservation under global change. Bats are an important part of ecological systems and contribute to the agricultural economy through suppressing insect pest populations. Because of their high diversity, wide habitat use, role as top predators and sensitivity to land use changes, bats can be good indicators of the state of the environment and other wildlife. As such bats offer a good model system for studying the consequences of global change. Future climate change is predicted to affect the distribution of many European bats and may result in high losses of their genetic diversity. Forest bats may be particularly sensitive to future changes because of the high extent of forest fragmentation across Europe; something that has already been linked to their population declines and is likely to limit their ability to move to climatically suitable areas in the future. Therefore in order to design long-term conservation strategies for this vulnerable group it is crucial to understand how climate and the environment affect their distribution and ability to move across the landscape, and what are their genetic responses to environmental change.

The proposed project builds on the research programme developed throughout my independent research career and will benefit from available expertise and state-of-the-art facilities at Bristol and the wide diversity of expertise of project partners. I will first use ecological and mathematical modelling approaches to study how climate change and habitat loss will interact to affect the future distribution of all European forest bats. Focusing on two bat species with different distributions and ecology (Barbastella barbastellus and Myotis escalerai) I will survey populations from across their climatic gradients. To understand what drives evolutionary responses to global change I will use next generation sequencing to study the genes involved in adaptations of populations to current environmental conditions. I will develop new modelling tools to relate these local genetic adaptations to the response of populations to future climate change in face of habitat loss and to predict the consequences of global change. This will allow me to assess the likelihood of long-term population survival and to identify adequate conservation measures. An important aspect of this project is its impact on how we manage our environment, and therefore it includes the development of innovative ways to translate scientific findings and will provide resources for use by policy makers, planners and conservation managers.

Planned Impact

This research addresses important scientific and conservation challenges that will not only impact biodiversity but will have ramifications for our future food security and wellbeing. Therefore it is of wide interest to both academic and non-academic sectors. Societal impacts are at the heart of the proposed project, and one of its main objectives is to provide the evidence base for the responsible management of our environment. An understanding of how biodiversity will respond to future climate change under the constraints of land use changes and habitat loss will help us better manage the environment and direct conservation efforts and reserve design.

More specifically, this project will directly contribute to understanding the conservation requirements of forests bats, a protected and threatened group of species whose conservation is likely to benefit the maintenance of important ecosystem services including the suppression of insect pest populations. This will have wider impacts on the future health of our forests and agricultural food production in face of the predicted spread of insect pests with future climate change. This project will also contribute to responsible forest management through identifying management practices that enhance biodiversity and landscape connectivity.

As this research involves protected species, it will directly contribute to national reporting obligations on protected species conservation status under the EU Habitat Directive, and to the UK meeting its targets of sustainably reducing rates of biodiversity loss under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Project findings will be used to inform the IUCN on the conservation status of a globally threatened species and a recently described data deficient species, and will help identify appropriate conservation action.
In collaboration with European conservation organisations, governmental bodies and researchers I will develop management guidelines for bat conservation under future climate change. These guidelines will enhance the recovery and long-term conservation of threatened populations. Approaches developed to integrate genetic data in conservation planning can be used to guide future research and implementation.

Project outputs in the form of species distribution and range shift corridor maps will provide vital information for conservation volunteers, wildlife groups, conservation organisations, foresters, nature reserve managers and statutory bodies to help guide survey and conservation efforts and the design of future reserves. Moreover, these maps can be used by environmental consultants, Local Record Centres and local authorities for planning future developments and mitigations. Modelling methods developed to predict population persistence will help target conservation efforts towards populations and areas under high risk from global changes, and will have wider applications for other wildlife.

Bats are charismatic species that raise wide public interest. As such they are good focal species for promoting public understanding of how global change will affect biodiversity, and public involvement in conservation and scientific research. Educational resources developed as part of this project can help educators in the teaching of environmental sciences and pupils in developing a better understanding of our natural environment. This project will also provide opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students to participate in fieldwork and get trained in bat survey work, something that can open the door to a career in the environmental consultancy sector. Students will also be encouraged to develop their own projects and will be mentored in study design, report writing, communication and public engagement, skills that will greatly enhance their job prospects.

Publications

10 25 50

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Amorim F (2019) Evolutionary history of the European free-tailed bat, a tropical affinity species spanning across the Mediterranean Basin in Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research

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Centeno-Cuadros A (2019) Comparative phylogeography and asymmetric hybridization between cryptic bat species in Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research

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Festa F (2023) Bat responses to climate change: a systematic review. in Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society

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Froidevaux J (2023) A species-level trait dataset of bats in Europe and beyond in Scientific Data

 
Description 1) I developed a framework to be able to identify wildlife populations under threat from climate change based on how much conditions will change where they are found, their sensitivity to change and their ability to move away. This framework can be used to inform conservation efforts under climate change. It has been tested on bats and will soon be applied to different mammals, reptiles and amphibians in a new collaborative project.

2) I discovered that current methods used to assess species vulnerability to climate change may be over-estimating future range losses because they do not account for local climatic adaptations. I developed new approaches that directly consider adaptive variation in assessments of future range changes and population survival under climate change.

3) I showed the importance of landscape connectivity for enabling species to reach climatically suitable areas in the future and for enabling evolutionary rescue, the survival of populations through the spread of adaptive genetic variation.

4) Together with researchers from across Europe we modelled the combined effect of climate change and anthropogenic habitat loss on the future distribution of European bats.

5) We developed approaches to incorporate competitive interactions between species into assessments of impacts of climate change on species distributions.

6) In collaboration with researchers from across the world we developed Essential Biodiversity Variables that can be used to monitor changes in genetic diversity and composition in wildlife population over time. This is part of a global initiative to improve conservation monitoring efforts. The paper has been accepted for publication in Biological Reviews.

7) I am co-developing management recommendations for adaptive conservation management for forest bats under climate change with policy makers, conservation managers, conservation organisations and environmental consultants.
Exploitation Route The framework and approaches I developed can be widely applied to other ecological systems and taxa. I am a co-I on a research project in Germany that is implementing the frameworks I developed on dozens of mammals and reptiles across the world. The approaches I developed can also be used to guide conservation management action and policy decisions regarding prioritising conservation management under climate change.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism

URL http://globalchangegenetics.org/
 
Description I have been invited by Natural England to comment on the Favourable Conservation Status (FCS) statement for the grey long-eared bat and the barbastelle bat, two of the target species of my fellowship. Natural England is currently developing a methodology for defining what we want to achieve for habitats and species to ensure they are prospering in their natural range and are expected to continue. They are piloting the production of definitions for a selection of habitats and species, and have contacted me to comment on the draft statement for these species.The statement has been revised to include findings from this fellowship about the effects of genetic adaptations to local climatic conditions on the ability of English populations of this bat to survive under future changes in climatic conditions. Findings from my fellowship research on impacts of climate change on bats has been used to inform the new revision of the IUCN Red List Assessment for European bats, which will determine future conservation priorities for bats across Europe. I have also become a member of the UNEP EUROBATS agreement bats and climate change working group, through which we have passed a resolution on bats and climate change that will affect policy and practice of member states that are signatories to the agreement. I am now a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the UNEP EUROBATS Agreement and am invited to meetings of the parties of the agreement to advise on the implementation of the resolution based on my fellowship research. Findings of my fellowship are currently been used to develop management recommendations for forest bats under climate change in the UK. These recommendations will inform conservation management as part of the Nature Recovery Network and Agri-environment schemes such as ELMS.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Advising Natural England on Favourable Conservation Status report
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a guidance/advisory committee
 
Description Expert contributor to a review of the IUCN Red List assessment for European bats
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Contribution to a national consultation/review
 
Description Postgraduate training courses in molecular techniques and analysis methods for ecologists and conservation biologists
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact I co-organised and taught on two courses aimed at training ecologists and conservation biologists in molecular data analysis skills. The first course in Spain had 25 participants from Spain, France, Bulgaria, Czech, Poland, Israel, and USA. The second course in Portugal had 20 participants from Portugal, Spain, the UK, and Malawi. Participants had either no or very limited background in Molecular Biology and its applications for Ecology and Conservation Biology. Several participants are now incorporating molecular analysis into their ecological research.
 
Description COST Action Network: Climate change and bats: from science to conservation
Amount € 500,000 (EUR)
Funding ID CA18107 
Organisation European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 04/2019 
End 04/2023
 
Description Identifying the genomic basis of adaptations to arid environments in bats
Amount £5,642 (GBP)
Funding ID NBAF1160 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 12/2019
 
Description PhD Studentship for NERC DTP
Amount £80,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 03/2021
 
Description Understanding population level effects of artificial lighting on biodiversity - a novel interdisciplinary approach using bats as models
Amount £807,235 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/W005778/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2023 
End 12/2025
 
Description Valuing ecosystem services provided by UK bats under climate change
Amount £90,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2020 
End 09/2024
 
Description Earth Hologenome Initiative 
Organisation University of Copenhagen
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I coordinate the Adaptation Hologenomics project under the Earth Hologenome Initiative. This is a cross European collaboration to generate paired animal genome and gut bacterial metagenomes to study adaptations to climate change in bats and small mammals across Europe. I developed the project and manage sample collection and data analysis.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Antton Alberdi coordinates the Earth Hologenome Initiative. University of Copenhagen will be in-charge of lab work and bioinformatics, and will contribute to data analysis.
Impact Collaboration has only started this year. We started building a network of project collaborators, which now includes 28 collaborators from 16 countries.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Genomics of climate change: past, current and future climate-driven adaptation and vulnerability 
Organisation CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos
Country Portugal 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am a co-I on the grant and contribute to three work packages.
Collaborator Contribution The collaborative grant is led by Dr Rita Rocha and Dr Raqel Godinho from CIBIO.
Impact NA
Start Year 2022
 
Description Life on the edge: A new bioinformatic toolbox to conserve wildlife populations under threat from global change 
Organisation German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research
Country Germany 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I am a co-I on an sDiv postdoctoral fellowship grant that will commence in April 2021, building on the research carried out in my NERC fellowship and the integrated framework I developed. I will be contributing to data analysis, modelling and publication writing.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Chris Barratt is the postdoctoral fellow on this grant. He will collate the genomic data from online databases and lead the data analysis and publication writing.
Impact Collaboration only starting April 2021.
Start Year 2021
 
Description A blog for the Conversation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I wrote a blog for the conversation on the framework developed under this fellowship.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://theconversation.com/how-to-set-conservation-priorities-in-response-to-climate-change-81928
 
Description Academic representative British Ecological Society Climate Change Ecology Specialist Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Climate Change Ecology Group helps foster a vibrant community of ecologists who are all working on climate change issues. This includes a full range of climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation and related topics, relevant to ecology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://besclimatechange.wordpress.com/committee/
 
Description Advisory board Bat Conservation Synopsis 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I have been invited to be a member of the international advisory board and an expert assessor for the Bat Conservation Synopsis 2019. The synopsis summarises the global evidence on the consequences of conservation actions, part of the conservation evidence initiative and has been used to guide bat conservation and policy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL https://www.conservationevidence.com/synopsis/pdf/14
 
Description Championing the barbastelle bat for the 25 Genomes project 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact I championed the barbastelle bat under the Wellcome Trust 25 Genomes project. Several species were competing to get their genome sequenced through a public vote. I was championing one of the bat species I am researching under my fellowship. This involved creating the web page for the species, answering on-line questions from the general public and participating in >10 live chats with schools from across the UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://floundering25.imascientist.org.uk/profile/barbastellebat/
 
Description Climate Change Biogeography Meeting, Evora, Portugal 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave an oral presentation about my fellowship research in the International Biogeography Society special meeting on Climate change biogeography in Evora, Portugal. Talk title: Integrating genomic and biogeographical approaches to model barriers to range shifts under climate change. The talk sparked discussions with several researchers interested in applying my methods.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.biogeography.org/meetings/Evora-2018/
 
Description Conference talk British Ecological Society Annual Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave a talk at the British Ecological Society Annual Meeting on Applying genomic approaches to identify population declines in European forest bats.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Conference talk European Conservation Genetics Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave a talk at the European Conservation Genetics Meeting on Applying genomic approaches to identify historic population declines in British bats.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Conservation Genomics Conference (Portugal) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Present research results in the Conservation genomics Meeting in front of academics, conservation practitioners and third sector organisations. The conference aimed to develop the research field of conservation genomics and its impact of policy makers and applied conservation management. My talk won a prize and sparked debate and wide interest in the framework I am developing under this NERC grant.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://cibio.up.pt/conferences/details/congenomics-2016
 
Description European Bat Research Symposium conference presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I presented a talk based on the research carried out under this fellowship in a conference with more than 300 participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://ebrs2017.eus/
 
Description IUCN Newsletter article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to co-author an article for the IUCN Bat Specialist Group (BSG) Newsletter on bats, climate change and challenges for conservation. The article aimed to inform the IUCN BSG on the potential impacts of climate change on bats and how we can incorporate the effects of climate change into bat conservation management action and policy. The article will be published in the next few weeks, so no impact is evident yet, but this article is likely to have a broad impact on integrating adaptive management strategies to promote bat conservation under climate change.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description International Biogeography Society Meeting presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave an oral presentation about my fellowship research at the 9th International Biogeography Society meeting in Malaga, Spain, titled: The importance of considering adaptive genetic variation in climate change projections. My talk sparked debates with several participants and potential future collaborations with researchers in the UK and USA.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.biogeography.org/meetings/ibsmalaga2019/
 
Description Interviewed for an article in National Geographic: 'Rare photos reveal U.K.'s disappearing whispering bats' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was interviewed for an article in National Geographic about my research on the effects of climate change on the grey long-eared bat.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/24/race-to-save-bats-flying-foxes-from-overheating-...
 
Description Interviewed for an article in the Guardian 'Hot houses, the race to save bats from overheating as temperatures rise' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I have been interviewed for an article in the Guardian on the effects of climate change on bats.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/24/race-to-save-bats-flying-foxes-from-overheating-...
 
Description Invited Departmental Seminar, Estacion Biologica de Donana (CSIC), Spain 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to give an online departmental seminar at Estacion Biologica de Donana (CSIC), Spain. The seminar was attended by >30 researchers and postgraduate students. After the seminar I discuss future collaborations with several researchers in the institute.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Invited Departmental Seminar, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to give a departmental seminar at iDiv, Germany. The talk was attended by >60 researchers and students from the institution.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Invited Departmental Seminar, Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University, Israel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to give an online departmental seminar at the Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University, Israel, where I did my MSc. The seminar was attended by >30 academic staff and postgraduate students. The audience was engaged and asked questions and we discusses potential collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Invited Departmental Seminar, Texas A&M University, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to give an online departmental seminar at Texas A&M University, USA. The seminar was well attended by more than 50 academic staff and postgraduate students. The seminar sparked questions and discussions. One of the postgraduate students intend to use the framework I developed as part of my fellowship in their PhD project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Invited Departmental Seminar, University of Bristol 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to give an online departmental seminar at the University of Bristol as part of the Workshops in Ecology and Behaviour. The seminar was attended by more than 30 academic staff and postgraduate students. The audience was engaged with the talk and asked questions, which sparked further discussions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Invited Departmental Seminar, University of Sheffield 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to give a departmental seminar at the University of Sheffield Department of Animal and Plant Sciences. The talk was attended by academic staff, postdoctoral researchers, postgraduate and undergraduate students from the department.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Invited departmental seminar Bournemouth University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to give a departmental seminar at Bournemouth University about my research. Around 50 people attended the seminar. The seminar was recorded and made available for the whole department, including academic staff, postgraduate and undergraduate students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited departmental seminar University of Sussex 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to give a departmental seminar at the University of Sussex. Around 50 academic staff member, postgraduate and undergraduate students attended the talk, which sparked debates and questions about my work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited keynote speaker Italian Mammal Congress 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave an invited keynote lecture about my fellowship research in the Italian Mammal Congress in Florence. Lecture title: Integrating genomic and ecological approaches to investigate bat responses to global environmental change. Initiated potential collaborations with other researchers and museums.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.mammiferi.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/XI-Congress-of-the-Italian-Mammal-Society-1.pdf
 
Description Invited lecture Tel Aviv University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to give a seminar at the School of Zoology, Tel Aviv University about my fellowship research. Academic member of the department as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students attended the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited speaker Trend in Ecology and Evolution webinar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave an invited talk on the Trend in Ecology and Evolution webinar on the Role of Genomics in Biodiversity Conservation. My talk on Integrated genomic approaches to investigate bat responses to climate change, based on the work done during my fellowship, was broadcasted live and made available on the CellPress YouTube channel.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9L7G0EXwxc
 
Description Invited speaker at the Channel Islands Bat Conference (Jersey) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Was invited to give a talk about understanding bat responses to global climate change as part of the Channel Islands Bat Conference on Jersey. The conference aims to develop bat research and conservation on the Channel Islands through collaborations between the general public, academic researchers, professional environmental consultants, policy makers and conservation practitioners. There was a broad interest in my research and its application to the Channel Islands.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.jerseybatgroup.org/events/channel-islands-bat-conference/
 
Description Invited speaker in a panel discussion bats and climate change part of the National Bat Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to join a panel discussion on bats and climate change as part of the National Bat Conference on 5th September 2020. The conference was online and was attended by >200 participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.bats.org.uk/our-work/conferences-symposia/national-bat-conference
 
Description Invited speaker in a panel on climate change and conservation in the woodland bat symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to speak in an expert panel on climate change and conservation as part of the woodland bat symposium on 20th Nov 2020. The online symposium was attended by >60 people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.bats.org.uk/our-work/conferences-symposia/symposia/woodland-symposium-2020
 
Description Invited speaker in the Symposium on Landscape Genetics. International Association for Landscape Ecology, Colorado, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to give a talk as part of the Landscape Genetic Symposium in the International Association for Landscape Ecology North America conference. Around 500 people attended the conference. This sparked collaborations with several US researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.ialena.org/schedule2019.html
 
Description Invited speaker symposium on land-use change and zoonotic diseases at the British Ecological Society meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was an invited speaker in a symposium on land-use change and zoonotic diseases at the British Ecological Society Annual Meeting. The symposium was viewed by in-person conference participants and all talks were also put online for access to people joining the conference remotely. Following the symposium we were asked to write a blog for the Journal of Animal Ecology and were invited to write a concept note and review articles.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/events/ecology-across-borders-2021/
 
Description Led workshop on Climate Change Risks and the National Adaptation Programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I co-led a workshop on Climate Change Risks and the National Adaptation Programme as part of the British Ecological Society Climate Science for Ecological Forecasting Symposium.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Media interview Radio Solent 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact I gave a radio interview to Radio Solent about the research carried out under my fellowship.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Organised a 3 days workshop on Climate Change Genomics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I organised a 3 day online workshop on Climate Change Genomics with the British Ecological Society. The workshop included 18 invited speakers, who are leaders in the field, and 150 participants from across the globe. The workshop included discussions of how to move the field forward. We are currently working on writing a perspective article based on the workshop discussions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Organised and led a follow-up workshop for policy makers and conservation organisations on forest bats and climate change 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I organised and led a follow-up workshop for policy makers and conservation organisations on developing management recommendations for forest bats under climate change. I disseminated project results to participants and together we co-developed the management recommendations, which will be widely distributed among relevant governmental agencies, statutory bodies, conservation organisations and conservation and land managers. Workshop included 20 participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Organised and led a workshop for the general public, conservation practitioners and ecological consultants on forest bats and climate change 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact As part of the impact activities of my NERC fellowship, I organised and led a workshop on forest bats and climate change to present the outcomes of my fellowship research and engage the public, conservation practitioners and environmental consultants in how we my research findings can be implemented and how they can incorporate climate change into their work. The workshop was attended by 32 people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.bats.org.uk/our-work/conferences-symposia/national-bat-conference
 
Description Organised and led a workshop for the policy makers and conservation organisations on forest bats and climate change 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact As part of the impact activities for my fellowship, I organised and led an online workshop for policy makers (DEFRA, Natural England, Nature Scots, Natural Resources Wales, Forest Research, Forestry Commission, JNCC) and conservation organisations (Bat Conservation Trust, National Trust, Woodland Trust, RSPB, Vincent Wildlife Trust) on forest bats and climate change (4th Sep). The workshop was attended by 23 people, representing 17 organisations. I presented the outcomes of my fellowship research and we discussed how these can be implemented in the conservation management of UK bats under climate change. As part of the workshop we developed management recommendations and a policy brief. We agreed to meet again in May 2021 to finalise the recommendations and policy brief and discuss implementation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Organised workshop on Communicating Climate Change with British Ecological Society and Tyndall Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I organised an online workshop on Communicating Climate Change with the British Ecological Society and Tyndall Centre. Workshop was attended by ~40 participants who said they gained new knowledge and skills.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Participated in a policy workshop on advising the climate change National Adaptation Programme 2023-2028 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I participated in a policy workshop organised by the British Ecological Society and DEFRA on advising the climate change National Adaptation Programme 2023-2028.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Project website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I launched my project website in February 2016. The website aims to inform the general public, academics, students, conservation practitioners, third sector organisations, professional environmental consultants and policy makers about the outcomes of the research carried out under my NERC grant. Based on Google Analytics I know that 1600 people visited the website for a total of 2388 sessions. There is evidence that the website has had a global reach because the language setting in the browsers of people vising the site include: English (US, UK, Canada and Australia), Spanish (Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Honduras), Portuguese (Portugal and Brazil), Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Dutch (Netherlands), Polish and Chinese (China, Hong-Kong and Taiwan). Several students and conservation practitioners have contacted me through the website requesting more information and asking about opportunities for collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL http://globalchangegenetics.org/
 
Description Public engagement talk Surrey Bat Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited to give a talk about my research on the effects of climate change on bats to Surrey Bat Group. The audience was composed of conservation volunteers, professional environmental consultants and people interested in bats and conservation. The audience was particularly interested in predictions of future changes not only in their area but also how will climate change affect global bat populations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Public lecture part of the Winged Wednesdays Webinar series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a seminar talk as part of the Winged Wednesday webinar series organised by Bats without Borders. The talks was attended by >70 people and the talk uploaded to You Tube was viewed by >200 people. I have been contacted by several African and Latin American researchers and students following the talk with request to work in my group and initiate collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqf7t7VqvrM&t=3s
 
Description Reviewer IUCN Red List Assessment for European bats 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I was invited to a two day meeting as an expert reviewer for the IUCN Red List assessment for European bats. This assessment will determine the conservation priorities for bat conservation over the next few years.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2023
 
Description Steering Committee of Green Recovery Challenge Fund supported grey long-eared bat project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited to join the steering committee for Green Recovery Challenge Fund supported grey long-eared bat project. This project is based on my research on this species. It is lead by East Devon AONB in collaboration with the Bat Conservation Trust, West Dorset AONB, Devon and Dorset wildlife trust and other local organisations. The project will work with farmer and land owners to improve habitat conditions for the bat and will engage with schools and the general public. Aim to engage >250 people over 1 year.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Symposium talk, 17th Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB), Turku, Finland, August 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Symposium talk at the European Society for Evolutionary biology meeting. The talk was recorded and made available to the general public, to increase reach. The talked sparked questions and potential future collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://eseb2019.fi/
 
Description UNEP Eurobats Agreement Bats and climate change working group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I became a member of the UNEP EUROBATS Agreement bats and climate change working group. I co-drafted a resolution on bats and climate change that was approved at the EUROBATS meeting of the parties in Monaco October 2018. I was invited to participate in the next meeting of the parties in April 2019 to discuss the implementation of the resolution.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL https://www.eurobats.org/node/1422