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Fantastic Bats & The Scientists Who Study Them
October 11, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Join us for a free event welcoming some of Michigan’s leading experts on bats and disease, including Dr. Allen Kurta, Dr. Kim Signs, Dr. Maarten Vonhof and a LIVE BAT demonstration from Leslie Nature Center.
This panel will focus on the key issues facing Michigan’s 9 native bat species, recent research and responses to White Nose Syndrome, and a discussion about how to properly and safely respond to bats that may end up in your home.
Where: MSU Morrill Hall of Agriculture – Room 8
When: Thursday, 10/11 @ 6:30PM (Free Parking on campus after 6!)
RSVP on Facebook and help spread the word!
Bat Association of MSU are excited to be collaborating with the MSU Wildlife Disease Association – Student Chapter, One Health Club – MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, and MSU CVM ZEW Club who all share the mission of the promotion of public health through collaborative, cross-disciplinary research and education.
Featured Speakers include:
Dr. Allen Kurta, PhD
Dr. Allen Kurta received a B.S. and M.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in Biology from Boston University. His research for the past 40 years has focused on the ecology and behavior of bats, with an emphasis on the endangered Indiana bat and threatened northern long-eared bat. He has published over 100 papers in scientific journals, and he has authored or edited numerous books, including, Mammals of the Great Lakes Region, The Bats of Puerto Rico, and Bats of Michigan. Dr. Kurta is a member of the Indiana Bat Recovery Team for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee on Mammals for the Endangered Species Program of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and member of the Board of Directors for the North American Society for Bat Research.
Dr. Kim Signs, DVM
Dr. Kim Signs received her BS and DVM degrees from Michigan State University. She has been the Zoonotic and Vector-borne Disease Epidemiologist at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for 16 years. She conducts surveillance for zoonotic and vector-borne diseases and has contributed to scientific publications on topics that include rabies, West Nile virus, and zoonotic influenza, to name a few. She regularly collaborates with colleagues in federal, state, and local health agencies, including the Michigan Rabies Working Group. She also provides consultation on the diagnosis, prevention and control of rabies and other zoonotic and vector-borne diseases to healthcare professionals and the public.
Dr. Maarten Vonhof, PhD
Maarten Vonhof is a professor of Biological Sciences and Environmental & Sustainability studies and Director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at Western Michigan University. He is an ecologist and evolutionary biologist with strong emphasis on conservation. His current research mainly focuses on the influence of urbanization on the ecology and behavior of animals (primarily birds), and the ecology and genetics of host-parasite and host-disease systems. He has been studying bats for 25 years, including Master’s research on forest dwelling bats in Canada, PhD work on the social behavior of disk-winged bats in Central America, and subsequently numerous studies in many areas of the New World. He has been actively studying White Nose Syndrome since 2012 and has mainly focused on population genetic approaches to estimating disease spread and testing a potential treatment for the disease, some of which he’ll talk about today.
Leslie Nature Center
We will end the evening with a Live Bat Demonstration from Leslie Nature Center, featuring Big Brown Bats, and some Fruit Bats!