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Sarah Schimpp, the 2016 Bryden Award recipient, presents her master’s thesis research at the North Carolina Academy of Sciences meeting.

Previous studies have shown that nightly bat activity differs among bat species. Sarah’s thesis focuses on determining this interspecific variation at sites in North Carolina with varying urban intensity. Sarah used Anabat acoustic detectors and a roof mounted microphone for her research and drove set acoustic survey routes (transects) three times per night while recording bat echolocation calls. Sampling bats can be challenging in urban areas, so she adopted modifications of the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat) driving transect protocol to use in urban areas. This modified protocol with short transects alleviates sampling issues in urban areas and was found to be as effective as the NABat protocol. Sarah found that nightly bat activity does differ depending on species and level of urban intensity. For example, there were fewer total bat calls and calls from Lasiurus borealis (Eastern red bat) later in the night in urban sites.

Sarah Schimpp is the 2016 Bryden Award winner, seen here presenting her work, and the 2017 recipient of the Bryden Award is Halley Shah (not pictured).