Workshops of IBRC 2022

Wednesday is workshop day. We are pleased to offer a range of exciting workshops for meeting attendees. Additional workshops will be added here as details are finalized. The call for workshops has officially closed, but if you have an exciting idea that you are still keen on pursuing, please contact the conference organizers to discuss that possibility (conference@ibrc.org).

GBatNet -- Join the Mission!
Organizers: Lilana Davalos, Susan Tsang, Nancy Simmons, Tigga Kingston
Summary: The Global Union of Bat Diversity Networks (GBatNet) is a network of 18 bat research and conservation networks with a shared vision of sustainable bat diversity in a changing world. The mission of GBatNet is to: (1) capture rules of life governing the diversification of bat phenotypes worldwide across spatial, temporal, biological, and phylogenetic scales; (2) integrate our findings to develop predictive models of species vulnerability to anthropogenic change to slow or mitigate the rapid decline in global bat diversity. Past GBatNet meetings have generated and prioritized research ideas that support these goals and laid the foundations for their implementation. Here we present the research priorities and working groups, and we invite interested individuals to join these groups and projects.

Ancient DNA Genomics and Bat Research
Organizers: Balaji Chattopadhyay, Kritika M. Garg
Summary: Museums are a treasure trove of information and can provide critical insights into biotic evolution thereby facilitating evolutionary, climate change and biodiversity research on one hand and conservation management on the other. The past two decades have witnessed an unprecedented increase in ancient DNA research both from museum and archeological samples. In this workshop we will introduce participants to the importance of ancient DNA research, particularly the advances made in generating genome-wide datasets by leveraging next generation sequencing protocols. Participants will be introduced to the hurdles faced when working with ancient samples like museum samples, fossils, sediments. Participants will learn about research strategies developed to optimize nucleic acid data generation when working with poor quality samples. We will also have a hands-on session for the participants, where they can learn how to analyze next generation sequencing data.

Old World Bat Red List Assessment Workshop
Organizers: Dave Waldien, Justin Welbergen, Pipat Soisook, Paul Webala
Summary: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of bats. Currently, 1,332 species have been assessed, which is significantly short of the >1,400 described species, and 30% of assessments are more than 5 years old and need to be updated. Newly recognized species are being added to the Red List and will require assessments. For the Old World, comprising nearly 70% of the world’s bats, we are encouraging experienced and emerging species experts to become involved in assessments. Our workshop will review the full assessment process and discuss common issues and solutions encountered. We will identify opportunities for researchers to contribute data and participate in or lead assessments. Multi-authored assessments are preferred to bring additional perspectives to bear. The free online Red List training (https://www.conservationtraining.org/course/index.php?categoryid=23), not required for this workshop, is highly recommended for those interested in leading assessments.

Establishing Global Thresholds for Wind Energy Mortality of Bats
Organizers: Michael Whitby, Kate Macewan, David Wilson
Summary: Bat Conservation International, The Biodiversity Consultancy, and Kate Macewan are developing a framework for setting global thresholds for bat mortality at wind energy facilities, especially in developing regions. We will present a draft framework and work through examples of establishing thresholds with workshop participants. Participants will then have the opportunity to provide feedback on the framework and offer suggestions for revising the framework.

Video Techniques for Tracking and Counting Bats
Organizers: Aaron Corcoran, Edward Hurme, Dina Dechmann
Summary: This workshop introduces videographic techniques and software packages for recording, tracking, and counting bats. We will discuss tradeoffs between video recording setups, including thermal and near infrared recording, and single cameras for 2-D recordings vs. multi-camera setups for 3-D recording. We will then demonstrate applications of this work from our own research and management applications. Next, we will introduce software packages for analyzing video data, including ThruTracker, which is a free program that allows automated tracking and analysis of video data. Potential applications include counting bat emergences at caves and bridges, studying bat behavior at wind turbines, measuring bat flight abilities, and studying bat predatory and social behavior. Participants will gain hands-on experience analyzing video data including a variety of bat video recordings that will be provided and participant’s own bat video recordings.

Bat Research and Conservation in the Global South: The Global South Bats Initiative
Organizers: Rodrigo A. Medellín, Angélica Menchaca, Paul Webala, Luis Viquez-R
Summary: The Global South encompasses the most biodiverse regions on the planet from which hundreds of papers are published every year. However, knowledge transfer and professional development in these regions lag behind in comparison to the Global North. Global South Bats (GSB) was born to respond to these challenges. We are a team working to strengthen the voice of those working for wildlife in the Global South. Living and working in hotspots of bat biodiversity, we face many of the same knowledge gaps, threats, and opportunities. Our goal is to connect and empower bat conservation allies in the Global South, where locally-led research for wildlife protection is most needed. We are thinking globally and implementing locally. This meeting will present the newest developments in our network, recruit new members, and propose an agenda for the next five years. Join us to learn more about GSB and the opportunities this collaboration offers.

International Perspectives on Bat Marking
Organizers: Susan Loeb, Joy O’Keefe
Summary: Marking (e.g., bands/rings, PIT tags, collars) is essential for understanding bat population dynamics and movements. However, issues related to marking such as injuries and tag loss have created concerns about the utility and ethics of marking. The goal of this workshop is to share information among researchers from across the globe about marking from their perspectives. We intend to use information gained from this workshop to ultimately develop guidance on best practices for marking bats. We will invite researchers from Africa, Asia, Australia, Central or South America, Europe, and North America to address questions related to types of marks used in their area, pros and cons of the various marks, general sentiments about marking in their region, regulations associated with marking, and data reporting/sharing. Time for general discussion and questions from workshop attendees will be available at the end.

IUCN Bat Specialist Group – One Health Working Group Open Meeting
Organizers: Tigga Kingston, Luz de Wit
Summary: The IUCN Bat Specialist Group OneHealth Working Group (BSG OHWG) was created at the start of the COVID-19 crisis to assess and mitigate the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from humans to bats. Since then, the Mission of the OHWG has expanded to advance multidisciplinary integrative research and informed communication to promote bat conservation as essential to One Health. In this open meeting, we will summarize the activities undertaken by the group over the past two years (e.g., the BSG Guidelines for field research, rehabilitation, and caving, Field Hygiene Initiative, and Science Communication about bats and viruses). We seek to engage the community in risk mitigation at diverse human-bat interfaces. Our current goal is to survey global bat guano collection practices to determine the conservation consequences (positive and negative), economic viability, and the associated risks.

PhylogatR: Phylogeographic Data Aggregation and Repurposing
Organizers: Bryan Carstens, Tara Pelletier
Summary: This workshop will introduce users to the phylogatR database. phylogatR brings together genetic data with georeferenced specimen records resulting in downloads that include DNA sequence alignments with associated GPS coordinates that are analysis ready. The goals of the PhylogatR project are to empower students to actively learn about genetics, computer code, and biodiversity by repurposing genetic and climatic data that cost millions of dollars and decades of hard work by thousands of scientists to acquire. During the workshop we will conduct several walkthroughs of R scripts or Shiny R apps using these data. Shiny R apps make it easy for individuals and instructors to implement R code in an interactive way without any coding experience. This approach makes using real data in the classroom accessible to instructors who do not have experience coding. The workflow will start with data collection and curation, then move on to small level data analysis.

Managing Data and Building Pipelines in R
Organizers: Kate Langwig, Alexander Grimaudo, Macy Kailing
Summary: This course will focus on managing datasets, with an emphasis on using the R programming environment to manipulate data and build data management pipelines. Topics will include best practices for recording and checking field and laboratory data, understanding data representations in R, examining and visualizing data for errors, and using tools in base R and the tidyverse package to build data pipelines and manipulate messy datasets. We will also cover analytical and data management best practices, including using Git and working in GitHub. Participants should have some basic R knowledge (or should contact the workshop organizers for crash course resources) and are encouraged to bring their own data sets.

Making bat conservation work in a human-dominated world
Organizers: Tanja Straka, Joanna Coleman
Summary: Bat conservation is challenging, yet under-reporting of success stories can demoralize and disincentivize the community. The aim of the workshop is to empower and inspire bat researchers and conservation practitioners with success stories and deep explorations of the human origins of bat conservation issues. We will also discuss and distill the lessons that can be learned from interventions that were less successful.  The workshop will build on discussion from the Human Dimensions Symposium, organized by the IUCN Bat Specialist Group's Human Dimensions Working Group, but we invite all conference attendees with stories to tell to join us.