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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Pioneering bat research could help understand how biodiversity is affected by climate change

Published: 6 October 2016
Dr Orly Razgour

Dr Orly Razgour has joined the University of Southampton to continue her work on how species respond to changes in their environment such as habitat loss and climate change.

Her five year independent research fellowship from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) will result in the development of tools to aid academics and conservationists to understand, predict and prepare for future change through an integrated framework.

Orly is examining how European forest bats react to stresses in their environment. One species, the barbastelle bat can be found across the continent from Morocco to southern Sweden in several climatic zones. Her field work includes catching bats and collecting genetic material for later laboratory analysis to identify climatic adaptations. A PhD student will join her later in the year to help with the work.

Dr Orly Razgour
Dr Orly Razgour

“We need to know more about how species respond to environmental changes so policy makers and conservationists can predict and prepare for the effects of future climate change,” she says.

This biodiversity research has already caught the imagination of the media and the general public and Orly has been interviewed by journalists about earlier work on the rare grey long-eared bat. It attracted covered on BBC radio and television and in publications including New Scientist, national newspapers in the UK and elsewhere in the world and the academic journal Nature Climate Change. A striking photograph of a flying Myotis escalerai bat was featured on the front cover of the October 2015 edition of the journal Molecular Ecology.

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