About Us
About BCI

Meet the Staff

To contact a department, please use our Global Contact Form.


Andrew Walker


Executive Director

Andrew Walker joined Bat Conservation International (BCI) in 2013, as Executive Director after 23 years with The Nature Conservancy Read more...

Andrew Walker joined Bat Conservation International (BCI) in 2013, as Executive Director after 23 years with The Nature Conservancy where he held a variety of leadership posts in New York, Arizona, and elsewhere, working with partner organizations throughout the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific.

Andy is also the former president and CEO of the New College Foundation in Florida and the Tennessee Environmental Endowment and a founding board member of the Cumberland River Compact.

Earlier in his career, he served with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research and Foreign Agricultural services and was an on-site consultant with the U.S. Department of Energy. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he holds a master’s degree in international communications and agricultural technology transfer and undergraduate degrees in physics and English literature.

Dave Waldien, Ph.D.


Senior Director, Global Conservation

Dave has worked with bats and other wildlife for over 20 years, with a focus on finding a balance between conservation opportunities and management issues. Read more...

Dave Waldien joined Bat Conservation International (BCI) in 2004 to lead BCI's efforts in Mexico. Since then, he has supervised BCI's international conservation programs and those operating throughout the United States, including the Bats and Mines, Western Subterranean, Indiana Myotis and Water for Wildlife programs.

In February 2013, Dave returned to oversee the strategic growth of BCI's programming globally, with an emphasis on establishing sustainable and collaborative conservation initiatives in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania after completing his second term as BCI's Interim Executive Director.

Dave has worked with bats and other wildlife for over 20 years, with a focus on finding a balance between conservation opportunities and management issues. He received a B.S. in Biology from Southern Oregon University, an M.S. in Forest Science and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from Oregon State University.

Joy Gaddy


Senior Director, Operations

Joy Gaddy joined Bat Conservation International in December of 2013 after a career working for The Nature Conservancy Read more...

Joy Gaddy joined Bat Conservation International in December of 2013 after a career working for The Nature Conservancy, NatureServe and Conservation International. Immediately prior to joining BCI, she worked for Conservation International, a large nonprofit with staff in 27 countries, where she was responsible for the human resources, technology, and administrative functions for more than ten years.

In this role she worked on global issues and was able to travel extensively to CI’s programs in Asia, South America and Africa. Before that, she worked for The Nature Conservancy in various operational roles for 23 years. Her last service to The Nature Conservancy was to help spin off and create, NatureServe, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting science with conservation, where she worked as the Director of Operations for 3 years. 

Joy has an undergraduate degree from Hood College in Maryland and a master’s in Applied Management from Lesley University in Massachusetts.

Mylea Bayless, M.S.


Senior Director, US/Canada Conservation

Mylea Bayless leads BCI’s U.S./Canada conservation team with over 20 years of experience in conservation Read more...
Mylea Bayless leads BCI’s U.S./Canada conservation team with over 20 years of experience in conservation, research and wildlife management. Her team is responsible for bat research and conservation in the region including (but not limited to) the following programs: BCI’s Public Lands Program, Wind Energy Program, Imperiled Species Program, WNS Response, Outreach and Education (U.S. only), Subterranean Program (U.S. only), and Bracken Bat Cave Preserve. She serves on several conservation teams including the steering committee for the North American Bat Conservation alliance and on the team developing a protocol for monitoring North American bats. 
Although her background is varied, bats have been intertwined throughout her career. As the daughter of a National Park Service biologist, Bayless volunteered as a young adult on bat surveys even before graduating from high school. She continued working with bats intermittently through every stage of her career beginning in college as a summer intern with the U.S. Geological Survey and assisting others on a variety of research projects in nearly every professional position she has held. 
By the time Bayless joined BCI in 2006, she had worked for a variety of organizations including the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Humboldt State University, University of Minnesota, Colorado State University, Colorado Division of Wildlife, and the U.S. Forest Service. The background is as varied as the organizations where she worked where she has led research teams working on a variety of wildlife (including spotted owls, bald eagles, American pronghorn, Merriam’s turkeys, and Rocky Mountain elk). She holds a bachelors and masters of science from Colorado State University.

Sue Sirkus


Senior Director, Philanthropy

  • Principal fundraising officer
  • Strategic planning and organizational capacity building
  • A community leader and creative advocate for bat conservation
  • Join me, our staff & board in making a difference for people, nature & communities!

Sue Sirkus joined the BCI staff in December, 2013 as the Director of Philanthropy. She is a member the organization’s management team, and directs the fundraising, membership, and social media programs. Having built her career in the non-profit sector, Sue has become a leader and advocate for conservation in the areas of philanthropy, strategic planning, organizational capacity building and training.

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sue earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Claremont Graduate School. She has been a Certified Fund Raising Executive since 1996. Currently, Sue serves on the board of directors for Western National Parks Association, and on the board of governors for the Santa Lucia Conservancy.

Conservation, Education, & Science

Cris Hein, Ph.D.


Director, Wind Energy Program

Cris Hein joined BCI in 2010 and is the Wind Energy Program Director Read more...
  • Bats and Wind Energy Research
  • Bats and Forest Management
  • Acoustic Monitoring

Cris Hein joined BCI in 2010 and is the Wind Energy Program Director. Cris also serves as the Program Coordinator for the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative. Cris’ primary responsibility is to develop and implement solutions to reduce the impact of wind energy development on bats.

Since 1998, Cris has focused on bat research and conservation. He received his M.S. in Biology from Texas State University where he studied the population structure and dynamics of a Brazilian free-tailed bat colony in central Texas. In 2008, he received his Ph.D. in Forestry and Natural Resources from the University of Georgia.

His dissertation investigated the activity and roosting behavior of bats along forested corridors, and the winter roosting ecology of bats in South Carolina. Prior to joining BCI, Cris was the lead bat ecologist for ABR-Environmental Research and Services.

Katie Gillies, M.S.


Director, Imperiled Species Program

Katie Gillies leads BCI’s efforts in recovering threatened and endangered bats in the US and Canada Read more...
  • White-nose Syndrome
  • Endangered, Threatened & Sensitive Species
  • Habitat Management
  • Population Genetics

Katie Gillies leads BCI’s efforts in recovering threatened and endangered bats in the US and Canada, which includes managing our White-nose Syndrome response program.  Katie has been working in wildlife management and conservation for 14 years and is a Certified Wildlife Biologist with The Wildlife Society.  She received her B.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Idaho, where she conducted her undergraduate research on bat use in burned montane forests in the 2.3 million acre Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

She continued her education and received her M.S. in Biology from Idaho State University.  Her graduate research used population genetic techniques to examine the connectivity and movement of Townsend’s big-eared bats among hibernacula in southern Idaho. 

Katie has been fortunate to work with bats and other wildlife around the world throughout her career.  She has trapped and banded songbirds and small mammals across Idaho.  She has surveyed for bats and mesocarnivores in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.  She has worked with exceptional biologists studying the coevolution of the frog-eating bat and the tungara chorus frog in Panama.

As a biologist with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, she worked with the mining, wind and geothermal industries to minimize and mitigate impacts to wildlife resources from development projects.  She’s managed habitat for sage grouse, elk, mule deer, Lahontan cutthroat trout and more. 

Katie is an avid runner and backpacker.  She enjoys travelling, camping, and hiking, and is especially pleased when she can do them all at once.  

Dan Taylor, M.S.


Director, Public Lands Program

Dan Taylor directs BCI’s Public Lands Program and has more than 30 years of experience Read more...
  • Bats and Public Lands Management
  • Bats and Forests
  • Bats and Water Resources

Dan Taylor directs BCI’s Public Lands Program and has more than 30 years of experience working on a wide range of wildlife and conservation issues in the U.S., Central America, and Africa. Dan has been with BCI for 17 years, previously directing its Bats and Mines, Bats and Forests, and Water for Wildlife initiatives. Dan’s background as a USDA-Forest Service biologist in Arizona, Montana, and Oregon, and years of experience facilitating collaboration between BCI and local, state, and national government partners made him well-suited to lead BCI’s new Public Lands Program.

The Program is working with the primary agencies responsible for natural resource management in North America to ensure the incorporation of bat conservation into key policy, planning, and land management actions. Dan authored BCI’s Forest Management & Bats publication and co-authored BCI’s Bats and Mines and Water for Wildlife handbooks with Dr. Merlin Tuttle.

He is a member of The Wildlife Society, and the Arizona, New Mexico, and Western Bat Working Groups, and was a founding member of the Society for Conservation Biology.

Prior to his work with BCI and the Forest Service, Dan was the first director of the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize, Central America, and previously worked seasonally on several wildlife projects involving wolves, brown and black bears, European badgers, and northern and Mexcan spotted owls.

Dan holds a bachelors degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana and a masters of science in Forestry from Northern Arizona University.

Chris Woodruff, M.A.


Global Conservation Program Manager

  • International partnerships, contracts, and agreements
  • Fundraising for international projects
  • Granting Programs and Student Scholarships

Chris Woodruff joined the philanthropy department at Bat Conservation International (BCI) in 2009, working with incoming funding agreements, including writing grant proposals. After three years, Chris transitioned to a programmatic position, coordinating BCI’s international projects and building new partnerships to keep up with the organization’s expanding global mission. Currently, Chris is the Global Conservation Programs Manager, primarily responsible for developing relationships and overseeing projects in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

Chris also manages BCI’s granting programs, which provide seed money for conservation and research projects in dozens of countries – often at the grassroots level.

Chris completed an undergraduate double major in international studies and Spanish at Texas A&M University, and he holds a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.


Dianne Odegard


Education & Public Outreach Manager

Dianne anchors BCI’s education and outreach initiatives, including training and managing docents Read more...
  • Public Information
  • Artificial Roosts
  • Education
  • Public Health
  • Bats in Buildings
  • Workshop Coordination

Dianne Odegard joined the BCI staff in January of 2005, and is thrilled to work for an organization whose mission is to protect bats worldwide. She anchors BCI’s education and outreach initiatives, including training and managing docents at Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge. Though her college major was graphic arts, her life-long love of animals and passion for mediating human/wildlife conflict, is well-satisfied here! She serves as public information liaison for the organization, with specialties in education, artificial roosts, bats in buildings, and bats and public health, and fields the frequent requests for speakers and educational materials about bats.

She speaks to groups of all types and ages and has presented distance learning programs with partner organization Texas Wildlife Association that have reached over 50,000 school children across the U.S. and Canada since 2008. Interviews and video presentations with media and organizations around the world have allowed her to talk about the many benefits of bats, while imparting essential information about keeping bats AND humans safe.

Dianne and her husband are Texas-permitted bat rehabilitators. Their facility provides a wealth of educational opportunities and keeps a finger on the pulse of the local bat populations. Besides the native Texas bats that reside with Dianne and Lee for periods of time, BCI’s long-time “Bat Ambassadors,” African straw-colored fruit bats Zoey and ZuZu, also roost at their home.


Fran Hutchins


Director, Bracken Cave Preserve

  • Bracken Bat Cave Habitat Restoration
  • Bracken Cave Educational Tours and Bat Flight Events
  • Texas Master Naturalist

Fran has been with Bat Conservation International since 2006, directing educational bat flight programs and the restoration work on BCI’s Bracken Cave Preserve and working with Central Texas landowners protecting other bat roosts. His work at the preserve protects the largest colony of bats in the world.

He is often asked to speak at various events, sharing his passion for informing the public about bats. This extended’s to schools, zoos, Scouts and organizations from around the world. He has been featured on Texas Country Reporter, Travel Channel, several documentaries as well as Texas Highway Magazine.

In 2013 he was recognized by the US Forest Service for Wings Across the Americas / BatsLIVE education program.

Fran is also a Caver and Texas Master Naturalist and Eagle Scout.

Jason Corbett, M.S.


Director, Subterranean Program

  • Mine and Cave Inventory and Management
  • Cave and Mine Gates

I've been happily working with wildlife since the tender age of 8 when an Emmy Award winning wildlife cinematographer moved in next door and hired my brother and I to work with him on his wildlife films for National Geographic, the BBC, Discovery Channel, etc.

Several jobs later I am ecstatic to be working hard on conserving a taxa I greatly admire, bats, and my favorite type of habitat on the planet; all things under the Earth. These dark spaces; caves, mines, cracks, crypts, ossuaries, sinkholes, cenotes, springs, and many others provide shelter, refuge, and critical habitat for many species of plants and animals.

By working to protect subterranean bats and their habitat, I'm able to help protect not only the amazing places they call home, but also all of the other plants and animals that need these spaces. It is hard work but I love it!

Shawn Thomas


Subterranean Program Manager

Shawn coordinates projects involving inventories and monitoring of cave and mine-roosting bats Read more...
  • U.S. & Canada cave/mine bat assessments

Shawn Thomas joined the BCI staff in July, 2014. As Projects Manager for the Subterranean Program, Shawn coordinates projects involving inventories and monitoring of cave and mine-roosting bats. These projects involve working with diverse partners, ranging from federal agencies to private mining companies.

Prior to  working for BCI, Shawn specialized in cave management for the National Park Service, having worked for several cave parks in the western U.S., including Carlsbad Caverns National Park (NM), Lava Beds National Monument (CA), Oregon Caves National Monument (OR), Great Basin National Park (NV), and Jewel Cave National Monument (SD).

Outside of work, Shawn’s time is focused on exploring and mapping caves, with active projects in Arizona (Grand Canyon National Park caves), New Mexico (Lechuguilla Cave, Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave), and Montana (Bob Marshall Wilderness caves).  

Michael Schirmacher, M.S.


Wind Energy Program Manager

  • Wind Energy
  • Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC) field project management
  • Acoustic Monitoring

Trish Badeen


GIS & Database Developer

Trish is a web developer and she previously worked as a Unix administrator Read more...
  • GIS Development
  • Systems Support
  • Database Analyst

Trish Badeen joined Bat Conservation International in 2008 as a web developer. She previously worked as a Unix administrator and IT Director in the semiconductor industry. Trish earned a bachelor's degree in computer science from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX.


Rebecca Patterson


US/Canada Programs Coordinator

Rebecca Patterson joined the BCI staff in January, 2008. Rebecca provides administrative support Read more...
  • Conservation Program Administration
  • Grant and Contract Management
  • Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC) administrator

Rebecca Patterson joined the BCI staff in January, 2008. As US/Canada Programs Coordinator, Rebecca provides administrative support to all current US and Canada Programs including Bracken Cave Preserve, Education and Public Outreach, Wind Energy and Public Lands. In addition to administrative support she provides expertise in event planning and grant and contract management.

Rebecca holds a B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University. Prior to joining the BCI staff, she worked as a dog-trainer, recruiting her own dog to provide pet-assisted therapy. In addition to her love for all animals, Rebecca loves hiking and running the many trails of Austin, is a part-time film geek and self-proclaimed foodie.


John "Beej" Nunn


Director, Information Technology

  • Information Systems
  • Webmaster & Web Development
  • Network Administrator & Systems Support
  • Flys & jumps out of perfectly good airplanes

Beej has been with BCI for many years, and looks after anything vaguely related to Information Technology. He is a graduate of Staffordshire University, UK. For those who are curious, the nickname ‘Beej’ stems from ‘Big John’ -> ‘B.J’ -> ‘Beejay’ -> ‘Beej’!

Beej is a Brit, living in Texas, and due to his English accent mixed with a slight hint of Texan, is often mistaken for an Australian – not a bad thing! In his spare time he enjoys playing the piano, aerobatic flying, table tennis, creating things (building his own airplane), and was a regular skydiver until he discovered McDonalds drive-thru’s and the joys of a high body mass index.

Melanie Flores


Operations Associate

Mel answers the phones at BCI and enjoys talking with and assisting callers from all over the world Read more...
  • Receptionist
  • Mailing/Shipping
  • General Administration
  • Photo Sales & Requests for BCI Images

Melanie Flores joined BCI in 2012, as an Administrative Associate.  Mel answers the phones at BCI and enjoys talking with and assisting callers from all over the world with information about bats. She also provides administrative support to the Operations Team, BCI Board and Management Team.

Mel attended Texas A&M University and received her Veterinary Technician License. Prior to working at BCI, Mel worked at the Austin/Travis County Humane Society working with hard to place dogs and on the rabies observation unit.  Mel enjoys spending time with her young granddaughter, son and daughter. She also enjoys photography, the outdoors and riding horses.

Tristan Pierce


Director, Finance & Administration

New to the amazing world of bats, Tristan joined BCI in 2014 Read more...
  • Finances
  • Accounting
  • Reporting

New to the amazing world of bats, Tristan joined BCI in 2014 after years of number crunching at arts and education nonprofits in Washington, DC. Trying desperately to out count The Count from Sesame Street, Tristan spends his days ensuring that BCI’s assets and finances are in good order to carry out the mission.

Tristan holds an M.A. in Arts Management from George Mason University and is currently completing the required coursework to sit for the CPA exam in Texas. He serves as the Logistics Chair for the Austin Nonprofit Financial Leaders group and lives in Austin with his partner and two dogs. If he’s not in front of a spreadsheet, he’s usually in front of a piano, biking, or hiking.

Kay Morris


Accounting Associate

Kay's career has included working with numbers at Dell, Pharmaco, and Read more...
  • Accounts Payable
  • Administrative and Finance support

Kay Morris joined Bat Conservation International (BCI) in 2013, as an Accounting Assistant.  Her career has included working with numbers at Dell, Pharmaco (a clinical research organization), attorney’s offices and in property repossession industry.

Accounting has always been a fascinating and an enjoyable work facet. She truly gets excited about numbers, statistics and creating new ways to retrieve them, wherever that may lead her. 

She is not all one sided either.  To please her analytical side and keep in balance she uses her creative side.  Kay is an artist working mostly in oil.

Her main subjects are old architecture and landscapes. She has painted scenes from visits in France, Italy, Cyprus, Ireland and various locations in the US. She enjoys talking about her art as much as she does her numbers, go figure.

Robin Roelofs


Project Accountant

Robin holds a B.A. Environmental Ecology degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Read more...
  • Manages the financial components of BCI’s conservation projects
  • Monitors budgets, invoicing, financial reporting and compliance
  • Supports program and grants & contracts staff

Robin holds a B.A. Environmental Ecology degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Robin also holds a professional Certificate of Non-Profit Management from the University of Arizona, and has experience as a self-employed bookkeeper, specializing in non-profits for the past 14 years.


Amy McCartney


Membership Manager

Even as a kid Amy always found bats to be interesting and not creepy Read more...
  • Membership Administrator
  • Membership Assistant Supervisor

Even as a kid Amy always found bats to be interesting and not creepy, so she was very pleased to get a job at BCI several years ago. She takes care of members and donors, including welcoming new members, acknowledgments, raising funds, and a whole array of other membership-centric duties.

She especially enjoys being creative when developing member benefits and adopt-a-bats. She is happy that so many people like bats enough to contribute to help conserve and protect these important mammals. Amy is a native El Pasoan who likes hanging out with family and her dogs, is a prolific reader and scifi geek, and listens to all kinds of music.

Jessica Cochran


Grants & Contracts Coordinator

Jessica attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied linguistics and non-human primate ecology Read more...
  • Grants & Contracts Support
  • Reporting & Paperwork Coordination
  • EarthShare Campaign Administration

After 4 years volunteering for Bat Conservation International as a docent at the Austin Congress Ave. Bat Bridge, Jessica Cochran joined the BCI staff as the Grants & Contracts Coordinator in 2014.

She attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied linguistics and non-human primate ecology and behavior.

Jessica received her BA in 2009, and went on to spend 5 years working as an undergraduate advisor at UT.  In her free time, she enjoys swinging from trapezes, crocheting amigurumi teddy bears, and running around parks with her family.

Amy Price


Director, Grants & Contracts

Amy Price is the grant writer/storyteller for the organization Read more...
  • Private and Federal Grants

Amy Price is the grant writer/storyteller for the organization. She has been writing grants for Texas nonprofits for more than 20 years—for Bat Conservation International since 2007.

After attending the University of Texas at Austin, she felt all of the writing and research experience was put to best use creating narratives to raise money for education, the arts, health and human services, legal services for the poor, and the environment. She traces her career choice to early roots selling Girl Scout cookies in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas.

Her successful career puts her in demand as a presenter/trainer for nonprofit development professionals. Her work funding public/private partnerships was honored by the US Forest Service in 2012 with a “Wings Across the Americas Award” for her outstanding achievement in conservation—an honor usually reserved for science staff doing on-the-ground conservation.

Ms. Price is a certified National Wildlife Habitat Steward, a volunteer for many nonprofits in her community, and a mom with two wonderful children. There is no spare time, but if there were she would spend it reading or camping.

Joy Rivera


Membership Associate

Prior to joining BCI in 2011, Joy worked for other nonprofits in the areas of Governmental Affairs and Membership Read more...
  • Adopt-A-Bat & Membership Processing
  • Membership Customer Service

Prior to joining BCI in 2011, Joy worked for other nonprofits in the areas of Governmental Affairs and Membership. As BCI’s Membership Associate working directly under Amy McCartney, Joy is responsible for membership renewals, new members, adopt- a-bats, gift memberships and tribute gifts.  However, the one thing that Joy is most motivated by is her interaction with BCI Members. She is always delighted to talk to members who have such a love for bats and understand the important role they play in our world!

 Joy received her BA in Human Resource Management from Concordia University.  She enjoys being active in the community.  Joy served as PTA Treasurer for Zavala Elementary for two years and as Cheer Coordinator and Coach for South Austin Optimist Cheer for four years. She is also an avid volunteer and is always willing to lend a hand in various community events.

As one of the few original Austin residents, Joy has seen this city go through many changes.  One thing she recalls from her childhood that has remained constant are the bats at the Congress Avenue Bridge.  Joy feels honored to be a part of a team that is committed to protecting the world’s bats and their environments!

Sheryl Morgan


Member Services Associate

Sheryl recently joined the BCI staff in Austin. She is a member of the organization’s Philanthropy team Read more...
  • Member Services
  • EarthShare
  • Bracken Nights Coodinator

Sheryl Morgan recently joined the BCI staff in Austin as of March of 2015. She is a member of the organization’s Philanthropy team and assists with membership and Bracken Member Nights.  

Sheryl is a long time Austinite and UT grad. Her work experience is in office administration and customer service and she is very eager to learn more about the amazing world of bats and to begin assisting others to do the same.

When she’s not at work she enjoys taking hikes with her hubby and their golden retriever “Beau”.  She has two sons that attend Texas State. Sheryl enjoys crafting, making jewelry and screech owls houses for friends and family. She can also be found roaming local cemetery’s when volunteering for the Find a Grave organization. 


Micaela Jemison


Communications Manager

Micaela joined BCI in January 2015, as our Communication Manager after working as a science communicator for the Smithsonian Read more...

Micaela Jemison joined Bat Conservation International (BCI) in January 2015, as our Communication Manager after working as a science communicator for the Smithsonian Institution and a threatened species biologist for the Victorian state government in Australia.

Micaela has six plus years experience in bat conservation and research, having conducted scientific studies on a range of Australian bat species and developing the Southern Bent-wing Bat National Recovery Plan. She has a passion for science communication and human-wildlife conflict management. Her masters degree in communication and public relations focused on a human-wildlife disease conflict between communities and flying-fox populations in Australia, which made recommendations on how wildlife managers can effectively engage with the media and other invested groups.

Micaela has worked for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and the Smithsonian Central Office of Public Affairs as science writer and multimedia producer. She is a current member of the Department of Mammals at NMNH and the Communication Officer for the Australasian Bat Society.


BCI relies on the support of our amazing members around the world.

Our mission is to conserve the world’s bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet.

Please join us or donate so our work can continue.