General News

Fostering the Future

Published on February 7, 2019
Written by Admin

Announcing the 2019 Student Research Scholarship Recipients
KadambariDeshpande
Kadambari Deshpande will be investigating fruit bats; in
particular, the benefits of seed dispersal versus the potential
risk of disease. Photo: Kadambari Deshpande

We’re proud to announce the 2019 recipients of BCI’s Student Research Scholarship for Global Bat Conservation Priorities. This scholarship is awarded to emerging scholars whose ideas have inspired us and whose work is of great value to both the scientific community and bat conservation across the globe.

Since BCI’s early years, the student scholarship program has been integral to our global mission of conserving bat species worldwide, as well as helping to foster the next generation of bat biologists and conservationists. To date, we’ve awarded over 1.1 million dollars to 411 emerging scholars, many of whom are now leaders in the conservation field.

The 2019 class continues this trend of top scholastic achievement. Nine talented women and men were selected from a large pool of applicants representing 32 countries. In addition to the scholarship awards, two awardees were selected to receive additional recognition.

Nayelli Rivera
Nayelli Rivera will study the pollination capacity and foraging
habitat of the lesser long-nosed bat. Photo: Nayelli Rivera

In Mexico, Nayelli Rivera will study the pollination capacity and foraging habitat of the lesser long-nosed bat in relationship to pitaya fruit. She hopes that her work will help direct sustainable, bat-friendly, growth of the pitaya industry.

“I am very thankful with the BCI Scholarship because it will allow that the project of conservation of the lesser long-nosed bat in central Mexico come true,” writes Rivera, who also received the Merlin Tuttle Award, which is granted to a student whose work addresses a critically important bat conservation issue.

In India, Kadambari Deshpande will be investigating fruit bats; in particular, the benefits of seed dispersal versus the potential risk of disease.

“I am delighted to have received the Student Research Scholarship from Bat Conservation International and also the Verne & Marion Read Bat Conservation Honor,” writes Deshpande.
“This award means a lot to me as it will help complete a major component of my PhD research.”

Deshpande received the Read Family Honor, which is awarded to a student who inspires education and community action to protect bats around the world, as well as addressing critical conservation needs.

“I am always encouraged and inspired by the quality of proposals submitted by students working on bat conservation around the world,” remarks BCI Chief Scientist, Winifred Frick. “Students dedicated to rigorous science and conservation of bats is the future we need for global bat conservation and protecting bat biodiversity around the world.”

Congratulations to all of our 2019 scholarship recipients

Recipient: Kadambari Deshpande
Project Title: Forbidden fruits? Understanding tradeoffs between seed-aggregation benefits and costs of disease risk from fruit bats
Project Location: India
Special Recognition: Verne & Marion Read Bat Conservation Award


Recipient: Junior Novera
Project Title: Conservation of Bats on Bougainville, Papua New Guinea
Project Location: Papua New Guinea


Recipient: Samantha Hoff
Project Title: Investigating Survival Mechanisms of Remnant Northern Long-eared Bat Populations
Project Location: USA


Recipient: Nayelli Rivera
Project Title: Pollination capacity and foraging behavior of Leptonycteris yerbabuenae in pitayas (Stenocereus queretaroensis) in central Mexico
Project Location: Mexico
Special Recognition: Merlin Tuttle Award


Recipient: Alexander Holm
Project Title: Establishing the diet and foraging habitat of the Endangered Mauritian free-tailed bat (Mormopterus acetabulosus)
Project Location: Mauritius


Recipient: Stanimira Deleva
Project Title: Nutrient contribution of cave bat colonies to surface ecosystems in the Paleotropics
Project Location: Malaysia


Recipient: Diogo Ferreira
Project Title: Putting a price in the menu: evaluating bat ecosystem services in African cocoa plantations
Project Location: Cameroon

Recipient: Amanda Vicente-Santos
Project Title: Human disturbance effects in ecosystem health of cave-dwelling bat communities in Costa Rica
Project Location: Costa Rica

Recipient: Enée Morais
Project Title: Cocoa plantations within forested landscapes: the response of two frugivorous bat species to a gradient
Project Location: Brazil