Bat Conservation International announces 2022 Student Scholars Awards that supports a community of bat researchers around the world.

2022 BCI Student Scholar, Laura Torrent

Bat Conservation International announces 2022 Student Scholars Awards that supports a community of bat researchers around the world.

AUSTIN, TX (Feb 17, 2022) – Bat Conservation International (BCI) announces the selection of its 2022 Student Scholars which recognizes 13 emerging graduate student researchers for their potential to significantly contribute to global bat conservation. The scholars and their research projects are based in 12 countries: Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Paraguay, South Africa, and the United States.

The BCI Student Scholars Program has awarded more than $1.2 million to 373 emerging scholars since it began. The program has been vital in advancing research on bats and has united a strong community of researchers around the world, according to Dr. Amanda Adams, BCI’s Conservation Research Program Manager.

“Globally, threats to bats include accelerating climate changes, habitat loss, invasive species, and other stresses,” notes Adams. “While solutions for protecting the world’s more than 1,400 bat species can often be shared and adapted, conservation progress relies on bat-specific and location-specific knowledge and research.”

One project this year is expected to document an enigmatic, rarely seen bat species in Equatorial Guinea; another project will chronicle bat species in the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalayas of India; other projects will examine the genetics of bats in the Galapagos, bat diversity in Ghana, and the roosting patterns of cave-dwelling bats in Nepal. 

“We believe that all of the 13 selected scholarship awardees will be vital for the future of bat conservation. Just as important, we believe diverse perspectives from diverse cultures are essential,” says Adams. 

Applicants were required to submit proposals that addressed one of three conservation challenges: understanding human-caused environmental changes on bats, resolving bat and human conflicts, and collecting data that can inform conservation practices regarding globally imperiled bat species.

In addition to the 2022 award recipients, Bat Conservation International also honors:

  • Eluid Omusotsi from Kenya has received the 2022 Verne & Marion Read Bat Conservation Honor
  • Sanjeev Baniya from Nepal received the Thomas H. Kunz Innovation in Bat Research Honor
  • María Elena Torres Ruiz Díaz from Paraguay was honored with the Women in Science Award
  • Cecilia Montauban from Peru was honored with the Promoting Diversity in Conservation Award for her project in Ghana
  • Veli Mdluli from South Africa and Mallory Davies from the United States were both received special recognition for their proposed contributes to conservation evidence

2022 Bat Conservation International Student Scholars

Scholar: Priscila Carlos
Project: Bat-plant interaction networks across a gradient of forest loss and fragmentation in the Brazilian Cerrado

Scholar: Elyce Gosselin
Project: Ecology and conservation genetics of the Galapagos bats

Scholar: Cecilia Montauban
Project: Who’s adapting to change? Unraveling the role of cryptic bat diversity in shifting African ecosystems
Special Honor: Promoting Diversity in Conservation Award

Scholar: Laura Torrent
Project: The enigmatic Badger Bat and other fantastic beasts: understanding Equatorial Guinea’s bat diversity

Scholar: Thangsuanlian Naulak
Project: Bats of Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya: effect of forest patch sizes on species diversity

Scholar: Eluid Omusotsi
Project: Using native languages and intergenerational learning tools to appreciate human-bat relationships around Kakamega Forest, Kenya.
Special Award: Verne & Marion Read Bat Conservation Honor

Scholar: Anecia Gentles
Project: Determining the role of cross-species overlap as drivers of Henipavirus persistence

Scholar: Sanjeev Baniya
Project: Hibernation roost selection and winter activity of cave-dwelling bats along an elevational gradient
Special Award:  Thomas H. Kunz Innovation in Bat Research Honor

Scholar: Elijah Okwuonu
Project: Parasite diversity and conservation of cave-dwelling bats in Enugu State, Nigeria

Scholar: María Elena Torres Ruiz Díaz
Project: Monitoring of bats in two green areas of the Metropolitan Area of Asunción,  Paraguay.
Special Honor: Women in Science Award

South Africa
Scholar: Veli Mdluli
Project: Quantifying the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on bat communities in a montane grassland ecosystem
Special Honor: Conservation Evidence Special Recognition

United States
Scholar: Mallory Davies
Project: Assessing drivers of long-nosed bat movement at the northern extent of their range
Special Honor: Conservation Evidence Special Recognition

United States
Scholar: Carlos Linares
Project: Light pollution as a structuring force for bat communities: an experimental and mechanistic investigation

About Bat Conservation International
Founded in 1982, Bat Conservation International (BCI) is a global wildlife conservation organization dedicated to ending bat extinctions. Working with international partners, the mission of BCI is to conserve the world’s bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet. For more information, visit

Media Contact: Javier Folgar
Tel: 512.327.9721 ext. 410