May 2023Congratulations to Meagan Owens, who received this year’s NAU Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Inquiry & Creativity!
April 2023Congratulations to Dr. Faith Walker, who has been promoted to Associate Research Professor!
March 2023Savannah Marriott is our new Research Assistant. Welcome to the team, Savannah!
February 2023Congratulations to Emma Federman for winning the award for the best poster at The Wildlife Society AZ/NM Conference!
January 2023Welcome to the team, Emma Liebig and Kiera Majzner!
November 2022Dan Sanchez presented our eDNA work at The Wildlife Society Conference in Spokane, WA.
October 2022Our paper describing eDNA detection of an endangered bat from flowers is published.
September 2022Anna Riley received a Jean Shuler Mini Grant.
August 2022Welcome PhD student, Morgan Hughes! Congratulations on your NSF Research Fellowship.
July 2022Our paper showing eDNA detection of the endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse is published in Environmental DNA.
June 2022Our Species from Feces program has identified a new bat species, Myotis velifer, for the state of Colorado!
May 2022Congratulations on a successful dissertation defense, Dr. Daniel Sanchez!
April 2022Congratulations to Meagan Owens, who was awarded an NAU Office of Undergraduate Research Mini-Grant.
March 2022:Our Species from Feces program has identified a new bat species, Myotis ciliolabrum, for the state of Minnesota!
February 2022:Welcome to the team, Anna Riley, our new Undergraduate Researcher!
January 2022:We used DNA metabarcoding to determine the diet of the threatened northern Mexican gartersnake!
December 2021:Welcome to the team, Emma Froehlich, our new Research Technician!
November 2021:Congratulations to Dan Sanchez for a successful doctoral dissertation defense! Dr. Sanchez will start a postdoc in our lab in January.
October 2021:Welcome to the team, Meagan Owens, our new undergraduate researcher!
September 2021:Check out our new video for Species from Feces!
July 2021:Faith Walker receives an Arizona Dept of Health Services ABRC grant for rabies research! This grant will be using feces for rabies surveillance.
June 2021:Emma Federman is our new undergraduate researcher. Welcome to the team, Emma!
May 2021:Jordyn Upton receives the Keim Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, which rewards student dedication and leadership to the pursuit of future research.
April 2021:Jacque Lyman receives NAU's President's Prize, the highest honor an undergraduate at NAU can receive. Further, Jacque is also awarded an outstanding research award at NAU's Undergraduate Symposium for her lizard project.
March 2021:Jordyn Upton and Jacque Lyman are to receive one of NAU's most celebrated undergraduate awards, the Gold Axe Award.
February 2021:Dan Sanchez receives the AZTWS Roger Hungerford Student Award for significant contributions to the management and conservation of Arizona’s wildlife. Read more...
Welcome to the Bat Ecology & Genetics Lab
Our mission is to leverage genetic approaches for global bat species conservation.
Bats are the second most diverse and abundant mammalian order, but probably the least understood due to their cryptic biology. Because bats fly, most are small-bodied and nocturnal, and many travel great distances nightly or annually, they have until recently been difficult to study. New genetic tools are key to unraveling the secrets of bats and thereby assisting conservation efforts. Our Species from Feces Initiative reliably identifies bat species from around the world from guano, and has generated considerable interest from federal and state agencies, mining and wind companies, and internationally-focused NGOs. Our success with bats has led us to take additional taxa under our wing for species and diet identification from feces.
The searchable database on our website allows users to determine the power of our assay for identifying bat species that interest them. The Species from Feces tool has immediate application in the U.S., where bats are under threat from White-Nose Syndrome, and is also useful globally with the ability to identify over 90% of bat species for which genetic information is available. Please see our 2016 and 2019 papers.
Who We Are
We are a team of bat ecologists, wildlife geneticists, bioinformaticians, graduate and undergraduate students, genetics research specialists, and field technicians. We develop and use emerging genetic approaches to better understand bats and other taxa. Species from Feces is a powerful tool for these difficult-to-study mammals, in a time of great conservation need.