Claire Wordley (UK)

For the past four years  Claire  has had the great fortune to study bats in the Western Ghats of India. As a PhD student she has  been based between her  primary institution – the University of Leeds in the UK – and the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, as well as at her  field site in Valparai, Tamil Nadu, run by Nature Conservation Foundation. Her  primary supervisor has been John Altringham, and my co-supervisor has been Mahesh Sankaran.

Her doctoral work is focused on providing good ecological data to identify bat species at risk from habitat conversion, and assess the conservation value of forest fragments, different plantation types and riparian corridors in an agricultural landscape.  She believes  that solid science is necessary to undertake evidence-based conservation interventions.

Her work in the region  will encourage the use of acoustic monitoring of bats. Her work   includes  a variety of topics from comparing methodologies for studying bats to habitat suitability modelling and functional diversity analyses, and will all focus on understanding the responses of bats to different habitat types in an agricultural landscape.

She is  passionate about proving our understanding of bat ecology through good quality science, and supporting evidence-based conservation. She has been working locally with articles in The Hindu, in local  Schools,  and posters for a public exhibition on the Western Ghats. She hopes  to continue this work after  her PhD.

Other than ecology and conservation  she  enjoys  travelling, hiking, rock-climbing, reading and will grab a snorkel mask or scuba tank at every opportunity.