In January, Amy Wray joined the Gratton lab to work on a multi-disciplinary study examining the agro-ecological consequences of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) on bats in Wisconsin. In partnership with the Peery Lab and the Wisconsin DNR, this project will include acoustic monitoring of bat activity, next-generation sequencing of bat guano collected by citizen scientists, and insect trapping of natural enemies and agricultural pests. Welcome Amy!
Hi Amy, where are you from?
San Diego, California
What was your past research about?
In the past, my research focused broadly on disease ecology, with recent projects such as 1)Avian cholera in California and 2)Viral surveillance and bloodmeal identification in common vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus)
What will you be working on in the Gratton lab?
My current research will use next-generation sequencing (NGS) to determine the diets of insectivorous bats in Wisconsin, with particular focus on the two most abundant species — the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) and the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus).
Where can we find you when not at work?
in the bat cave
What are you looking forward to doing in Madison?
I am most of all looking forward to being part of a super innovative collaboration between the Entomology and Wildlife Ecology departments, and I’m also excited to be working with awesome citizen scientists throughout the state of Wisconsin.
What’s your favorite insect?
My favorite insects are the leafcutter ants, because their behavior is so fascinating and they also look extremely cute working together as a team.