AcademicHi! I am bat researcher. I am heading to the bat cave in search of pregnant vampires for my study on vampire evolution! AMA!
Jan 22nd 2017 by salinas_nerd • 14 Questions • 74 Points
I am one of a handful of scientists studying bat development. I am in the field of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). I am earning my PhD and I am trying to finish up my thesis so I can graduate and start my very own BAT LAB!!! To this end, I am currently running a crowdfunding campaign (ends Feb. 9th) for my vampire bat project (and I've already received 19% in funding, yay!). If interested in having an impact on research, please go to my page for more information on suggested donations: -->https://experiment.com/vampires
About my bat research project: In my lab, I study bat faces, how they evolve and how they develop. I specialize in neotropical leaf-nosed bats, which have a bizarre form of echolocation! They produce their echolocation calls out of their nose! What is really cool about the leaf-nosed bats, is that they have specialized to eat many different food types: insects, meat, fruit, pollen, nectar and EVEN BLOOD! Blood feeding in vampire bats is an amazing evolutionary novelty, no other vertebrate feeds exclusively on blood. Vampires have many unique adaptations for blood feeding and without a host, they will die, there is no alternative food source for a vampire. My question I seek to answer is: How do vampire faces originate? I use the development of the vampire face to directly observe what genes and developmental processes shape the face!
I look forward to any and all batty related questions or comments <*>
My Proof: https://flic.kr/p/R8vvss
What is this about crowdfunding experiments?
Experiment.com is a crowdfunding platform for research. The proposed project I have is to make a reference transcriptome for one species of bat, the common vampire bat. The idea for the crowdfunding is to generate funds for an experiment. As a grad student, there are alternative ways to get grant funding, but the more options you can have to generate for funds, the better! The crowdfunding sell, I guess, is to involve more people with your research. From the webpage "Scientists share progress, data, and results directly with backers, many widely available as open access and citeable. As a backer, you'll be able to see how much of a scientific impact you've made."
The majority of my research is funded by my own funding, through the NSF-DDIG and small grants here and there. Since I am still in the process of publishing my prior bat work with my advisor, we have not landed a big grant for bat only research, it will happen eventually fingers crossed.
Why I need your help:
I don't have many people to turn to for this type of crowdfunding.
My project is part of the "Evolution Challenge Grant", so the project with the most pledges is awarded the grant! I need help with this! I have 15 backers and the competition ends Jan. 25! The current person is leading with 21 backers.
Please help me to raise funds for my bat lab research on vampire bats. Even if you do not directly contribute, it would be so helpful to share my project with your family, friends, and teachers back home who may be interested in directly contributing to a research project. I need all the help I can get. Thank you for taking the time to read through this and I hope you can follow me on my twitter account (@batevodevo) for bat field updates!!!
I am Chicana in my department (evolutionary biology). I proudly marched for "SCIENCE IS THE FUTURE" in the Boston's Women's March, but really I want to see a more inclusive SCIENCE community. We will get there.
I grew up impoverished (Salinas, CA (93905 zip)), so my family and teachers back home struggle. My community has to deal with shootings and other gang activities, so while my family and past teachers have been helping to spread the word on my project, there isn't much urgency to support science.
I checked ur proof pic and noticed you have very batlike features. Not unattractive, just more similar to a bat then I would expect from random chance, especially the eyes. Considering you are also a bat researcher, it seems like to much of a coincidence. Care to reveal any genetic testing/alternations/hybridization that you may have underwent?
Thanks! I always try to have my batty-self come through:)
All mammals share in the ways they make a face:same genes, same cells (neural crest), same process (growth and fusion of facial prominences) to name a few. While most mammals and bats have snouts, humans and some bats do not!
It is great that you pointed to the eyes, it is often never realized that some bats have large eyes (like the cute flying foxes).
I have always loved studying mammals, even if it was just looking up photos and facts from library books. My fav. mammal as a kid was the cheetah, it is a beautiful animal. After owning a cat and dog, I started to appreciate how expressive animal faces were. I felt I could recognize certain emotional states just by looking at my dogs face (not so much for my cat, other than the eye narrowing!). Over time my interest went from animal behavior-->brain function-->brain development-->face development. I really like the Darwin's finch evolution story and I wanted to write the story about diverse mammalian faces. I learned about how diverse in diet leaf-nosed bats were, and it was easy to tell from the faces what they were eating! I saw the face of Macrotus waterhousii and I was in love:) https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/58/77/1c/58771c8f0b79f54315d2485774fd08f1.jpg