Scientific programme

Preliminary programme

Monday 22.03.2021

09:00 – 09:45

Plenary talk by Felix Drexler (Charité Berlin, Germany) on ‘Bat coronaviruses’

09:45 – 10:30

Session: Bat coronaviruses; Chairperson: Victor Corman (Charité Berlin, Germany)

10:30 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 – 11:45

Plenary talk by Jon Epstein (EcoHealth Alliance, USA) on ‘Bat health and human health’

11:45 – 12.30

Session: Bat health and One health; Chairpersons: Fabian Leendertz (Robert Koch Institute, Germany), Kendra Phelps (EcoHealth Alliance, USA)

12:30 – 14:00

Lunch break

14:00 – 14:45

Plenary talk by Tigga Kingston (Texas Tech University, USA) on ‘Covid-19 and bat conservation’

14:45 – 16:00

Session: Covid-19 and bat conservation; Chairperson: Tigga Kingston (Texas Tech University, USA) 

16:00 – 17:00

Panel discussion

17:00 – 17:30

Coffee break

17:30 – 19:00

Poster session

Tuesday 23.03.2021

08:30 – 09:15

Plenary talk by Susan Tsang (Smithsonian Research Institution, USA) onKilling, culling, hunting and trading of bats’

09:15 – 10:15

Session: Wildlife Trafficking; Chairpersons: Tigga Kingston (Texas Tech University, USA), Susan Tsang (Smithsonian Research institution, USA)

10:15 – 10:45

Coffee break

10:45 – 11:30

Plenary talk by Tanja Straka (Technical University of Berlin, Germany) on ‘Human dimensions of bat conservation

11:30 – 12:00

Session: Human dimensions of bat conservation; Chairperson: Joanna Coleman (National University of Singapore, Singapore)

12:00 – 13:30

Lunch break

13:30 - 14:15

Plenary talk by Kirsten Jung (Ulm University, Germany) on ‘Bats in Anthropogenic Landscapes’

14:15 – 15:00

Session: Bats in anthropogenic landscapes; Chairpersons: Fiona Mathews (University of Sussex, UK), Leonardo Ancilotto (University of Naples, Italy)

15:00 – 15:30

Coffee break

15:30 – 16:15

Plenary talk by Rudolf de Groot (Wageningen University, The Netherlands) on ‘Ecosystem services

16:15 – 17:30

Session: Ecosystem services; Chairperson: Ricardo Rocha (University of Porto, Portugal)

Wednesday 24.03.2021

08:30 – 09:00

Plenary talk by Heidi L. Ballard (University of California at Davies, USA) on ‘Citizen Science’

09:00 – 10:15

Session: Citizen Science and Bats; Chairpersons: Niamh Roche (Bat Conservation Ireland), Daniel Lewanzik (Leibniz-IZW, Germany)

10:15 – 10:45

Coffee break

10:45 – 11:45

Session: Human interventions; Chairpersons: Winifred Frick (Bat Conservation International, USA), Herman Limpens (Dutch Mammal Society, The Netherlands)

11:45 – 13:00

Lunch break

13:00 – 13:30

Plenary talk by Diogo Veríssimo (Oxford University, UK) on ‘Conservation Marketing’

13:30 – 14:45

Session: Conservation Marketing; Chairperson: Ewan Macdonald (Oxford University, UK)

14:45 – 15:00

Closing ceremony/awards


End of Conference


Plenary speakers

We have invited the following speakers to provide insights into their respective fields of research:

  • Prof. Dr. Felix Drexler on Bat coronaviruses. Prof. Dr. Drexler is associate professor at the Institute of Virology at Charité Berlin, Germany.
  • Prof. Dr. Rudolf de Groot on Ecosystem services. Prof. Dr. de Groot is an associate professor in integrated ecosystem assessment and management with the Environmental Systems Analysis Group at Wageningen University, the Netherlands.
  • Prof. Dr. Heidi L. Ballard on Citizen science. Prof. Dr. Ballard is an associate professor at the University of California, Davies, USA and Founder and Faculty Director of the Center for Community and Citizen Science.
  • Dr. Susan Tsang on Killing, culling, hunting and trading of bats. Dr. Tsang is a Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of the Philippines and founder of the consulting company ‘Biodiversitas Global LLS’.
  • Dr. Kirsten Jung on Bats in anthropogenic landscapes. Dr. Jung is a Research Asssociate at the Institute Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Genomics (Ulm University, Germany).
  • Dr. Tanja Straka on Human dimensions of bat conservation. Dr. Straka is a research fellow at the Institute of Ecology, TU Berlin and former postdoctoral researcher at the IZW, Germany.
  • Dr. Diogo Veríssimo on Conservation marketing. Dr. Veríssimo is an Oxford Martin Fellow at Oxford University, UK and former David H. Smith Research Fellows at the Johns Hopkins University and the NGO Rare.
  • Dr. Jonathan Epstein on Bat health and human health. Dr. Epstein is vice-president for science and outreach of EcoHealth Alliance in New York, USA
  • Prof. Dr. Tigga Kingston on Covid-19 and bat conservation. Prof. Kingston is Professor at the Department of Biological Sciences and Research Associate at the Museum of Texas Tech University, USA.

Tentative list of sessions

Ecosystem services
Bats provide important ecosystem services, such as consumption of (pest) insects, seed dispersal or pollination. These ecosystem services provided by bats are often investigated in agricultural or forested landscapes (e.g. pest insect control), while we still have little knowledge about them in other landscapes such as in urban areas (e.g. urban wetlands or community gardens). This session addresses the services provided by bats to people and ecosystems in different landscapes.
Chair: Ricardo Rocha (University of Porto)

Bat health and One health
Diseases caused by pathogens may extirpate local bat populations as exemplified by the fungal pathogen causing White-Nose Syndrome in North America. However, pathogens are not only a risk to bats, but bat originated pathogens may pose a threat to humans as well. This session addresses research on bat health from a conservation perspective but also from the health perspective of humans when it comes to bats.
Chair: Fabian Leendertz (Robert Koch Institute, Germany), Kendra Phelps (EcoHealth Alliance, USA)

Wildlife trafficking
Worldwide, humans kill bats for food, for trading, and as a result of perceived nuisance and conflict, resulting in potentially negative consequences for local bat populations. This session explores the current status of the killing, culling, hunting and trading of bats on a global scale.
Chair: Tigga Kingston (Texas Tech University, USA), Susan Tsang (Smithsonian Research institution, USA)

Human dimensions of bat conservation
The study field ‘Human Dimensions of Wildlife (Management)’ investigates how humans feel and think about wildlife (management) as well as how people influence or are influenced by wildlife management decisions. This session highlights some of the commonly used theoretical or conceptual frameworks from the social sciences that can be used to shed light on generalities in human-bat conflicts and conservation. Further, we seek to present projects related to the human dimensions of bat conservation and management.
Chair: Joanna Coleman (National University of Singapore, Singapore)

Bats in anthropogenic landscapes
Bats live in urban areas worldwide. However, our understanding of why some bat species successfully adapt and survive in the urban environment and why others do not is limited. This session addresses the current knowledge on bats in urban areas, general trends, and explores next steps in studying the underlying mechanisms (e.g. morphological and behavioural traits) that enable certain bat species to successfully survive and thrive in the urban environment.
Chair: Fiona Mathews (University of Sussex, UK), Leonardo Ancillotto (University of Naples, Italy)

Human interventions
Worldwide, many bat species are endangered. Often, local populations or colonies benefit from conservation measures. These human interventions help to maintain not only local bat assemblages, but also biodiversity in general. However, some interventions fail and others prove to be efficient. Here, we focus on these human interventions and try to find recipes for the efficient protection of bats.
Chair: Winifred Frick (Bat Conservation International, U.S.A.), Herman Limpens (Zoogdiervereinigung, The Netherlands)

Citizen science and bats
Citizen science projects are increasing worldwide. This enables bat researchers to gather large sets of data while educating citizens in the process. Besides sharing lessons learned from bat citizen science projects, this session explores both sides: benefits of citizen science projects to bat conservation, and the impact of citizen science projects on people themselves.
Chair: Niamh Roche (Bat Conservation Ireland), Daniel Lewanzik (Leibniz-IZW, Germany)

Conservation marketing
Bat outreach programs can be found worldwide; mostly with the aim to improve public acceptance of bats and to promote bat conservation. Researchers increasingly explore how to effectively promote certain species, ranging from anthropomorphism, message framing, and story-telling, to conservation marketing. This session explores the state-of-the art knowledge of effective outreach strategies that can be useful for bat education.
Chair: Ewan Macdonald (Oxford University, UK)

Bat coronaviruses
Chair: Victor Corman (Charité Berlin, Germany)

Covid-19 and bat conservation
Chair: Tigga Kingston (Texas Tech University, USA) 

Post-Conference Workshop on Conservation Marketing

Attendees of the online conference will have the opportunity to sign in for a half-day webinar/online workshop on conservation marketing on 25th March 2021 (09:00-12:30 CET). Here is what Diogo Veríssimo and Ewan MacDonald, the two organizers of the workshop say about their workshop:

Human behaviour is at the heart of many problems in conservation, and so understanding the behaviour of people and how to influence them is of core importance for conservation practitioners. Social marketing provides a framework for the application of marketing tools and techniques to influence the behaviours of the target audience for the benefit of wider society. Social marketing approaches have been demonstrated to be effective across multiple domains including public health, safety and the environment, and increasingly in wildlife conservation. In this workshop Diogo Veríssimo and Ewan Macdonald will lead participants through the core principles of social marketing before offering the participants the opportunity to work through a practical case study exploring how these approaches might be applied to the conservation of the Mauritian fruit bat.

You may register for this workshop via our conference registration tool.

Reduced workshop fee: 30 Euro
Regular workshop fee: 45 Euro