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Biology Prof Awarded Federal Grant for Bat Research

April 24, 2017

Dr. Loren Ammerman of the Angelo State University biology faculty has been awarded a $26,998 grant sub-award by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to participate in a two-year research project dedicated to protecting an endangered bat species native to Southwest Texas.

<strong>Dr. Loren Ammerman</strong>Dr. Loren AmmermanAmmerman’s sub-award is part of a larger $87,000 grant to Bat Conservation International from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The grant will fund the two-year project titled “Binational Conservation of an Endangered Pollinator: Research, Protection and Recovery for the Mexican Long-Nosed Bat.” 

Along with her graduate student research assistant, Roxy Pourshoushtari of Gaithersburg, Md., Ammerman will join a bi-national, multi-institutional team of investigators to engage in critical research, assessment/planning, and conservation action for the Mexican long-nosed bat, which has been listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1988. 

<strong>Mexican long-nosed bat</strong>Mexican long-nosed batThe Mexican long-nosed bat is essential for the pollination of plants in Southwest Texas, southern New Mexico, and northern/central Mexico, including several species of cacti and the agave plant used to make tequila. Some Mexican tequila producers are even trying to promote the conservation of the species by using “bat friendly” labels to indicate they are using management practices that enhance the survival of the “tequila bats.” Ammerman and Pourshoushtari will focus on the bat’s roosting sites in and around Emory Cave in Big Bend National Park. 

An ASU professor of biology, Ammerman is one of the foremost researchers on the bats of Texas. She has been awarded numerous grants to support her research, mentors both undergraduate and graduate student research projects, and has collaborated with other researchers across the U.S. She has also conducted field studies in Mexico, Costa Rica and Malaysian Borneo, as well as in Ecuador, where she helped one of her graduate students discover a new species of bat that has since been officially named Eumops wilsoni, or Wilson’s bonneted bat. She has published numerous research articles in various scientific journals and also co-authored the book “The Bats of Texas” that was published in 2012. 

In addition to her teaching and research, Ammerman is curator of the Frozen Tissues Collection in the Angelo State Natural History Collections and is a member of the Texas Society of Mammalogists, American Society of Mammalogists and North American Society for Bat Research. She holds a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Texas at Austin.

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