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Angelo State Biology Prof’s Bat Research Published in Scientific Journal

October 17, 2019

Dr. Loren Ammerman of the Angelo State University biology faculty has teamed with two of her students and three other researchers from Cameron University to publish the results of their research on Eastern red bats in the Journal of Heredity, the flagship publication of the American Genetic Association.

Research Subject: The Eastern Red BatResearch Subject: The Eastern Red BatTheir research project is titled “High Frequency of Multiple Paternity in Eastern Red Bats, Lasiurus borealis, Based on Microsatellite Analysis.” Ammerman is the lead author for the article of the same title published in the September 2019 issue of the Journal of Heredity. The project was funded through ASU’s Faculty Research Enhancement Program.

According to the article abstract, most species of bats give birth to only one pup each year, although Eastern red bats can produce up to five pups per litter. Among their test subjects, 71% of the parent/offspring groups consisted of half-siblings, denoting multiple paternity in the litters.

Their conclusions included, “This frequency of multiple paternity is the highest reported thus far for any bat species. High levels of multiple paternity have the potential to impact interpretations of genetic estimates of effective population size in this species. Further, multiple paternity might be an adaptive strategy to allow for increased genetic variation and large litter size, which would be beneficial to a species threatened by population declines from wind turbines.”

Ammerman’s research partners include:

  • Sydney Decker of San Angelo, graduate student, ASU
  • Samuel Harrison of Abilene, graduate student, ASU
  • Dana Lee, Assistant Professor, Cameron University (ASU alumna)
  • Brittney Jones, student, Cameron University
  • Morgan Holt, student, Cameron University

Dr. Loren AmmermanDr. Loren AmmermanAn 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 and has collaborated with other researchers across the U.S. She has also conducted field studies in Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Malaysian Borneo. She has published numerous other research articles in various scientific journals and also co-authored the book, “The Bats of Texas,” that was published in 2012. Earlier this year, she combined with three ASU alumni researchers and two researchers from the Centers for Disease Control to publish the first-ever “Field Identification Key and Guide for Bats of the United States of America.”

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

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