Every night bats leave their roosts to fly through the skies of Ohio, each individual eating many times its own body weight in insects on a given night. While there are currently 13 species of bats that call Ohio home, habitat change and fungal infections imperile local bat populations. Tonight’s talk will introduce you to the life history and biodiversity of this group of mammals, while introducing you to leading-edge techniques of biodiversity discovery.
Research in the Carstens lab in the Museum of Biological Diversity at The Ohio State University investigates the evolutionary history of a wide range of animals (bats, frogs, lizards, shrews, voles, and slugs) using genomic data. Much of their work is motivated by the discovery of cryptic species, defined as groups of individuals that are outwardly similar in their appearance but very different genetically. These genetic differences reflect the unique evolutionary history of the cryptic species, and their recognition aids efforts to conserve species and protect biodiversity for future generations.
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