March 2021: I was very pleased to receive a Berlin University Alliance (BUA) grant to establish a ‘Comparative Urban ecology Research Training (CURT)’ program together with Amy Hahs and Nick Williams from the University of Melbourne and Sascha Buchholz (TU Berlin) and Jonathan Jeschke (FU Berlin). The program aims to foster shared learning among young scientists in urban ecology and to identify collaborative opportunities of future challenges for urban biodiversity. Being trained in urban ecology at the University of Melbourne I am very much looking forward to this opportunity! Further, from the 22nd-24th March was the 6th International Berlin Bat Meeting (IBBM) which I co-organized together with Christian Voigt on the topic: The Human Perspective on Bats. Over three days, we listened to great research from bats and viruses, to ecosystem services, wildlife trafficking, bats in anthropogenic landscapes, human dimensions and conservation marketing. On our fourth day, Diogo Veríssimo and Ewan Macdonald introduced us in their excellent half-day workshop into conservation marketing.
October 2020: We started a new project on ‘Bat conservation and Storytelling’ which brings together two of my passions. Together with a linguistic researcher, we want to get a better understanding what narratives some of the frequently told or even personal bat stories transport. We intend to share what we learned with the bat community. Let’s see what we find!
September 2020: We published a letter (lead by Ricardo Rocha) about a research agenda to prevent misguided persecution in the aftermath of COVID-19 in Animal Conservation. It was very nice to be part of this list of co-authors ranging from conservation scientists to virologists. Further, I will present again during the webinar series of ‘Bats without borders’ on the 23rd September about ‘Human Dimensions of Bat Conservation’. The list of webinars from ‘Bats without borders’ can be found here.
August 2020: Webinar month! Together with GBatNet, Tigga Kingston, Joanna Coleman and Ewan Macdonald we organized a webinar about bats in the media. Four excellent panelists (Liliana Dàvalos, Alex Morss, Adam Hart and Tigga Kingston) and a superb host (Dan Riskin) were providing advice about how to ensure balanced and acurate reporting. If you missed it (it was actually on the 31st July), you can find it here. Christian Voigt and I were also invited by ‘Bats without borders’ to give a webinar on the 12th August about bats and wind energy. Bats without borders is an organization dedicated to conserving bats, biodiversity and healthy ecosystems within southern Africa’s changing landscapes. Every second Wednesday, they are running a webinar on specific topics related to bat conservation and to share current research methods and findings. Upcoming webinars can be found here.
July 2020: We published the second part of our online survey with stakeholders involved in the wind turbine development in Energy Reports: ‘The human dimensions of a green-green-dilemma: Lessons learned from the wind energy-wildlife conflict in Germany‘. I also took on my first role as a review editor on the Editorial Board on Human-Wildlife Conflicts and Coexistence (the new speciality section of Frontiers in Conservation Science). Really looking forward to this new role and interesting studies which will be published in this new section! July was also a conference month and we presented at the virtual ISSRM 2020 on urban cemeteries and native and non/native species in urban areas.
February 2020: I joined the Bridging in Biodiversity Science (BIBS) project as an associate researcher. More about BIBS can be found here.
January 2020: Nice start of the new year by travelling to lake Chiemsee in Bavaria and presenting at the German Bat Research Meeting 2020 about our stakeholder study of the ‘green-green dilemma’. I started working with bats in 2007 at lake Chiemsee, so it was a bit nostalgic to be back there. If you ever find yourself at lake Chiemsee: there is a bat exhibition on the Herreninsel! Worthwhile to see!
November 2019: I gave a talk at the conference of the bat working group Lower Saxony in the beautiful castle Mansfeld about the benefits of understanding people for bat conservation (Conservation Social Sciences and Bat Conservation).
November 2019: Joined another wonderful event by Soapbox Science Berlin as a speaker. This time it was in collaboration with Mind the Lab and we shared our research in Berlin metro stations.
September 2019: Maarten Jacobs, Sophia Kochalski, Lysanne Snijders and I organized together a session called ‘Human-wildlife interactions: coming from both sides’ at the WRC 2019 in Berlin.
July 2019: I gave my very first keynote presentation at the IBRC in Thailand called ‘All eyes on bats – Why understanding people benefits bat conservation’. Thanks to Paul Bates and Pipat Soisook, I had the opportunity to talk about the topic I am mostly passionate about: Human Dimensions of Wildlife; and in this specific context of course about bats! A short clip about the conference can be found here.
February 2019: Lysanne Snijders and I started together a blog called Exploring Conservation Conflicts. With this blog, we want to explore conservation conflicts from various perspectives, including Conservation Biology, Moral Philosophy & Human Dimensions. If you are keen to explore with us conservation conflicts from different angles, feel free to follow our blog. We are also on Twitter.
December 2018: From the 13th to 14th December 2018, I joined the 2nd international CCME conference in the Golan Heights in Israel. Speakers and guests from the US, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Jordan, and Palestinian Territories joined this conference to discuss the issues we face with co-existence with wildlife; particularly wolves. Here is also an article of National Geographic about the conference: National Geographic Conference
November 2018: On 16th November 2018, I was part of the Story Telling Show by Diane Neiman: ‘Gravity: encounters with uncontrollable forces‘. One week after the official science week, 8 scientists from different disciplines were on stage to share a personal story about their life in science. My story: ‘Confessions of a bat lover’ in which I spoke about my love for bats, working together with like minded people and traveling the world; but also the challenges that a life in academia can hold.
September 2018: From 16th to 19th September 2018, I joined the conference ‘Pathways Europe: Resurrecting the wild!?‘ in Goslar on which I gave a talk about the roles of emotions and cognitions for the acceptability of wolf management actions and chaired the session ‘Wolf Management and Policy ‘B”. The abstract book can be found here.
April 2018: City Nature Challenge, Berlin: my colleagues (Anne Berger and Sarah Kiefer) and I presented our work on urban wildlife and citizen science at the IZW as part of the City Nature Challenge in Berlin.