6th International Berlin Bat Meeting: The human perspective on bats

23rd – 25th March 2020
Berlin, Germany

Conference venue:
Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus
Luisenstraße 58/59
10117 Berlin

Dear Colleagues,

We wish to extend a cordial invitation to you to participate in the 6th International Berlin Bat Meeting: The human perspective on bats to be held from 23rd to 25th March 2020 in Berlin, Germany.

With this conference, we would like to foster an exchange of ideas related to ‘human perspectives on bats’. We are especially keen on crossing disciplinary boundaries and hope that the discussion among bat biologists, social scientists, economists, ecologists, teachers, and conservationists will advance the field substantially. We suggest several exciting topics as sessions or workshops. In addition, we have invited plenary speakers to review novel applications and exciting developments in their respective research areas.

Registration and abstract submission is now open!

You may register at https://www.bayceer.uni-bayreuth.de/bat2020/en.

Early bird registration fees (until 15th September 2019):
Student fee: 140 Euro
Regular fee: 170 Euro

Late registration fees (after 15th September 2019):
Student fee: 160 Euro
Regular fee: 190 Euro

Deadline for submission of workshops and sessions: 1st August 2019

Deadline for abstract submission: 1st December 2019

You may submit abstracts for posters or oral presentations. Please note that time slots for oral presentations are limited and therefore oral presentations will be assigned on a competitive basis.


Plenary speakers

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

  • 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 Wildlife Trafficking . 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 and Management. Dr. Straka is a research fellow at the Institute of Ecology, TU Berlin and former postdoctoral researcher at the IZW.
  • 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, U.S.A.


Tentative list of sessions

Human Dimensions of Bat Conservation and Management
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.

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

Bat Health and Human Health (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 and Kendra Phelps

Killing, Culling, Hunting and Trading of Bats
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

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 and Leonardo Ancillotto

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 and Herman Limpens

Bat Citizen Science Projects
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

Bats and Outreach: From Message Framing to 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



We are looking forward to seeing you in Berlin in March 2020!

Christian C. Voigt, Tanja Straka and the batlab team
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin