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Craig Willis

e-dition November 15, 2007

Reaching Out Through Research:
Craig Willis

Craig Willis, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology and Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research (C-FIR), will be speaking about The Secret Side of Wildlife: Ecology, Physiology and Conservation of Manitoba’s most Enigmatic Mammals at the next Brown Bag Research Lecture.

Monday, November 19, 2007
12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Room 3C01

The Brown Bag Lecture Series is sponsored by the Office of the Vice-President (Research & Graduate Studies). The event is open to the general public and everyone is welcome to bring their lunch.

A synposis of what Willis will be speaking about at the next Brown Bag Research Lecture:

For most of us the word “wildlife” evokes thoughts of large-bodied carnivores or antlered herbivores but most wildlife species are small, secretive and rarely encountered. This seminar will address the ecological importance, fascinating physiology and conservation biology of two groups of Manitoba’s most enigmatic wildlife: insect-eating bats and shrews.

Bats and Shrews
Although most people have never seen either up close, at some sites in Manitoba, they can be the most abundant mammals. We are studying bats and shrews as model organisms to address key questions in evolutionary biology and ecology, including ideas about how evolution affects body size, the physiological bases of lifespan in mammals (including humans), and predictions about climate change impacts on geographic distributions and competitive interactions between species.

Few data exist on the conservation status of shrews but we know that many bat species are declining worldwide due to a range of human impacts. Most recently, alarming rates of bat mortality have been recorded at industrial-scale wind farms across North America and Europe. The seminar will also address University of Winnipeg research aimed at understanding and mitigating this impact so we can protect wildlife populations and ensure the sustainable development of an important renewable energy source.

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