Melissa Meierhofer

Melissa Meierhofer
University of Helsinki | HY · Finnish Museum of Natural History

Doctor of Philosophy

About

30
Publications
9,349
Reads
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268
Citations
Introduction
Broadly interested in bat behavior, ecology, and physiology. Currently funded by The Academy of Finland and Kone Foundation on a multi-year project focused on understanding how mixed-movement strategies of bats affect microbe diversity and abundance.
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - June 2020
University of Helsinki
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Fulbright-EDUFI fellowship.
November 2015 - present
Texas A&M University
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
January 2017 - August 2020
Texas A&M University
Field of study
  • Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences
January 2012 - January 2014
Bucknell University
Field of study
  • Animal Behavior
August 2007 - May 2011
Ripon College
Field of study
  • Psychobiology

Publications

Publications (30)
Article
Full-text available
An estimated 5.7 million or more bats died in North America between 2006 and 2012 due to infection with the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) that causes white-nose syndrome (WNS) during hibernation. The behavioral and physiological changes associated with hibernation leave bats vulnerable to WNS, but the persistence of bats within the conta...
Article
The tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus) is being reviewed for listing under the Endangered Species Act by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. It is also listed as a species of greatest conservation need by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department due to its susceptibility to white-nose syndrome (WNS) in other states. Several colonies of...
Article
Full-text available
Few studies have described winter microclimate selection by bats in the southern United States. This is of particular importance as the cold-adapted fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which causes the fatal bat disease white-nose syndrome (WNS), continues to spread into southern United States. To better understand the suitability of winter bat h...
Article
Full-text available
Predicting the emergence and spread of infectious diseases is critical for the effective conservation of biodiversity. White-nose syndrome (WNS), an emerging infectious disease of bats, has resulted in high mortality in eastern North America. Because the fungal causative agent Pseudogymnoascus destructans is constrained by temperature and humidity,...
Article
Full-text available
Subterranean ecosystems are among the most widespread environments on Earth, yet we still have poor knowledge of their biodiversity. To raise awareness of subterranean ecosystems, the essential services they provide, and their unique conservation challenges, 2021 and 2022 were designated International Years of Caves and Karst. As these ecosystems h...
Article
Brazil’s caves, home to diverse species and minerals, were stripped of protections by a recent presidential decree.
Article
White-nose syndrome (WNS) is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans and has led to the deaths of millions of North American bats since it was first documented in New York in 2006. Since the first cases were recorded, WNS has spread rapidly across North America and is now confirmed or suspected in 40 US states and seven Canadian provinces...
Article
The identification of bat colonies is essential to conserve and manage these globally threatened mammals. Caves offer potential roosting locations (hibernacula) to hibernating bat species; however, identifying regions where bat-occupied caves exist can be time-consuming. In Texas, caves are often on privately owned land, creating difficulties for a...
Article
Full-text available
Time and budgetary resources are often a limiting factor in the collection of large‐scale ecological data. If data collected by citizen scientists were comparable to data collected by researchers, it would allow for more efficient data collection over a broad geographic area. Here, we compare the quality of data on bat activity collected by citizen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Time and budgetary resources are often a limiting factor in the collection of large-scale ecological data. If data collected by citizen scientists were comparable to data collected by researchers, it would allow for more efficient data collection over a broad geographic area. Here, we compare the quality of data on bat activity collected by citizen...
Article
Full-text available
The 15th UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (COP15) will be held in Kunming, China in October 2021. Historically, CBDs and other multilateral treaties have either alluded to or entirely overlooked the subterranean biome. A multilateral effort to robustly examine, monitor, and incorporate the subterranean biome into future conservation targ...
Article
Full-text available
The 15th UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (COP15) will be held in Kunming, China in October 2021. Historically, CBDs and other multilateral treaties have either alluded to or entirely overlooked the subterranean biome. A multilateral effort to robustly examine, monitor, and incorporate the subterranean biome into future conservation targ...
Article
Full-text available
Natural hibernation sites used by bats in areas that lack cave features have long remained unresolved. To investigate hibernation site selection and winter activity of boreal bats, we recorded bat calls using passive acoustic monitoring at 16 sites in South-Western Finland. These sites included four rock outcrops with crevices and cave features, th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Predicting the emergence and spread of infectious diseases is critical for effective conservation of biodiversity. White-nose syndrome (WNS), an emerging infectious disease of bats, has resulted in high mortality in eastern North America. Because the fungal causative agent Pseudogymnoascus destructans is constrained by temperature and humidity, spr...
Article
Five decades ago, a landmark paper in Science titled The Cave Environment heralded caves as ideal natural experimental laboratories in which to develop and address general questions in geology, ecology, biogeography, and evolutionary biology. Although the 'caves as laboratory' paradigm has since been advocated by subterranean biologists, there are...
Preprint
Full-text available
Natural hibernation sites used by bats in areas that lack cave features have long remained unresolved. To investigate hibernation site selection and winter activity of boreal bats, we recorded bat calls using passive acoustic monitoring on 16 sites. These sites included four rock outcrops with crevices and cave features, three glacial erratics or b...
Article
Full-text available
There are few studies of day-roosting ecology of bats inhabiting the southernmost forests of South America, where cool summer temperatures and land management practices pose several challenges. The goal of the present study was to describe day-roosting habitats and patterns of thermoregulation in two bat species occurring on Tierra del Fuego, Myoti...
Preprint
Full-text available
There are few studies of day-roosting ecology of bats inhabiting the southernmost forests of South America, where cool summer temperatures and land management practices pose several challenges. The goal of the present study was to describe day-roosting habitats and patterns of thermoregulation in two bat species occurring on Tierra del Fuego, Myoti...
Article
Full-text available
Many North American bat species hibernate in both natural and artificial roosts. Although hibernacula can have high internal climate stability, they still retain spatial variability in their thermal regimes, resulting in various “microclimates” throughout the roost that differ in their characteristics (e.g., temperature and air moisture). These mic...
Article
Full-text available
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220839.].
Article
Bridges provide roost structures for bats in temperate regions of the US, including Texas, where Tadarida brasiliensis (Mexican Free-tailed Bats) are common occupants. In March 2018, we documented 1 Mexican Free-tailed Bat with Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungal causative agent of white-nose syndrome (WNS), in an artificial structure in Texas...
Article
Full-text available
Host responses to infection with novel pathogens are costly and require trade-offs among physiologic systems. One such pathogen is the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) that causes white-nose syndrome (WNS) and has led to mass mortality of hibernating bats in eastern North America. Although infection with Pd does not always result in death,...
Article
Full-text available
The devastating bat fungal disease, white-nose syndrome (WNS), does not appear to affect all species equally. To experimentally determine susceptibility differences between species, we exposed hibernating naïve little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus) and big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) to the fungus that causes WNS, Pseudogymnoascus destructans (P...
Article
Full-text available
Although aberrant coloration is known to occur in mammals, few records of the phenomenon exist in the literature for North American bats. Here we report on 2 leucistic Perimyotis subflavus (Tri-colored Bats) in Leon County, TX, that had a distinct white patch on their bodies. Our observation is the third documentation of leucism in Tri-colored Bats...
Article
Full-text available
Diseases that result in a regional loss of both species richness and genetic diversity highlight the importance of managing and building upon natural history collections. Occurrence data and specimen vouchers can supplement information regarding distribution and genetic diversity prior to the potential expansion into Texas of the emerging disease k...
Article
Full-text available
White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a fungal disease caused by Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) that affects bats during hibernation. Although millions of bats have died from WNS in North America, mass mortality has not been observed among European bats infected by the fungus, leading to the suggestion that bats in Europe are immune. We tested the hypoth...
Thesis
White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a disease that has caused the mass mortality of hibernating bat species. Since its first discovery in the winter of 2006-2007, an estimated five million bats or more have been killed. Although infection with Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd, the causative agent of WNS) does not always result in death, bats that survive...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Understanding the susceptibility of Texas winter-roosting bats to white-nose syndrome by documenting bat winter activity, species composition, distribution and the environmental conditions of roost sites across Texas.
Project
White-nose syndrome, caused by the virulent fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans is responsible for precipitous declines in bat populations in the Eastern United States. As the disease’s range spreads westward, researches are unsure of the limits of its western expansion. This project aims to establish baseline data on Texas cave bat populations and roost sites prior to the arrival of white-nose syndrome, characterize Texan environments at high risk of the disease, and monitor for the establishment of WNS in Texas.