Thomas M Lilley

Thomas M Lilley
University of Helsinki | HY · Finnish Museum of Natural History

PhD, Academy Research Fellow
Ecophysiologist, Bat ecologist, head of BatLab Finland.

About

93
Publications
26,817
Reads
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1,476
Citations
Citations since 2016
65 Research Items
1321 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
Introduction
I am an Academy Research Fellow (Academy of Finland) at the Finnish Museum of Natural History (Luomus). Besides working on increasing knowledge on Finnish bats and their ecology, my main research interests consist of studying factors leading to tolerance/resistance towards Pseudogymnoascus destructans (the causative agent of White Nose Syndrome) in European and North American Myotis-bats.
Additional affiliations
June 2018 - present
University of Helsinki
Position
  • Curator of Mammals
January 2017 - December 2018
University of Liverpool
Position
  • Marie Skłodowska Curie Research Fellow
September 2014 - October 2016
Bucknell University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Immune responses of bats to White Nose Syndrome.
Education
January 2007 - November 2012
University of Turku
Field of study
  • Ecology
September 2002 - March 2007
University of Turku
Field of study
  • Ecology
September 1999 - May 2002
University of Sussex
Field of study
  • Ecology and Conservtion

Publications

Publications (93)
Article
Full-text available
White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a fungal disease responsible for decimating many bat populations in North America. Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), the psychrophilic fungus responsible for WNS, prospers in the winter habitat of many hibernating bat species. The immune response that Pd elicits in bats is not yet fully understood; antibodies are produ...
Article
Full-text available
Resistance and tolerance allow organisms to cope with potentially life-threatening pathogens. Recently introduced pathogens initially induce resistance responses, but natural selection favors the development of tolerance, allowing for a commensal relationship to evolve. Mycosis by Pseudogymnoascus destructans, causing white-nose syndrome (WNS) in N...
Article
Full-text available
Novel pathogens can cause massive declines in populations, and even extirpation of hosts. But disease can also act as a selective pressure on survivors, driving the evolution of resistance or tolerance. Bat white-nose syndrome (WNS) is a rapidly spreading wildlife disease in North America. The fungus causing the disease invades skin tissues of hibe...
Article
Hibernation, a period where bats have suppressed immunity and low body temperatures, provides the psychrophilic fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans the opportunity to colonise bat skin, leading to severe disease in susceptible species. Innate immunity, which requires less energy and may remain more active during torpor, can control infections with...
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...
Preprint
The distribution ranges and spatio-temporal patterns in the occurrence and activity of boreal bats are yet largely unknown due to their cryptic lifestyle and lack of suitable and efficient study methods. We approached the issue by establishing a permanent passive-acoustic sampling setup spanning the area of Finland to gain an understanding on how l...
Article
Full-text available
Bat caves in the Neotropical region harbor exceptional bat populations (> 100,000 individuals). These populations play a wider role in ecological interactions, are vulnerable due to their restriction to caves, and have a disproportionate conservation value. Current knowledge of bat caves in Brazil is still small. However, systematic monitoring of s...
Article
Full-text available
The peak frequency of bat echolocation is a species-specific functional trait linked to foraging ecology. It is tailored via evolution to suit conditions within the distribution range of each species, but the evolutionary drivers are not yet well-understood. Global patterns of humidity correlate with many aspects of bat ecology. We hypothesized tha...
Article
Full-text available
For prioritizing conservation actions, it is vital to understand how ecologically diverse species respond to environmental change caused by human activity. This is particularly necessary considering that chronic human disturbance is a threat to biodiversity worldwide. Depending on how species tolerate and adapt to such disturbance, ecological integ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Climate change can facilitate emergence of zoonotic and wildlife diseases, by changing environmental suitability for hosts, ectoparasites, and pathogens. However, the connections between climatic variables and diseases remains equivocal. We compiled a systematic database for the prevalence of 121 pathogenic microbial taxa in birds and bats, includi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Climate change may alter the threat of zoonotic and wildlife diseases, by changing environmental suitability for hosts, ectoparasites, and pathogens. However, the connections between climatic variables and diseases remains equivocal. We compiled a systematic database for the prevalence of 121 pathogenic microbial taxa in birds and bats, including 1...
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
Bats and humans have a close relationship based on cohabitation, with bats taking roost in buildings. It has been suggested that bats function as a reservoir of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease in humans. A misconception that bats can spread SARS-CoV-2 to humans may have increased negative emotions toward bats and reduced indiv...
Article
Fungal diseases increasingly threaten wildlife with extinction. White‐nose syndrome (WNS) is a fungal disease that has caused precipitous declines in several North American bat species, creating an urgent need for conservation. We sought to determine how microclimates and other characteristics of hibernacula have affected bat populations following...
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
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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...
Article
Full-text available
The susceptibility of Myotis austroriparius (Southeastern Myotis) to infection with Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome (WNS), is unresolved. Our goal was to provide an initial insight on WNS susceptibility of Southeastern Myotis through a combination of fungal swabbing, ultraviolet light (UV) photography, and s...
Chapter
Winter is a time of fascinating changes in biology for cave-hibernating bats, but it is also a time of vulnerability. Unsurprisingly, assessments of winter habitat for these mammals and how it can be managed have been a focus of many researchers involved with the North American Society for Bat Research over the last 50 years. Over this time, a para...
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
Abstract We report a detection of a surprising similarity in the diet of predators across distant phyla. Though just a first glimpse into the subject, our discovery contradicts traditional aspects of biology, as the earliest notions in ecology have linked the most severe competition of resources with evolutionary relatedness. We argue that our find...
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...
Article
Full-text available
Although labeled as environmentally friendly, wind power can have negative impacts on the environment, such as habitat destruction or wildlife fatalities. Considering the distribution and migratory characteristics of European bats, the negative effects of wind power should be addressed on an appropriate scale. This review summarizes the current sta...
Article
Full-text available
Highly mobile species are considered to be the first to respond to climate change by transforming their ranges of distribution. There is evidence suggesting that Pipistrellus nathusii , a species capable of long-distance migration, is expanding both its reproduction and overwintering ranges to the North. We recorded the echolocation calls of bats a...
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
Despite its peculiar distribution, the biology of the southernmost bat species in the world, the Chilean myotis ( Myotis chiloensis ), has garnered little attention so far. The species has a north-south distribution of c. 2800 km, mostly on the eastern side of the Andes mountain range. Use of extended torpor occurs in the southernmost portion of th...
Article
Full-text available
Bats utilize forests as roosting sites and feeding areas. However, it has not been documented how bats utilize these habitats in the boreal zone with methods afforded by recent technological advances. Forest structure and management practices can create a variety of three‐dimensional habitats for organisms capable of flight, such as bats. Here, we...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite its peculiar distribution, the biology of the southernmost bat species in the world, the Chilean myotis (Myotis chiloensis), has garnered little attention so far. The species has a north-south distribution of c. 2800 km, mostly on the eastern side of the Andes mountain range. Use of extended torpor occurs in the southernmost portion of the...
Article
To understand the diversity and strength of predation in natural communities, researchers must quantify the total amount of prey species in the diet of predators. Metabarcoding approaches have allowed widespread characterization of predator diets with high taxonomic resolution. To determine the wider impacts of predators, researchers should combine...
Preprint
Full-text available
Highly mobile species are considered to be the first to respond to climate change by transforming their ranges of distribution. There is evidence suggesting that Pipistrellus nathusii , a long-distance migrant, is expanding both its reproduction and overwintering ranges to the North. We recorded the echolocation calls of bats at 16 sites in South-W...
Article
Full-text available
Coronaviruses (CoVs) represent a global public health threat, exemplified by the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreaks. Using fecal samples collected from five bat species between 2014 and 2016 in Finland and RT-PCR, RT-qPCR, and NGS, we identified CoVs in 10 of 79 (13%) samples, including tw...
Article
Full-text available
Hibernation has received considerable attention from physiologists and natural historians, but theoretical and ecological treatments of hibernation are rarer. There is ample recent evidence that costs associated with hibernation affect the degree to which hibernation is expressed in nature, but we currently lack a quantitative framework under which...
Preprint
Full-text available
Novel pathogens can cause massive declines in populations, but seldom lead to extirpation of hosts. Rather, disease can act as a selective pressure on survivors, driving the evolution of resistance or tolerance. Bat white-nose syndrome (WNS) is a rapidly spreading wildlife disease in North America. The fungus causing the disease invades skin tissue...
Article
Full-text available
The Cimicidae is a family of blood‐dependent ectoparasites in which dispersion capacity is greatly associated with host movements. Bats are the ancestral and most prevalent hosts for cimicids. Cimicids have a worldwide distribution matching that of their hosts, but the global classification is incomplete, especially for species outside the most com...
Article
Metal elements, ubiquitous in the environment, can cause negative effects in long-lived organisms even after low but prolonged exposure. Insectivorous bats living near metal emission sources can be vulnerable to such contaminants. Although it is known that bats can bioaccumulate metals, little information exists on the effects of metal elements on...
Article
Full-text available
Differences in diet can explain resource partitioning in apparently similar, sympatric species. Here, we analyzed 1,252 fecal droppings from five species (Eptesicus nilsso‐ nii, Myotis brandtii, M. daubentonii, M. mystacinus, and Plecotus auritus) to reveal their dietary niches using fecal DNA metabarcoding. We identified nearly 550 prey spe‐ cie...
Article
Hibernation, the use of prolonged torpor to depress metabolism, is employed by mammals to conserve resources during extended periods of extreme temperatures and/or resource limitation. Mammalian hibernators arouse to euthermy periodically during torpor for reasons that are not well understood and these arousals may facilitate immune processes. To d...
Article
Full-text available
1.White nose syndrome (WNS), affecting multiple North American bat species during the hibernation period, is a highly pathogenic disease caused by the psychrophilic fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd). Because the fungal pathogen persists in the hibernation site environment independently of the hosts, previous theory on spatial disease dynamic...
Article
Full-text available
Few studies have been conducted on the bat fauna of the Arica and Parinacota region, northern Chile. The genus Promops (Gervais, 1855) is a poorly known group of molossid bats, with three species widely distributed in Central and South America. We report for the first time the species Promops davisoni in Chile. Identification was based on echolocat...
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...
Presentation
Full-text available
A comparison between two ecoregions in Chile regarding the use of torpor by two species of bats
Poster
Full-text available
Metal pollution can interfere with internal nutrient homeostasis and/or change dietary quality of insectivorous birds. We compared fat soluble vitamin (A, D3, E) levels in egg yolk and nestling plasma of the great tit (Parus major) and the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) between a polluted area near a Finnish copper-nickel smelter (emitting e....
Article
White nose syndrome (WNS) is caused by the psychrophilic fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans that can grow in the environment saprotrophically or parasitically by infecting hibernating bats. Infections are pathological in many species of North American bats, disrupting hibernation and causing mortality. To determine what fungal pathways are involve...
Article
Metal exposure can produce oxidative stress by disrupting the prooxidant/antioxidant balance. It has been suggested that calcium (Ca) may provide protection against metal toxicity in the organism. The objective of this study is to explore the effects of Ca availability and metal pollution on oxidative stress biomarkers in pied flycatcher (Ficedula...
Article
Full-text available
Similar to birds, bats also perform long-distance migration between their breeding and wintering sites. In Northern Europe, migratory bat species are often detected along the coastline of the Baltic Sea particularly during migration seasons in the spring and autumn. In spite of regular monitoring of bat migration at coastal sites, the overall distr...
Article
Full-text available
Candidatus Bartonella mayotimonensis was detected in 2010 from an aortic valve sample of a patient with endocarditis from Iowa, the United States of America. The environmental source of the potentially new endocarditis-causing Bartonella remained elusive. We set out to study the prevalence and diversity of bat-associated Bartonella in North America...
Article
Full-text available
Importance: Several pathogenic viruses are known to colonize bats, and recent analysis indicates that bats are also reservoir hosts for bacterial genera. Chlamydia-like organisms (CLO) have been detected in several animal species. CLO have a high 16S rRNA sequence similarity with Chlamydiaceae and exhibit similar intracellular lifestyle and biphas...
Article
Full-text available
Ticks carry several human pathogenic microbes including Borreliae and Flavivirus causing tick-born encephalitis. Ticks can also carry DNA of Chlamydia-like organisms (CLOs). The purpose of this study was to investigate the occurrence of CLOs in ticks and skin biopsies taken from individuals with suspected tick bite. DNA from CLOs was detected by pa...
Article
Exposure to metal pollution negatively affects animal physiology, including nutrient metabolism, but in the wild an effect can seldom be attributed to a single metal. Moreover, little is known about how the metabolism of vitamins, essential micronutrients for developing juveniles, is affected by toxic metals. Therefore we experimentally investigate...