Highlighting WEST’s Qualitative Bat Acoustic Experts

The WEST team includes bat technical experts with extensive ability to qualitatively identify bat acoustic calls of species throughout North America. Our team brings specific experience in acoustic detector technology, deployment, acoustic software, and standard analysis. In recognition of bat week, we are highlighting four of our team members who are at the forefront of acoustic qualitative identification.

Larisa Bishop-Boros – Wyoming
Larisa has been conducting bat research since 2006 and for WEST since 2014. She completed an M.S. in bat ecology and her undergraduate honors thesis investigated acoustic monitoring and echolocation identification techniques for eastern bats. Larisa has been collecting known bat calls since 2010, and has worked with 40 North American bat species in 38 states and 4 Canadian provinces. From 2010 – 2012 she assisted with vetting eastern bat calls used to build automated classification software programs BCID and Kaleidoscope. Larisa maintained and analyzed statewide acoustic detectors for Missouri and Kentucky while employed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. Larisa began western bat call identification in 2015 and has co-hosted bat acoustic identification workshops and training for consultants, as well as federal and state agency biologists in the eastern and western US. At WEST, Larisa qualitatively identifies acoustic calls from our western projects collected as part of long-term monitoring and the North American Bat Monitoring Program, and assists with acoustic analysis of our presence/absence surveys for northern long-eared bats and Indiana bats.

Kent Russell – Canada
Kent Russell is a Wildlife Biologist with more than 16 years experience in the environmental industry. Kent has conducted bat acoustic, capture, and PCM surveys on more than 60 proposed wind and other developments in western Canada since 2008. Kent has attended two echolocation training workshops, covering AnaBat and Wildlife Acoustics detectors and AnalookW and Kaleidoscope software, and has trained many staff on bat acoustic identification. Kent is an active member of the Alberta Bat Action Team that provides direction to Alberta Environment and Parks on bat surveys and protocols for studying bats in Alberta. Kent has participated in the development process for guidelines, directives and protocols relating to bats and wind. He has provided several presentations to provincial regulatory agencies and conferences on bat acoustics. Kent also manages WEST’s bat acoustic surveys throughout Canada. 

Ashley Matteson – Indiana
Ashley has been conducting bat research since 2008 and for WEST since 2017. While completing an M.S. in biology, her thesis investigated transmission of rodent and bat ultrasound and the comparison of bat echolocation call metrics in pine plantations with different habitat management. Ashley has been collecting and analyzing bat calls for a variety of projects in the eastern US since 2011, including statewide North American Bat Monitoring Program surveys in North Carolina and regional bat monitoring in northern Missouri with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Ashley does qualitative identification for our long-term bat projects in the eastern US and for presence/absence surveys for northern long-eared bats and Indiana bats.

Kevin Murray – Indiana
Kevin has been researching bats and studying bat echolocation since 1998. He completed an M.S. degree on the acoustic identification of bats in the eastern US. Kevin is considered to be a qualified qualitative analysis expert in identification of bat echolocation calls by the US Fish Wildlife Service (USFWS). He has been identifying the echolocation calls of eastern bats for 23 years. Kevin and colleagues have conducted six training workshops for personnel from US Forest Service, USFWS, state agencies, ecological consultants, students, and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. Kevin has 10 publications on bat acoustic characterization and identification and has given several presentations on bat acoustic identification at regional and national scientific meetings. Kevin and colleagues from Missouri State University recorded many of the voucher calls used by the acoustic identification programs BCID, EchoClass, and Kaleidoscope. For 10 years Kevin has conducted qualitative acoustic labelling for bat acoustics projects ranging from USFWS acoustics surveys to research projects and is a leading expert on Indiana bat and northern-long eared bat acoustic analysis.

WEST has a large team of bat biologists with a range of experience on threatened and endangered bat species throughout North, Central and South America. Our expertise includes compliance monitoring, habitat assessments, mist-netting, roosting ecology, telemetry, portal surveys, acoustic surveys, North American Bat Monitoring surveys, and post-construction monitoring.