Verena Reininger

Verena Reininger

MSc student
MPI for Ornithology Seewiesen

Main Focus

Master thesis idea: Environmental influences on call parameters in echolocating bats

Bats have sophisticated echolocation calls regarding their food acquisition. They emit echolocation calls to calculate their own position relative to their surroundings and to detect potential prey. These bat calls underlie different factors that distort them, i.e. atmospheric attenuation, which is mainly influenced by frequency, relative humidity and temperature. Nowadays, anthropogenic impacts change our world consistently through habitat fragmentation, wind energy turbines and the recently and controversy discussed climate change, thus, as a consequence thereof global warming. Climate change impacts the behavior of echolocating bats, while (.i.e.) changing their detection distance and detection volume through changing atmospheric attenuation.

My aim now is to examine in field research different bat species calling in different frequency ranges (i.e. Noctule Nyctalus noctula, ≤ 20 kHz; Common Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus, ± 45 kHz; Soprano Pipistrelle  Pipistrellus pygmaeus, ≥ 52 kHz; Brown long-eared Bat Plecotus auritus, 50-20 kHz / 75-52 kHz and Grey long-eared Bat Plecotus austriacus, 45-22  kHz / 65-45 kHz) to show that even under recent climate changes  those species will show individual-based behavioural changes within a year (approximately April to December); thus, I am predicting these changes to find expression in higher source levels or lower frequencies. Moreover, I expect a greater effect in Common or Soprano Pipistrelle as they tend to cry at higher frequencies and, therefore, are more susceptible to atmospheric attenuation. Nonetheless, even the Noctule is predicted to show some compensation as higher detection distances are favorable in open space hunting above the canopy.

My advisors are Mr. Dr. Holger R. Goerlitz (Max-Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen) and Ms. Prof. Dr. Marianne Vater (University of Potsdam).

Curriculum Vitae

Since 10/2015 MSc in Ecology, Evolution und Nature Conservation, University of Potsdam. master thesis (proposal): “Environmental/Atmospheric influences on call parameters in echolocating bats“

2014-2015 Law, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. Without degree

2010-2014 BSc in Biology, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. Bachelor thesis: “The human heart – weaknesses of life: heart diseases“

2010 Abitur, Hardenberg-Gymnasium in Fürth

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