Paula Iturralde-Pólit

Guest Researcher
MPI for Ornithology Seewiesen
Research Group Goerlitz

Main Focus

Paula Iturralde-Pólit is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at Universidad de Costa Rica in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute of Ornithology – Seewiesen, Germany where she does an internship. She wants to expand further understanding in global change biology and its effects on species ecology. Specifically, she aims to assess how montane insectivorous bats will cope with climate change in the Neotropics from a sensory and physiological standpoint.

Insectivorous bats rely on their sensory abilities to obtain food; however, the high frequency signals that they emit are sensible to “atmospheric attenuation," the process in which sounds become increasingly fainter due to sound absorption that is also directly affected by heat and humidity. In a warming world, this could mean big trouble for the bats and she will test if they are capable of modifying the characteristics of their calls to reduce the effect of sound attenuation when environmental conditions change.

She also looks forward to sharing her results with young students and people beyond academia. At the end of her project, she wants to achieve optimal management strategies for bats, and reach people with conservation messages through storytelling. Her goal as a scientist is to inspire and enthrall people into the importance of science for conservation.

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