I am broadly interested in understanding the connections between predator-prey interactions, agroecology, and conservation medicine. An emerging wildlife disease called White-nose Syndrome (WNS) — caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans — was discovered in New York in 2007 and has since spread across North America with devastating effects on bat populations. WNS was first detected in Wisconsin in 2014, and is predicted to cause severe declines in bat populations within the next 4-5 years. My research will use next-generation sequencing (NGS) to determine the diets of insectivorous bats in Wisconsin, with particular focus on the two most abundant species — the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) and the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus). In combination with bat acoustic monitoring and insect abundance surveys at various spatial scales across the state, this project will ultimately seek to 1) characterize the role of bats as predators of agricultural pests and 2) investigate the potential impacts of wildlife disease on environmental and agroecosystem health.
M.A. Conservation Biology | Columbia University, 2015. Thesis: Pathogen diversity, feeding behavior, and spillover risk in the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) in Guatemala.
B.A. Integrative Biology | University of California-Berkeley, 2012
B.A. English | University of California-Berkeley, 2012
Wray A. K., Olival K. J., Morán D., Lopez M. R., Castillo D. A., Navarrete-Macias I., Liang E., Simmons N. B., Lipkin W. I., Daszak P., Anthony S. J. In Review. Viral Diversity, Bartonella Prevalence, and Prey Preference in Desmodus rotundus in Guatemala. EcoHealth.
Wray A .K., D. A. Bell, P. Dramer, M. Taylor. 2016. Waterbird Susceptibility to Avian Cholera at Hayward Marsh, California. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 52: 699-704.