Cecilia Montauban

Cecilia Montauban

Imperial College London
London, UK

Ph.D Student



I am an early career Peruvian wildlife biologist and PhD student at Imperial College and the Natural History Museum of London. My current research focuses on the effects of forest loss and agricultural expansion on bat diversity, trophic networks and ecosystem services in tropical ecosystems. My main goal as a postgraduate researcher is to develop skills and collaborations to help increase the impact of my research, building on my research experience to date. I completed a BSc in Environmental Science at the University of British Columbia, supported by an International Leader of Tomorrow full scholarship. I then worked as an ecological consultant, undertaking EIAs of proposed commercial developments on bats and other taxa. In 2020, I graduated with an MRes in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation and the Imperial College Southwood Prize for the top research dissertation and highest grade in my cohort. I led and published two peer-reviewed papers from my masters, focused on echolocation plasticity and pest-consumption of bats in rice paddies. I then expanded my research and lab experience as a Research Assistant exploring new molecular methods for bat population genetics, and as a Research Intern analysing population declines in barbastelle bats using landscape genomics.

I have conducted bat field work and research in Peru, Cuba, Costa Rica, Belize, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Madagascar, Romania, Spain, Serbia and the United Kingdom. A highlight of these projects and collaborations was being selected to attend the first Global South Bats course in Kenya in 2020 – as one of 26 students fully funded to attend by National Geographic Society and the Whitley Fund for Nature. This course aimed to train early career researchers with a proven strong commitment to bat conservation. This was the starting point for a collaborative network across the Global South Bats for which I am a Regional Manager, and that has helped propel my research in Africa alongside a passionate group of young researchers and collaborators all working in parallel on bat conservation projects. In the future, I aspire to continue to improve as a researcher and make a mark for conservation science of vulnerable bat populations.

I am also proud to be one of the co lead for the GBatNet’s working group: Big Bat Database.

Selected recent publications:

Montauban, Cecilia, Maria Mas, Carme Tuneu-Corral, Owen S. Wangensteen, Ivana Budinski, Joan Martí-Carreras, Carles Flaquer, Xavier Puig-Montserrat, and Adrià López-Baucells. 2021. “Bat Echolocation Plasticity in Allopatry: A Call for Caution in Acoustic Identification of Pipistrellus sp.” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 75(70). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-021-03002-7

Montauban, Cecilia, Maria Mas, Owen S. Wangensteen, Víctor Sarto i Monteys, David Gisbert Fornós, Xavi Ferré Mola, and Adrià López-Baucells. 2021. “Bats as Natural Samplers: First Record of the Invasive Pest Rice Water Weevil Lissorhoptrus Oryzophilus in the Iberian Peninsula.” Crop Protection, 141: 105427. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2020.105427