Student Representatives

GBatNet is committed to broadening participation in STEM both in the US and abroad, and mentoring the next generation of global leaders in bat research and conservation. Learn more about each of our student representatives below!

Abby Rutrough | Nor Amira Abdul Rahman | Cecilia Montauban | Dana Green | Gloria González de Weston | Gwenddolen Kettenburg | Nathaly Nicole Camargo Quiroga | Thongthai Thavornwatanayong | Touseef Ahmed

Abby Rutrough is a Ph.D. student in the Kingston Bat Conservation Ecology lab at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, USA. She describes her career thus far as “working with small squeaky mammals in hot places.” Her PhD work focuses on modeling the locations and drivers of bat exploitation behaviors at large special scales by integrating spatial ecology with social science theory. She is the Student Representative to the GBatNet Steering Committee and is a member of the IUCN BSG Bats in Trade Working Group.
Nor Amira Abdul Rahman is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Systematic Zoology & Ecology, at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Budapest, Hungary. Currently, she is studying the effects of anthropogenic objects such as acoustic mirrors on bat behavior while investigating the mitigation of potential problems that may arise from those objects. Her research interests also revolve around ecology and ecosystem services of bats, as well as cave mapping.
Cecilia Montauban is a Ph.D. student at Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum of London. Her research focuses on the effects of agricultural intensification and forest loss on bat communities, their functional diversity and the ecosystem services they provide in the Afrotropics. She is a BCI student scholar, a member of PCMP (Peruvian Program for Bat Conservation) and RELCOM, and Latin American Regional Manager of Global South Bats.
Dana Green is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada where she is studying migratory bat community ecology and migration behavior. She is interested in questions surrounding how migratory bats cope with the stressors of migration, including competition with other migratory species, and in the mechanisms behind migratory behavior such as orientation and navigation. Dana currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Mammalogy and the North American Society for Bat Research and brings awareness to bats, wildlife, and conservation issues through science communication using social media platforms.
Gloria González de Weston is a Ph.D. student at the Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e Instituto Miguel Lillo (IML), Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina. She is the coordinator of Programa de Conservación de Murciélagos del Paraguay (PCMPy). Her research studies focus on urban bats, ecology and conservation of Paraguayan bats and bioacoustics.
Gwenddolen Kettenburg is a Ph.D. student in the department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, USA. Working with her advisor, Dr. Cara Brook, her research will focus on studying seasonal virus dynamics in the bats of Madgascar, while also exploring the experimental evolution of virus growth rates in Malagasy bat cell lines. She is also interested in developing molecular assays to investigate viral shedding and antibody fluctuations in longitudinally collected data sets to improve bat virus modeling.
Nathaly Nicole Camargo Quiroga recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Biodiversity: Conservation, Evolution and Genetics from the University of Valencia, Spain. She is interested in molecular and metagenomic research on the diet of insectivorous bats in vineyards and the ecological impact they have as potential controllers of pests in agricultural landscapes. She is a member of the Program for the Conservation of Bats in Bolivia and associate researcher at the Luis Adam Briancon Experimental Institute of Biology.
Thongthai Thavornwatanayong (Ty for short) is a Ph.D. student at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. Ty’s long term goal is to work as a bat immunologist who uncovers the mysteries of bat immunity and its relevance to the health and disease of bats. He is currently working on collaborative research guided by Dr. Bao Q. Vuong of City College of New York and Dr. Susan Tsang at the American Museum of Natural History to characterize the immunoglobulins of Indonesian flying foxes to understand their regulation and their roles in immunity against pathogens. In his free time, he enjoys a good meal and a long session of Dungeon and Dragons with his friends.
Touseef Ahmed is a Ph.D. student in the Kingston Lab at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, USA and founder of non-profit platform Batcon Pakistan. He holds a doctoral degree in Veterinary Medicine and Master’s in Public Health, both from the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Pakistan. He is a strong advocate of One Health, and his research aims to advance knowledge on environmental extremes and land use implications for zoonotic disease emergence. He is particularly interested in the bat-borne zoonotic pathogen “infect–shed–spill–spread” cascade to foster landscape immunity as a conservation and biosecurity priority. He aims to understand the impact of extreme heat on Indian flying foxes in Pakistan and investigating their potential role in antimicrobial resistance spillover in Pakistan.