The Western Canada Bat Program team is comprised of WCS Canada staff, WCS Canada contractors, and Graduate Students.




Cori Lausen, PhD.


Director of Bat Conservation - WCS Canada Staff

Cori is a bat research and conservation biologist. She completed her PhD in Ecology at the University of Calgary in 2007. Both her Masters and PhD research were on bats, with the former focusing on behaviour and physiology, and the latter on landscape genetics. Cori Lausen joined WCS Canada in 2011 as part of her NSERC Industrial Research and Development Fellowship, investigating winter bat activity and hibernation in western Canada. Her program focuses largely on a science-based response to white-nose syndrome, a catastrophic disease impacting bats in North America, with 3 main tools: inventory and monitoring, disease prevention, and mitigation research.

Jason Rae, MSc.

Data and Research Scientist - WCS Canada Staff

Jason is responsible for providing management and research support for the bat program from his base in Nelson, British Columbia. Jason joined the WCS team in early 2016 after completing his MSc at Trent University examining the interactions between predation risk and disease exposure in amphibian tadpoles. Jason’s previous experience includes work as a research assistant examining traditional ecological knowledge of polar bear ecology in Northern Quebec, and estimating the local harvest of resources from 5 communities in Northern Labrador. He currently manages WCS Canada’s North American Bat Monitoring Program in British Columbia. 

Heather Gates, BSc.

Bat Program Field Coordinator- WCS Canada Staff

As the Bat Program Field Coordinator , Heather is the project manager for the Tree Enhancement and Roost Mitigation project and lead field technician. Heather holds a BSc in Biology from the University of Victoria. Before joining WCS Canada in 2014, Heather worked for several years as the head grower for a leading forest nursery.

Dana Blouin, BSc.

Program Manager - WCS Canada Staff

As Bat Program Manager with the WCS Canada Western Bat Research Program, Dana provides research and logistical support to our bat team. Dana has a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Manitoba specializing in applied ecology and over 20 years experience in non-profit conservation biology work in Canada. Most recently, Dana worked as Manager of Science and Conservation Planning for the Nature Conservancy of Canada-Alberta Region implementing the Natural Area Conservation Plan program.

Cory Olson, MSc.

Alberta Bat Program Coordinator - WCS Canada Staff

Cory Olson is the Coordinator for the Alberta Bat Program after playing this role for several years as a contractor.  He is leading the development of several public outreach, education, and research projects relating to bats and other wildlife, including a citizen science project to collect information on roosting bats. He first got involved with bats at the University of Calgary, where he completed an MSc degree focusing on bat ecology. Over the last 15 years, he has been involved with several bat research and monitoring projects in western Canada.

Susan Holroyd, MSc.

Alberta Bat Program Outreach Coordinator - WCS Canada Staff

Susan Holroyd has an MSc in behavioural ecology of bats from the University of Calgary, and works closely with Cory Olson to deliver the Alberta Community Bat Program in the Calgary region of Alberta.  As the Principal for  Holroyd Ecological Consulting, she has been involved in the creation of a set of Best Management Practices for Bats in relation to industrial activities associated with resource-development that may impact bats and their habitats.  

Erin Low, MSc.

Program Coordinator, BC -  WCS Canada Staff

Erin completed her MSc at the University of Calgary, examining the effect of a severe wildfire on the bat community in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. She is registered as a Professional Biologist in Alberta. Erin has previously worked as an environmental consultant in Alberta for various clients including renewable energy, oil and gas, and forestry. She also worked as a research coordinator for a university and was responsible for coordinating a large-scale field-based project on bats in Saskatchewan. She has worked with bats across western Canada as well as internationally in Africa and Australia.  

Samantha Gidora, MSc. Student

MSc. Student, WCS Canada and Thompson Rivers University

Samantha Gidora is a master’s student at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC. She is co-supervised by Dr. Cori Lausen and Dr. Lauchlan Fraser. In her master’s research she is investigating eDNA air sampling as a tool for bat conservation and management, particularly for evaluating and monitoring bat use of inactive underground mines. Prior to returning to grad school, Sam worked as an environmental consultant for over 10 years assessing impacts to bats and other wildlife from development projects. She holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Science from Simon Fraser University.

Chadabhorn (Ben) Insuk, PhD. Student

PhD Student, WCS Canada and McMaster University

Ben is a Ph.D. student in Dr. J.P. Xu’s lab at McMaster University. She obtained her B.Sc. Hons. (Biology) in 2017 and M.Sc. (Applied Microbiology) in 2020 from Chiang Mai University, Thailand. In 2018, Ben joined cave microbiology and bat probiotic projects at Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia, and she studied cave bacterial taxonomy, function, and secondary metabolite production. She participated in captive trials at BC Wildlife Park and now is testing for bat probiotic efficacy and safety. Her Ph.D. thesis focuses on bat microbiomes. Her main research question is how geography, host genetics, and diets can influence bat microbiomes.   

Karen Vanderwolf, PhD., Postdoctoral Fellow

Liber Ero Postdoctoral Fellow,  University of Waterloo

Karen is a Liber Ero postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo, a partnership with WCS Canada and Canadian Wildlife Federation. She did her PhD at Trent University and her MSc at the University of New Brunswick. Karen has done a lot of work on white-nose syndrome and the fungal ecology of bats and caves during winter. Her current focus is the National Bat Box project, and she is continuing her research on the skin physiology of bats and studying environmental reservoirs of Pseudogymnoascus destructans.

Aimee Mitchell, MSc.

Bat Technician - WCS Canada Contractor

Aimee has been an active member of the WCSC’s WNS Prophylaxis Treatment with Urban Bat Ecology Baseline Project on the South Coast of BC since 2018. In addition, she continues to consult and advise governments, first nations, stewardship groups and private landowners all over the South Coast on species at risk conservation and recovery with targeted work on additional SAR including Western Screech Owls, Western Toads and listed Bat species. She also actively provides information and coordinates with all relevant SAR Recovery Teams/Working Groups and organizations involved in formal habitat protection and species designations. She is a member of the Western Painted Turtle Recovery Team, Coastal Painted Turtle and Great Blue Heron Working Groups, and the South Coast and BC Bat Teams. 

Brian Paterson, MSc.

NABat Analyst - WCS Canada Contractor

Brian Paterson serves as a NABat analyst in the Western Canada Bat Conservation Program. Brian is a wildlife biologist with more than 10 years experience collecting and analyzing acoustic bat calls, including involvement with the NABat program led by WCSC since its inception. Brian has also been involved in several bat projects that have expanded species ranges in British Columbia and is currently working on projects to describe maternal roosting habitat for Northern Myotis and document winter bat hibernacula in the Peace Region of BC. In addition to bats, Brian conducts annual work on caribou (capture, telemetry, enumeration), coordinates regional surveillance efforts for Chronic Wasting Disease, implements conservation measures for fisher, and conducts avian surveys.


Photo Credits:  Header Photo- Jared Hobbs

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Contact Information
Address: Western Canada Bat Conservation Program; Kaslo, British Columbia | |