Team

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


Cori Lausen, PhD

Associate Conservation Scientist - 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.

Conservation Assistant - WCS Canada Staff

As the Conservation Assistant with the Bat Program, Heather works with Dr. Cori Lausen to understand the distribution and winter ecology of bats in Alberta and British Columbia. 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 Nature Area Conservation Plan program.

 

Cory Olson, MSc.

Alberta Community Bat Program Manager - WCS Canada Contractor

Cory Olson is a wildlife biologist, Principal at Sky Ecological consulting company and Program Coordinator for the Alberta Community Bat Program, which he helped start in collaboration with WCS Canada and the Government of Alberta. He is leading the development of several public outreach and education 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.

Calgary Regional Coordinator, Alberta Community Bat Program - WCS Canada Contractor

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.  

 

Leah Rensel, MSc. Student

Masters Student - University of British Columbia

Leah Rensel is in her second year of her Masters program at the University of British Columbia- Okanagan, supervised by Karen Hodges, Biology, and Cori Lausen of WCS Canada.  Leah is researching urban bat population ecology based in Vancouver, BC, providing valuable information to the larger WNS Probiotic Project undertaken by WCS Canada.    

 

Susan Dulc, MSc. Student

Masters Student, Department of Natural Resource Sciences, Thompson Rivers University

 Susan is investigating the thermal properties of artificial bat houses, and how they may or may not be providing suitable refuge for both Little Brown and Yuma Myotis bats (particularly breeding females and their offspring) during the summer months.  Sue is jointly supervised by Karl Larsen, department of Natural Resources Sciences at the Thompson Rivers University, and Cori Lausen, WCS Canada.  

 

Nick Fontaine, MSc. Student

Masters Student, Department of Microbiology, Thompson Rivers University

 Nick is testing and refining a probiotic cocktail inhibiting the WNS fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans that causes white-nose syndrome as part of the larger WCS WNS Probiotic Project.  Nick is jointly supervised by Naowarat (Ann) Cheepham, Department of Biological Science at the Thompson Rivers University, Dr. JP Xu from McMaster University, and Cori Lausen, WCS Canada.  

 

Karen Vanderwolf, PhD Student

PhD Candidate, Department of Environment and Life Sciences, Trent University

Karen is currently a PhD candidate at Trent University. Both her MSc and PhD were on bats, microbiomes, and white-nose syndrome. She also spent 5 years with the Canadian Wildlife Federation as their bat conservation specialist working out of the New Brunswick Museum. Her current projects include research on bat skin chemistry in the context of white-nose syndrome, as well as a national project examining bat box use in Canada.

 

 


Photo Credits:  Header Photo- Jared Hobbs

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Contact Information
Address: Western Canada Bat Conservation Program; Kaslo, British Columbia | wcsbats@wcs.org |