My name is Riley Bernard and I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I am a member of Dr. Gary McCracken's bat lab.
My love of nature and the environment started when I was very young. I attended Linfield College and graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Studies (Science Focus). After undergrad, I took a year off to work in the Natural Resource Division office of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde in Grand Ronde, Oregon. While there I worked on a variety of projects varying from lamprey toxicology tests, wetland surveys, spawning salmon and steelhead surveys, to dissecting deer and elk heads for chronic wasting disease testing.
I am interested in the ecology and behavior of small mammals [specifically chiropteran species] in such areas as foraging behavior, competition, invasive species interactions, and more recently, the affects of White-nose syndrome on community structure and species resistance.
In 2008, I moved to Hilo, HI to start my master's degree at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. For three years I worked with the Hawaiian hoary bat research project, led by Dr. Frank Bonaccorso, to determine the foraging and migration behaviors of the Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus).
My PhD research focuses on the winter behavior of cave roosting bats in Tennessee and how that behavior may change do to the spread of Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the causative agent of White-Nose Syndrome, into southern latitudes.
For more detail about me, look at my Research, Publications, Grants, Teaching, Presentations, In the News and Outreach pages.