Hello! My name is Riley Bernard and I am a PhD student 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 and have worked as a Biodiversity (Bio 130) Lab TA and Comparative Animal Behavior (EEB/PSY 450) lecture TA.
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. 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). Living in Hawaii was amazing!
I am broadly interested in the ecology and behavior of mammals (specifically chiropteran species), foraging behavior, competition, invasive species interactions, and more recently, the affects of White-nose syndrome on community structure and species resistance. My PhD research will be focused on the winter behavior of cave roosting bats in Tennessee and how that behavior may change now that White-nose Syndrome has spread further into southern latitudes.
For more detail about me, look at my CV, research, publications, grants, teaching, talks, In the News and outreach pages.