Sophomore Charlotte Jennings to Explore Bat Ecology in Costa Rica during Semester Break
Charlotte Jennings, a sophomore pursuing a B.S. in Biological Sciences, will conduct her first field research project, studying bat ecology in the tropical rain forests of Costa Rica. Home to more than 100 species of bats, Costa Rica boasts two ecological reserves where Jennings, a former SRI scholar, will experience research first-hand.
Jennings, who is currently performing an independent study with evolutionary developmental biologist Veronica Hinman, credits her interest in living systems as the reason she decided to apply to the Neotropical Bat Ecology course. "I hope to gain another perspective on evolutionary biology and its relation to ecology," she explains.
The 18-day course, offered by the University of Kansas, will take place during Carnegie Mellon's semester break, giving Jennings the opportunity to immerse herself fully in the biodiversity of Costa Rica's bats. According to the program's Web site, "students will learn to handle and identify bats while becoming familiar with their significance and in overall tropical ecology and conservation."
Jennings, a self-proclaimed animal lover, is excited to gain new perspectives on research, the world, evolution and on bats in general. "I have always tried to imagine what it would be like to "see" via audition, like a bat does, " she explains. "These animals have a completely different perspective of the world!"