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Agile Rabbit: How Bats Changed The World

Front Room Phoenix

Thu 23 Apr 2020


Other Information

hosted online





Agile Rabbit: How Bats Changed The World

Agile Rabbit

How Bats Changed The World

We’ll be looking at the ecology behind coronavirus, in particular how taking bats out of their natural habitats led to the virus moving to humans, as was the case with Ebola, SARS, and MERS. 

Our speaker, Professor Kate Jones, specialises in the ecology and biodiversity of bats and also Zoonotic diseases—infectious disease that spreads from animals to humans. 

Bats live with coronavirus without being ill. One in five animal species is a bat, and they help humans by controlling harmful insects and pollinating crops such as bananas and agave (a plant species used in medicine, food, and cosmetics).

The pandemic underscores the need to think about biodiversity holistically. By respecting ecosystems, we can think in a long term way that recognises the interdependence of human and animal health with the environment.

In this free online event, there will be a short talk followed by audience questions, which can be submitted during registration and live on ‘Zoom’. It is not necessary to have a Zoom account to take part in the event.


This event will be hosted on Zoom. It is not necessary to have a Zoom account to take part in the event.

Register for this event here >>

Speaker: Professor Kate Jones
Chair of Ecology and Biodiversity, Genetics, Evolution & Environment, Div of Biosciences, University College London

Professor Kate Jones’s work focuses on how ecological and evolutionary processes produce global biodiversity patterns to understand how change impacts nature. Kate’s biodiversity modelling research is on the ecology and evolution of mammals, especially bats, to understand drivers of population and species extinction. She also models the relationships between wildlife and people to understand how climate change and other global challenges will impact human infectious diseases. Kate also investigates how to improve current biodiversity monitoring to engage citizen scientists and develop new algorithms classifying species using artificial intelligence. Kate has developed global citizen science programmes with The Bat Conservation Trust involving volunteers from across the world to monitor bat populations acoustically, collaborating extensively with national conservation NGOs and governments.


Agile Rabbit is a platform that provides special events for the South-West and beyond to focus on ideas, global affairs and the natural and scientific world. The events are set in contrasting venues across the South-West to provide quirky experiences, whilst maximising participation for all communities.

Agile Rabbit is held in partnership with the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter.

Venue: Hosted Online

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