Goniela Iskali has been with WEST since 2011 as a biologist and has been primarily involved with the potential impacts of wind power developments on wildlife, with the focus on bats. This work has involved all aspects of these types of projects and includes conducting habitat assessments, pre and post-construction data collection, coordination and setup of projects, training and supervising field crews, monitoring and quality assuring data collection, data analysis and creating reports. In addition, Goniela has been involved in collecting data on the populations of federally- and state-listed bats through a variety of techniques such as acoustic sampling, mist-netting, harp-netting near cave entrances, telemetry surveys to track roost locations of bats, emergence counts to monitor maternity roost populations, hibernacula monitoring, and habitat surveys for the Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). Goniela received a US Fish and Wildlife federal permit in 2016 to be able to conduct research independently on federally-listed Myotis species of bats.
Goniela received a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Biology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois in 2006 and a Master of Science in Aquatic Resources from Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas in 2011. Goniela’s M.S. thesis project involved determining the macroinvertebrate diversity in Bracken Cave, which hosts the largest population of bats in the world, and how it relates to cave habitat conditions. In addition, Goniela has worked in a variety of cave and subterranean ecosystems such as caves located in National Parks and privately owned caves since 2006. She also has experience in bat ecology and research of Western US species of bats through her work in hibernacula monitoring and mist-netting for bats in California, Oregon, Utah, Texas and Arizona. Goniela’s research interests continue to be in cave and bat ecology, and she hopes to expand this experience through her career with West.