Brenna Hyzy has been studying bats since the summer of 2012 at Radford University, where she received a B.S. in Biology in May 2015. During Brenna’s undergraduate career, she was involved in a number of bat research projects at Radford University, Virginia Tech, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Brenna was also involved in research focusing on small mammal populations, herpetology surveys, trematode morphology, and invasive species. She has worked with 12 species of bats in North America and is an author on a manuscript studying the effects of white-nose syndrome on the federally endangered gray bat and a manuscript on the ecology of the invasive small Indian mongoose in the Caribbean (both published in 2016). Brenna went on to receive her M.S. in Natural Resources: Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in May 2017. Her thesis research focused on summer maternity roost selection and networks of northern long-eared bats in Wisconsin and occupancy patterns of northern long-eared bats in the Lake States region utilizing models that allow for misclassification errors. The results of Brenna’s thesis research are expected to be published in 2018.
Brenna joined WEST in April 2017 as a seasonal biologist and became a full-time permitted bat biologist with the company in December 2017. During the summer Brenna leads and coordinates field mist-net and acoustic surveys for endangered bat species, including the Indiana bat, northern long-eared bat, and gray bat, throughout their ranges. She also conducts habitat assessments and other miscellaneous bat research projects for prospective clients that continue into the fall. During the winter Brenna is based in the Minnesota office and contributes to the analysis and report writing for summer bat presence/absence surveys. She also prepares bat activity reports, critical issues analyses, site characterization studies, Eagle Conservation Plans, habitat assessment reports, avian/eagle use reports, and other pre- and post-construction wildlife survey reports. Brenna is proficient with statistical analysis using R code for bat activity studies, maternity colony use and networks, and occupancy modeling. Her research interests continue to be in bat ecology and conservation, and she hopes to expand this experience through her career with WEST.