Julia Wilson joined WEST as a Field Coordinator/Biologist in the Bloomington, Indiana office. She received her B.S. in Biological Science and B.A. in Science, Technology, and Society from Butler University. As an undergraduate, she conducted research into comparative oogenesis in island species of Drosophila using microscopy and cloning techniques, and co-authored and delivered a proposal before Indiana state government to adopt a Climate Action Plan. She then swapped out the lab for the field at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, where she extensively mist-netted for bats, qualitatively identified over 17 neotropical bat species, and assisted a research project investigating behavior, learning, and memory in fringe-lipped bats. She pursued field research again in South Africa and assisted the Urban Caracal Project with tracking and trapping caracals.
Once back in the States, she was hired by Butler University to continue oogenesis research and by CEC to mist-net for bats in the summer. She then joined the Indiana DNR and managed the statewide barn owl conservation program. In this role, she analyzed barn owl spatial ecology using ArcGIS, authored the state report on barn owl population trends, coordinated volunteer-assisted owl box installations, and created/managed databases. In addition, Julia captured and banded loggerhead shrikes, other passerines, raptors, and conducted numerous bat hibernacula and avian surveys to aid long-term monitoring efforts. Julia joined WEST in May 2018 for bat mist-netting, and can identify 29 species of North American bats. Her additional duties include conducting habitat assessments/mapping, aerial raptor nest surveys, writing reports and study plans, supervising and conducting avian surveys, and serving as the raptor nest survey coordinator for the Bloomington Office.