February 27, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Johnson Gets Baker Award to Study Hibernation Sites of North American Bats

Dr. Joseph Johnson, portrait

Dr. Joseph Johnson

From Ohio University News

Dr. Joseph Johnson was one of four Ohio University professors awarded funds from the John C. Baker Fund during fall semester 2019 for their research and scholarly work.

Johnson, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, was awarded $12,000 to continue researching the hibernation sites of North American bats in an effort to reverse the declining population of two endangered bat species.

Since 2006, white-nose syndrome, caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, has killed millions of North American bats, infecting them during their winter hibernation when they are more vulnerable to disease. Johnson and his research team have been tracking two endangered bat species, the northern long-eared bat and the Indiana bat, to identify where bats who are surviving are hibernating and to determine if there is a link between survival and the characteristics of the hibernation habitat.

Johnson’s lab has tracked 10 Indiana bats and 24 northern long-eared bats. Support from the Baker Fund will allow the team to continue its tracking for another field season.

The John C. Baker Fund, which provides up to $12,000 for each proposal, supports faculty projects that are near completion. The fund was endowed in 1961 by a gift from Edwin L. Kennedy, AB ’26, HON ’65, and Ruth Kennedy, BSED ’30, and is named in honor of Ohio University’s 14th president.

Baker Funds are awarded each fall and spring semester. For the fall 2019 funding cycle, the Baker Fund Awards Committee received a total of nine proposals, requesting a total of $103,677.


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