Brandon Baerwald

PhD Candidate
Supervisors: Dr. Brigham

Office: LB 109
Phone: 306-585-4652
Fax: 306-337-2410

Research interests
Animal ecology.
Research topic: Winter ecology of prairie bats.

Resource selection and behaviour of temperate-zone animals are well studied during the summer months, but we have relatively scant knowledge about their winter ecology. Given that some species can spend up to six months hibernating, this represents a considerable gap in most species annual cycle. Scarcity of food and water during winter may place increased importance on access to these resources. In addition, all hibernators arouse, for reasons poorly understood. Access to mates, food, and water, and maintenance of muscle tissue have been implicated as reasons for these arousals. How these factors affect hibernation is important because increased frequency in arousals likely reduces over-winter survival.

The objective of my research is to increase our understanding of habitat selection and behaviour in bats over-wintering in prairie environments. Specifically, I investigate: physical and microclimate characteristics of winter roosts (i.e., hibernacula) and surrounding landscape; social behaviour, including clustering and roost switching; thermoregulatory patterns; and causes for mid-winter flight in free-ranging big brown and little brown bats. Much of what we know about hibernating bats comes from research on cavern-dwelling species. Available hibernacula in the prairies (e.g., rock crevices) are likely smaller, drier, and less thermally-stable. My study provides comparative hibernation biology data for a group relatively understudied compared to rodents, and reduces the paucity of knowledge about winter bat-ecology in the prairies.


Klüg-Baerwald, B. J., L. E. Gower, C. L. Lausen, and R. M. Brigham. 2016. Environmental correlates and energetics of winter flight by bats in southern Alberta, Canada. Canadian Journal of Zoology: 10.1139/cjz-2016-0055.

Klüg, B. J. and R. M. Brigham. 2015. Changes to metabolism and cell physiology that enable mammalian hibernation. Springer Science Reviews. DOI 10.1007/s40362-015-0030-x

Klüg, B. J. and R. M. R. Barclay. 2013. Effect of wind on the accuracy of temperature-sensitive radiotransmitters. Wildlife Society Bulletin. DOI: 10.1002/wsb.327.

Klüg, B. J. and R. M. R. Barclay. 2013. Thermoregulation during reproduction in the solitary, foliage-roosting hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus). Journal of Mammalogy 94: 477-487.

Klüg, B. J., D. A. Goldsmith and R. M. R. Barclay. 2012. Roost selection by the solitary, foliage-roosting hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus) during lactation. Canadian Journal of Zoology 90: 329-336.

Klüg, B. J., A. S. Turmelle, J. A. Ellison, E. F. Baerwald, and R. M. R. Barclay. 2011. Rabies prevalence in migratory tree-bats in Alberta and the influence of roosting ecology and sampling method on reported prevalence of rabies in bats. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 47: 64-77.

Klüg, B. J. and E. F. Baerwald. 2010. Incidence and management of live and injured bats at wind energy facilities. Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation 30: 11-16.

Baerwald, E. F., G. H. D’Amours, B. J. Klüg, and R. M. R. Barclay. 2008. Barotrauma is a significant cause of bat fatalities at wind turbines. Current Biology 18: 695-696.