Robert C. Anderson Memorial Award 2018
Daniel Becker, a recent doctoral graduate in ecology, is recognized for his explorations of food subsidies and infectious disease both broadly and in vampire bats. In Latin America, vampire bat populations have expanded during recent decades in response to the proliferation of livestock, which are a readily available food source for these blood-feeding animals. For his thesis research, he traveled to Belize and Peru to capture bats, and in the laboratory, he compared how the animals’ diet, immune measures, movement, and infection by bacterial and viral pathogens differed in areas with high versus low livestock abundance. He found that some pathogens have taken advantage of higher bat density and contact rates in livestock-provisioned areas. He has published 14 manuscripts since 2014, serving as first author for nine, and he has 10 more papers in review or ready to submit. He is now a postdoctoral researcher at Montana State University.