Specialization: Wildlife Biologist

Mobile Number: +254 704000775, E-Mail Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Dr. Paul Webala is a senior lecturer and wildlife biologist, with more than 15 years’ experience as a research scientist and academician. He has held positions at National Museums of Kenya (NMK), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Karatina University (Kenya) and currently he is the Director for Research at Maasai Mara University (MMARAU). He is a regional expert on small mammals, especially bats, with extensive fieldwork experience. Using standard sampling methods (mist nets, harp traps, hand nets), molecular techniques, acoustics, and radio-telemetry, Paul uses bats as a focal group to understand and interrogate processes that drive rarity and abundance of mammals in natural, and human-dominated, environments. He is primarily a community ecologist, although his research addresses a variety of important questions for improving bat conservation in Africa. His research also spans several subfields of biology, as his work examines behavioral, ecological and systematic/ taxonomic questions. He has collaborated with prominent biologists around the world, further emphasizing the high quality of his work and his commitment to bat research and conservation. He is a member of the Bat Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. He is also a research associate with the NMK, KWS, Bat Conservation International (www.batcon.org) and the Field Museum of Natural History (FMNH, Chicago, IL., USA). In addition, he is the current Chair of the nascent Bat Conservation Africa (www.batconafrica.net/), a network of African biologists, naturalists, conservationists, bat interest groups, students and other stakeholders to promote collaboration and coordination on numerous trans-boundary issues involving bats.


  • Forbes KM,  Sironen T, Webala PW, Jääskeläinen AJ, Ogola J, Masika MM, Kivistö E, Alburkat H, Pljusnin I, Levanov L, Korhonen EM, Huhtamo E, Mwaengo D, Smura T, Anzala O, Vapalahti O (Manuscript accepted). Bombali ebolavirus is widespread in Africa: evidence from infected Mops condylurus bats in south-east Kenya. Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • Webala PW, Mwaura J, Ndiritu GG, Patterson BD (Manuscript accepted) The effect of habitat fragmentation on the bats of Kakamega forest, western Kenya. Journal of Tropical Ecology  
  • Otieno TO, Goheen JR, Webala PW, Mwangi A, Osuga IM, Ford, AT (2019) Human- and risk-mediated browsing pressure by sympatric antelope in an African savanna. Biological Conservation 232: 59–65. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2019.01.028
  • Musila S, Monadjem A, Webala PW, Patterson BD, Hutterer R, Jong YA, Butynski TM , Mwangi G, Chen ZZ, Xue-Long Jiang XL (2019) An annotated checklist of mammals of Kenya. Zoological Research 40(1): 1–51. doi: https://doi.org/10. 24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.059 
  • Demos TC, Webala PW, Bartonjo M and Patterson BD (2018) Hidden Diversity of African Yellow House Bats (Vespertilionidae, Scotophilus): Insights From Multilocus Phylogenetics and Lineage Delimitation. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 6: 86. doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2018.00086
  • Patterson BD, Webala PW, Bartonjo M,  Dick CW, Terrence DC  (2018) On the taxonomic status and distribution of African species of Otomops (Chiroptera: Molossidae). PeerJ 6:e4864; DOI 10.7717/peerj.4864
  • Jacobs DS, Catto S, Mutumi GL, Finger N, Webala PW (2017) Testing the Sensory Drive Hypothesis: Geographic variation in echolocation frequencies of Geoffroy’s horseshoe bat (Rhinolophidae: Rhinolophus clivosus). PLoS ONE 12(11): e0187769. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0187769
  • Phillips CD, Hanson JD, Wilkinson J, Koenig L, Rees E, Webala P, Kingston T (2017) Microbiome Structural and Functional Interactions across Host Dietary Niche Space. Integrative and Comparative Biology, pp 1-13. DOI:10.1093/icb/icx011 
  • Wechuli, D. B., Webala, P. W., Patterson, B. D. and Ochieng, R. S. (2017) Bat species diversity and distribution in a disturbed regime at the Lake Bogoria National Reserve, Kenya. African Journal of Ecology 55: 465–476. doi:10.1111/aje.12376
  • López-Baucells, A., Rocha, R., Webala, P., Nair, A., Uusitalo, R., Sironen, T., Forbes, K.M. (2016) Rapid assessment of bat diversity in the Taita Hills Afromontane cloud forests, southeastern Kenya. Barbastella, Journal of Bat Research 9(1). DOI: 10.14709/BarbJ.9.1.2016.04
  • Jacobs, D.S. Mutumi, G.L. Maluleke, T. Webala, P. (2016). Convergence as an evolutionary trade-off in the evolution of acoustic signals: echolocation in horseshoe bats as a case study. in Evolutionary Biology: Convergent evolution, evolution of complex traits, concepts and methods (ed) P. Pontarotti. Springer Press, Heidelberg. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-41324-2_6
  • Lutz, H. L., Patterson, B. D., Kerbis, J. C., Stanley, W. T., Webala, P. W., Gnoske, T. P., Hackett, S. J., Stanhope, M. J. 2016Diverse sampling of East African haemosporidians reveals chiropteran origin of malaria parasites in primates and rodents. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 99, 7–15. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.03.004
  • Webala P. W., Musila, S., Makau R. 2014. Roost occupancy, roost site selection and diet of straw-colored fruit bats (Pteropodidae: Eidolon helvum) in western Kenya: the need for continued public education. Acta Chiropterologica 16(1), 85–94. doi: 10.3161/150811014X683291
  • Patterson, B.D., Webala, P.W. 2012. Keys to the bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of East Africa. Fieldiana: Life and Earth Sciences 6, 1-63. https://doi.org/10.3158/2158-5520-12.6.1
  • Webala, P. W., Craig, M.D., Law, B.S., Wayne, A.F., Bradley, J.S. 2010. Roost site selection by southern forest bat Vespadelus regulus and Gould’s long-eared bat Nyctophilus gouldi in logged jarrah forests; south-western Australia. Forest Ecology and Management 260, 1780–1790. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2010.08.022
  • Webala, P. W., Craig, M.D., Law, B.S., Armstrong, K.N., Wayne, A.F.,  Bradley, J.S. 2011. Bat habitat use in logged jarrah eucalypt forests, south-western Australia. Journal of Applied Ecology 48(2), 398–406. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01934.x
  • Webala, P.W., Carugati, C., Fasola, M. 2010. Diversity in small mammals from eastern Lake Turkana, Kenya. Tropical Zoology 23, 9-20. 
  • Kityo, R., Howell, K., Nakibuka, M., Ngalason, W., Tushabe, H. and Webala, P. W. 2009. East African Bat Atlas. Graphics Printing Press, Kampala, Uganda. Pp. 74
  • Webala, P. W., Carugati, C, Canova, L., Fasola, M. 2009. Bat assemblages from Eastern Lake Turkana, Kenya. Rev. Écol. (Terre Vie) 64, 85–91.
  • Webala, P. W., Muriuki, G., Lala, F., Bett A. 2006. The Small Mammal Community of Mukogodo Forest, Laikipia, Kenya. African Journal of Ecology 44, 363–370. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2006.00634.x
  • Webala, P. W., Oguge, N. O., Bekele Afework. 2004. Bat Species Diversity and Distribution in three vegetation communities of Meru National Park, Kenya. African Journal of Ecology 42 (3), 171- 178. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2004.00505.x

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