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I am a Kenyan wildlife biologist. I have previously held positions at the National Museums of Kenya (NMK), the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and Karatina University. Currently,  I am the Chair, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management at Maasai Mara University (MMU). I am an affiliate of the NMK, KWS and the Field Museum of Natural History (FMNH, Chicago, IL., USA). I am also a Co-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.

I am 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, I use bats as a focal group to understand and interrogate processes that drive rarity and abundance of mammals in natural, and human-dominated, environments. I am now part of a team of Kenyan bat experts exploring aspects of community ecology of bats in natural habitats and their responses to anthropogenic disturbances in increasingly human-dominated landscapes with interests in Kenya and Rwanda. I have received a number of research grants and I have successfully run several large-scale multidisciplinary research projects. Since 2013, I have been working on a "The Bats of Kenya" Project, with US colleagues Dr. Bruce Patterson (https://sites.google.com/a/fieldmuseum.org/bruce-pattersonslab/Home) and Dr. Carl Dick (https://www.wku.edu/biology/staff/index.php?memberid=759). This project was designed to understand Kenyan bat biodiversity. Recently, I won the prestigious Spallanzani Award for an outstanding record as a bat researcher by the North American Society for Bat Research (NASBR, 2015).

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Publication

  • Wechuli, D.B., Webala, P. W., Patterson, B. D., Ochieng’, R. S. 2016. Bat Species Diversity and Distribution in a Disturbed Regime at the Lake Bogoria National Reserve, Kenya. Accepted to be published by the African Journal of Ecology
  • Lutz, H. L., Patterson, B. D., Kerbis, J. C., Stanley, W. T., Webala, P. W., Gnoske, T. P., Hackett, S. J., Stanhope, M. J. 2016. Diverse 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. doi: 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.
  • 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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