Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research

New Discoveries


Project Spotlight


Samantha Rushing
Samantha Rushing

Viability of Cavities

Samantha Rushing, wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture major, studied the key characteristics of cavity trees most important to bats and what actions should be taken to increase cavity tree numbers and preserve these habitat features. Using field surveys, information on physical characteristics of known cavity trees were collected and compared to information collected on the same cavity trees 10-13 years ago. The research found that occupancy of cavity trees by bats is highly dependent on the size of the tree, but not all trees with basal cavities likely support bats. Bats were found in larger diameter trees with larger cavity area, those promoting stable microclimates through thicker cavity walls. The likelihood that trees survived to a size large enough to support these cavities is relative high (likelihood of tree remaining through the period between surveys was 86%). Therefore, preservation strategies should be put in place to allow for cavity trees to grow to a suitable size, thus increasing availability of these trees to bats.


News / Recognition

Undergraduate Research Symposium

Katherine Abell, a wildlife, fisheries, and aquaculture major, and Zachary Senneff, a forestry major, were among the winners of the 2014 MSU Undergraduate Research Symposium. Abell placed first in the community engagement and social sciences categories and Senneff placed second in the biological sciences and engineering category.

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