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Dr Marc Holderied

Dr Marc Holderied

Dr Marc Holderied
PhD(Erlangen)

Senior Lecturer in Biology

Area of research

Ecology and behaviour of bats

Office Life Sciences: 2B05
Life Sciences Building,
24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 39 41190

Summary

Topics I am interested in:

  • Biosonar: adaptive signal design and echo evolution
  • Bioacoustics in arthropods, amphibians, birds, primates, bats and other mammals
  • Flower detection by biosonar in nectar-feeding bats
  • Directional hearing in bats and insects
  • Bat flight and movement coordination
  • Biosonar predator-prey arms races
  • Spatiotemporal use of natural habitats by bats (studied using 3D laser scanning)
  • Interactions between echolocating bats and prey that can hear ultrasound

Sportive lemurs listen to other species to detect and avoid predators

As part of her PhD research Dr Melanie Seiler studied the Sahamalaza sportive lemur in its natural habitat and found that it pays close attention to the vocalisations of other species in their habitatto detect and avoid predation by both terrestrial and airborne predators.

Interspecific Semantic Alarm Call Recognition in the Solitary Sahamalaza Sportive Lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis Seiler, M., Schwitzer, C., Gamba, M. & Holderied, M. W. 25 Jun 2013 In : PloS one. 8, 6, 12 p.67397

A new Boophis tree frog from south-west Madagascar

Masters by Research student Samuel Penny (Co-supervised by Dr C. Schwitzer at the BCSF) returned from his field work in Madagascar with a specimen of an unkown tree frog. This has turned out to be a new species. Sam has named it Boophis ankarafensis and he is currently preparing the species description for publication.

Bats and Acacia trees in deserts

In a study published in PLOS ONE, Dr Marc Holderied and colleagues from Bristol's School of Biological Sciences and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel demonstrate the importance of dense acacia tree habitats for protected bats and their arthropod prey (for example, insects, spiders and scorpions) in comparison to other natural and artificial habitats.

'The importance of Acacia trees for insectivorous bats and arthropods in the Arava desert' by Talya D. Hackett, Carmi Korine and Marc W. Holderied inPLOS ONE

Stealth aerial-hawking in a specialised moth-catching bat

Like a stealth fighter plane, the barbastelle bat uses a sneaky hunting strategy to catch its prey.  A team of researchers from the University of Bristol combined three cutting-edge techniques to uncover the secret of this rare bat’s success: whispering.

‘An aerial-hawking bat uses stealth echolocation to counter moth hearing’ by Holger R. Goerlitz, Hannah M. ter Hofstede, Matt R. K. Zeale, Gareth Jones, Marc W. Holderied Current Biology

Rainforest plant developed sonar dish to attract pollinating bats

While it is well known that the bright colours of flowers serve to attract visually-guided pollinators such a s bees and birds, little research has been done to see whether plants which rely on echolocating bats for pollination and seed dispersal have evolved analogous echo-acoustic signals. The researchers discovered that a rainforest vine, pollinated by bats, has evolved dish-shaped leaves with such conspicuous echoes that nectar-feeding bats can find its flowers twice as fast by echolocation.

‘Floral acoustics: conspicuous echoes of a dish-shaped leaf attract bat pollinators’ by Ralph Simon, Marc W. Holderied, Corinna U. Koch and Otto von Helversen in Science.

Biography

University of Bristol, School of Biological Sciences, UK

since August 2008 Senior Lecturer; since 2011 Senior Admissions tutor; since 2012 in charge of Recruitment  

November 2006 – July 2008 Lecturer

March 2002-October 2003 Research Assistant with Prof. Gareth Jones, funded by BBSRC

University of Erlangen, Germany

2001-2002 and 2003–2006: Assistant Lecturer

1999-2001: Research Assistant

University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

December 2003-April 2004: Visiting Scientist at the lab of Prof. Cynthia Moss. Honours scholar in residence

Higher Education

Dr. rer. nat. summa cum laude, (maximum) 1997-2001 University of Erlangen

- Implemented 3D acoustic tracking of animals in the field
- Studied bat flight and echolocation behaviour and sonar beam shape in the field

Dipl. biol. degree: 1.0, (maximum) 1991-97 University of Erlangen

- Developed and applied miniature earphones for grasshoppers
- Investigated grasshopper directional hearing using behavioural tests, laser vibrometry,
   electrophysiology and acoustic modelling  

Activities / Findings

A new Boophis tree frog from south-west Madagascar

Masters by Research student Samuel Penny (Co-supervised by Dr C. Schwitzer at the BCSF) returned from his field work in Madagascar with a specimen of an unkown tree frog. This has turned out to be a new species. Sam has named it Boophis ankarafensis and he is currently preparing the species description for publication.

Bats and Acacia trees in deserts

In a study published in PLOS ONE, Dr Marc Holderied and colleagues from Bristol's School of Biological Sciences and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel demonstrate the importance of dense acacia tree habitats for protected bats and their arthropod prey (for example, insects, spiders and scorpions) in comparison to other natural and artificial habitats.

'The importance of Acacia trees for insectivorous bats and arthropods in the Arava desert' by Talya D. Hackett, Carmi Korine and Marc W. Holderied in PLOS ONE

Stealth aerial-hawking in a specialised moth-catching bat

Like a stealth fighter plane, the barbastelle bat uses a sneaky hunting strategy to catch its prey.  A team of researchers from the University of Bristol combined three cutting-edge techniques to uncover the secret of this rare bat’s success: whispering.

‘An aerial-hawking bat uses stealth echolocation to counter moth hearing’ by Holger R. Goerlitz, Hannah M. ter Hofstede, Matt R. K. Zeale, Gareth Jones, Marc W. Holderied Current Biology

Rainforest plant developed sonar dish to attract pollinating bats

While it is well known that the bright colours of flowers serve to attract visually-guided pollinators such as bees and birds, little research has been done to see whether plants which rely on echolocating bats for pollination and seed dispersal have evolved analogous echo-acoustic signals. The researchers discovered that a rainforest vine, pollinated by bats, has evolved dish-shaped leaves with such conspicuous echoes that nectar-feeding bats can find its flowers twice as fast by echolocation.

‘Floral acoustics: conspicuous echoes of a dish-shaped leaf attract bat pollinators’ by Ralph Simon, Marc W. Holderied, Corinna U. Koch and Otto von Helversen in Science

Teaching

Level one

BIOL12000 ‘Sensory ecology’ on including practical on analysis of animal sounds and acoustic identification of British bats (with popular voluntary field work) ranks 1st in student feedback in many categories

Level two

 BIOL20009 Field course on the biology of bats either to the Negev desert in Israel or to Costa Ricas rainforests.

BIOL20010 My most substantial teaching contribution continues to be ‘Science & Success: Writing, Speaking and Communicating Science’ on transferable skills, which has won me the University’s 2011 e-learning award. Through role play, practicals and online peer collaboration students learn Scientific writing, Writing for the media, Presentation skills, Job hunting and Interview skills, Digital literacy, Career planning and the unit culminates in an evidence-based Personal development plan. The highly and ambitious complex unit is extremely popular with students, and to allow us to extend the range of acquired skills it has gone up from 10 to 20 credit points starting in 2013. Several departments and faculties have started to copy (elements of) this unit for their own transferable skills training.

Level three

 

BIOL31132 Since 2012 I teach the unit on ‘Sensory ecology’ shared with Profs Robert and Partridge, which was an instant success with student feedback being almost unanimous 5* for being inspiring.

Keywords

  • Bioacoustics
  • Acoustic monitoring
  • Bat echolocation
  • Plant-pollinator co-evolution
  • Bat-insect interaction

Methodologies

  • Acoustic ultrasound 3D tomography of natural targets
  • Acoustic flight path tracking of free-ranging bats
  • Source levels of free ranging bats in flight
  • 3D laser reconstruction of natural habitats
  • Chirocopter - a flying drone to map natural soundscapes (Dr Vanderelst)
  • Behavioural training of nectar-feeding bats
  • Acoustic monitoring of bats birds primates elephants amphibians and insects

Links

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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