I will be studying the influence of artificial light on the bat-prey interactions. Bats are night animals and they are strongly affected by the presence of light. Since the amount of light at night has severely increased in the past decades, this may have affected the behavior and physiology of bats. Light can strongly facilitate local foraging of some species of bat, but at the same time thwart feeding opportunities of other species. These effects may strongly vary within the night as well as within the season. We will also look into possible improvements in the design and scheduling of artificial lighting to mitigate impact. We will do several experiments, for example along urban gradients, in several municipalities in the Netherlands. This means that we will investigate areas that are highly illuminated, such as cities but also more darker areas. In this way we can study the effects of artificial light at night from populated areas to natural environments.
The BioClock Consortium is funded by the NWA-ORC programme of the Dutch Research Council (NWO; project number 1292.19.077).