Women in Science: Meet Susan Loeb

The new Women in Science series features women scientists from across the Southern Research Station (SRS)–their education, career paths, challenges, achievements, and inspirations.

Meet SRS scientist Susan Loeb, a research ecologist with the Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management Research Unit in Clemson, South Carolina. Loeb earned her Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis and has studied bats for two decades.

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Loeb studies how early successional habitat benefits biodiversity. Photo by Jonathan Brooks, Clemson University.

Specifically, she studies bat ecology and conservation throughout the southeastern U.S. Bat populations have declined as a result of habitat disturbance and loss.

Loeb’s research looks at the effects of forest management practices on bat habitat, methods for monitoring bat populations, and development of recovery plans for different bat species.

Recognizing the need for a cohesive, effective, and efficient way to track changes in bat populations, Loeb led the development of “A plan for the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat).”

She served as lead author on the publication, which represents the first step in establishing the NABat monitoring program for bats in North America.

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Loeb weighs a tri-colored bat in Stumphouse Tunnel, a hibernaculum in South Carolina. Photo by Jonathan Brooks, Clemson University.

The goal of NABat is to provide natural resource managers the information they need to manage bat populations effectively, detect early warning signs of population declines, and estimate extinction risks.

Read on to learn more about Loeb and her critical work, which also earned her a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network in 2014. Who has inspired Susan Loeb? Why did she choose to study bats? How did she start her career? Visit Women in Science to learn more.

For more information, email Patty Matteson at phmatteson@fs.fed.us.

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