Nia Toshkova

How climate change is affecting bat populations?

During the first months of my fellowship at the University of Konstanz, I was actively involved in various aspects of research for my PhD. Firstly, I conducted data analysis and wrote ascientific paper focusing on understanding how bat and insect phenology are influenced byseasonal environmental conditions and their potential impact on fitness amidst changing climat icconditions. This study specifically examined the winter diet of Schreibers' bent-winged batMiniopterus schreibersii (Kuhl, 1817) in Razhishkata Cave, Balkan Mountains, Bulgaria. Byutilising a combination of DNA metabarcoding and microscope-based morphological analyses ofbat droppings and monitoring prey availability using insect flight interception traps (FIT), wegained valuable insights into their feeding preferences and activity patterns. This study wassuccessfully published during my stay in Germany. In addition to this work, I also contributed toa second publication for my PhD, which focused on investigating the difference in oxidativestress levels in bat populations that exhibit high and low activity during the winter.Moreover, during my fellowship, I had the opportunity to take part in fieldwork in Switzerlandand Germany. I actively participated in sample collection and exciting modern taggingtechnology thated involved attaching miniature tags to the backs of bats, specifically the Nyctalusnoctula species. These tags allowed us to track their migration routes, providing crucialinformation about their movement patterns and behaviour during migration.The combination of these research efforts, along with myement involvtask withadvanced tagging technology and high-tech laboratory experience, reachable contributes tomy PhD work and my development as an independent researcher. The comprehensive approachtaken in these studies enables us to gain deeper insights into the relationships between environmental conditions, species behaviour, and population dynamics, with the ultimate goalal ofshedding light on the impact of changing climates on wildlife populations.



08.02.2023 - 07.08.2023


UniversitÀt Konstanz
Research Fellow
Zukunftskolleg & Department of Biology &


Dr. Gisela Kopp