Aarhus University Seal

VIPO grant for bat computers

Postdoc Laura Stidsholt from the Department of Biology is one of the grant recipients under the Villum International Postdoc talent programme. The DKK 2,468,000 grant will fund her research into how bats use echolocation.

Laura Stidsholt has received DKK 2,468,000 for a three-year postdoc project on how human activity affects the ability of bats to find food. Photo: Private

Villum International Postdoc (VIPO) is VILLUM FONDEN’s career kick-start programme earmarked for female researchers in the period 2019-2023. This year, six female researchers from the Technical University of Denmark, Aalborg University, the University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University have received a total of DKK 14.5 million. And DKK 2,468,000 have gone to Laura Stidsholt from the Department of Biology at Aarhus University.

Laura Stidsholt studies bats’ echolocation by attaching miniature computers to the backs of wild bats, and along with her colleagues, she has already revealed some of the animals’ hunting secrets.

The aim of VIPO is to strengthen talent development in Danish research in the technical and natural sciences. The programme has been developed in collaboration with Danish universities, but as a condition for receiving a grant, the recipient must carry out most of her project, e.g. two of the, typically, three grant years, abroad.

With funding from the VIPO grant, she will place mini computers on the back of wild bats again, but this time to record how human light and noise pollution affects the ability of bats to find food and balance their energy budget.

She will do this during her two-year collaboration with Freie Universität Berlin (see fact box).

"By exploring this correlation, I’ll gain insight into some of the mechanisms behind the considerable reductions in bat numbers, and I’ll help find solutions to avoid these mechanisms in the future. When I return to Aarhus University, I’ll use this approach to understand the natural behaviour of other wild animals and how this is affected by human disturbances. This knowledge is crucial if we’re to adapt human activity in the future to prevent it from destroying vital ecosystems," says Laura Stidsholt.

Further information


Postdoc Laura Stidsholt
Department of Biology - Zoophysiology
Aarhus University
Email: laura.stidsholt@bio.au.dk
Mobile: +45 2871 7824

See the press release on the Velux Foundation website here: https://veluxfoundations.dk/da/vipo-2021