About Us
About BCI

Meet the Staff

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Executive

Mike Daulton

Executive Director

Mike Daulton is an award-winning conservationist with two decades of experience. Read more...

Mike Daulton is an award-winning conservationist with two decades of experience as an environmental leader in the nonprofit sector. For the past 17 years, Mike has served as a senior level policy director and organizational strategist for the National Audubon Society, most recently serving as their Vice President of Policy and Strategy.

Mike graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a B.Sc. in Ecology and a master’s in Public Policy from Duke University.


Kevin Pierson

Chief Conservation Officer

Kevin Pierson is the principal conservation leader, manager, and planner for Bat Conservation International. Read more...

Kevin Pierson is the principal conservation leader, manager, and planner for Bat Conservation International (BCI). He is responsible for the vision, oversight, planning and implementation of a comprehensive conservation program that charts a path for growth in BCI’s conservation impact and global conservation reach.

Kevin comes to BCI with over 15 years of extensive nonprofit experience as a conservation strategist, fundraiser, and advocate. Kevin is an inspirational leader with strong expertise in identifying and implementing steps to achieve BCI's mission including clarifying ideas into fundable programs, raising funds, and managing for results.


Kenda Lovecchio

Chief Development & Communications Officer

Kenda Lovecchio comes to BCI with more than 16 years of demonstrated success in metric-based fund development. Read more...

Kenda Lovecchio comes to BCI with more than 16 years of demonstrated success in metric-based fund development and strategic communication for non-profit organizations. She relocated to Austin, Texas from Chicago, Illinois in the spring of 2016 and is thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the philanthropic efforts at BCI. Kenda was first introduced to BCI during her employment with the Field Museum of Natural History and is honored to join this brilliant team in helping to protect the world’s varied bat species.

Her philanthropic experience encompasses varied sectors; including government, corporate and foundation support, as well as individual, major gifts, and prospect research. She is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and taught fundraising as an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago in 2009 and 2011. Kenda earned her B.A. in Theater from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. In addition to being a bat enthusiast, she enjoys travel, hiking, and visiting cultural institutions with her family.


Mylea Bayless

Senior Director, Networking and Partnerships

Mylea Bayless leads BCI’s newly developed Network & Partnerships Division with over 20 years of experience in building collaborative teams for conservation Read more...

Mylea Bayless leads BCI’s newly developed Network & Partnerships Division with over 20 years of experience in building collaborative teams for conservation, research, and wildlife management. She has been integral to BCI’s mission for more a decade leading the conservation team in US and Canada.

"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." The wisdom of this African proverb defines her approach to conservation. A life-long student, she is thrilled to be focusing her natural affinity for people to develop strategic partnerships that will grow BCI’s impact around the world.

Bayless joined BCI in 2006, with a career portfolio including State and Federal agency service and Academic research. Including bats, her research background includes a variety of wildlife (including spotted owls, bald eagles, American pronghorn, Merriam’s turkeys, and Rocky Mountain elk). She holds degrees from Colorado State University (B.S., M.S.).


Winifred Frick, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist, Conservation Science

Winifred Frick joined BCI in 2016, and has studied bat ecology and conservation for the past 15 years Read more...

Winifred Frick joined BCI as the first Senior Director of Conservation Science, and is now our Chief Scientist. Winifred has studied bat ecology and conservation for the past 15 years and is an adjunct assistant professor in ecology and evolutionary biology at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her active research program focuses on understanding how bat populations respond to natural and anthropogenic perturbations.

Specifically, she has studied the disease ecology and impacts of white-nose syndrome as well as impacts of climate and global change on bat populations. She also has worked extensively in northwestern Mexico on ecology of desert bats, including seasonal ecology and foraging behavior of nectar-feeding bats. She is enthusiastic about her new role at BCI and the potential to contribute to science-based conservation to help protect the world’s many bat species.


Rebeca Rojas

Executive Assistant

Originally from Washington D.C., raised, half of her life, between Mexico and USA, Rebeca graduated from Universidad del Valle de Mexico Read more...

Originally from Washington D.C., raised, half of her life, between Mexico and USA, Rebeca graduated from Universidad del Valle de Mexico with a bachelor degree in Business Administration and AA in Tourism. Rebeca is a very positive person who enjoys being a team player, eager to learn and is self-motivated. I am open-arms to opportunities that will broaden my horizon.

One of my passion is to give, support, and make a difference. For over 8 years, I have dedicated my career to keeping executives and business owners organized, prioritized and less stressed. I take great pride in representing top level management professionally and with artfulness. I enjoy responsibility and believe that my experience, professionalism, and proactive demeanor are a perfect match for the “many hats” that Assistant and Office Manager positions require.

In my spare time, I have a deep love for photography, swimming, yoga and being able to travel with my daughter to warm places with palm trees.


Conservation, Education, & Science

Dan Taylor, M.S.

Director, Public Lands Program

Dan Taylor directs BCI’s Public Lands Program and has more than 30 years of experience Read more...
  • Bats and Public Lands Management
  • Bats and Forests
  • Bats and Water Resources

Dan Taylor directs BCI’s Public Lands Program and has more than 30 years of experience working on a wide range of wildlife and conservation issues in the U.S., Central America, and Africa. Dan has been with BCI for 17 years, previously directing its Bats and Mines, Bats and Forests, and Water for Wildlife initiatives. Dan’s background as a USDA-Forest Service biologist in Arizona, Montana, and Oregon, and years of experience facilitating collaboration between BCI and local, state, and national government partners made him well-suited to lead BCI’s new Public Lands Program.

The Program is working with the primary agencies responsible for natural resource management in North America to ensure the incorporation of bat conservation into key policy, planning, and land management actions. Dan authored BCI’s Forest Management & Bats publication and co-authored BCI’s Bats and Mines and Water for Wildlife handbooks with Dr. Merlin Tuttle.

He is a member of The Wildlife Society, and the Arizona, New Mexico, and Western Bat Working Groups, and was a founding member of the Society for Conservation Biology.

Prior to his work with BCI and the Forest Service, Dan was the first director of the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize, Central America, and previously worked seasonally on several wildlife projects involving wolves, brown and black bears, European badgers, and northern and Mexcan spotted owls.

Dan holds a bachelors degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana and a masters of science in Forestry from Northern Arizona University.


Fran Hutchins

Director, Bracken Cave Preserve

  • Bracken Bat Cave Habitat Restoration
  • Bracken Cave Educational Tours and Bat Flight Events
  • Texas Master Naturalist

Fran has been with Bat Conservation International since 2006, directing educational bat flight programs and the restoration work on BCI’s Bracken Cave Preserve and working with Central Texas landowners protecting other bat roosts. His work at the preserve protects the largest colony of bats in the world.

He is often asked to speak at various events, sharing his passion for informing the public about bats. This extended’s to schools, zoos, Scouts and organizations from around the world. He has been featured on Texas Country Reporter, Travel Channel, several documentaries as well as Texas Highway Magazine.

In 2013 he was recognized by the US Forest Service for Wings Across the Americas / BatsLIVE education program.

Fran is also a Caver and Texas Master Naturalist and Eagle Scout.


Jason Corbett, M.S.

Director, Subterranean Program

  • Mine and Cave Inventory and Management
  • Cave and Mine Gates

I've been happily working with wildlife since the tender age of 8 when an Emmy Award winning wildlife cinematographer moved in next door and hired my brother and I to work with him on his wildlife films for National Geographic, the BBC, Discovery Channel, etc.

Several jobs later I am ecstatic to be working hard on conserving a taxa I greatly admire, bats, and my favorite type of habitat on the planet; all things under the Earth. These dark spaces; caves, mines, cracks, crypts, ossuaries, sinkholes, cenotes, springs, and many others provide shelter, refuge, and critical habitat for many species of plants and animals.

By working to protect subterranean bats and their habitat, I'm able to help protect not only the amazing places they call home, but also all of the other plants and animals that need these spaces. It is hard work but I love it!


Jon Flanders, Ph.D.

International Program Manager

Jon received his PhD from the University of Bristol where he integrated investigations of the ecology, diet and population genetics of the greater horseshoe bat in order to advance its conservation. Read more...

Jon has studied bat conservation and molecular ecology for over 10 years. He received his PhD from the University of Bristol where he integrated investigations of the ecology, diet and population genetics of the greater horseshoe bat in order to advance its conservation.

After completing his PhD, Jon moved to China where he spent two years examining the population genetic structure of various bat species to assess their conservation status before returning to the UK to work as biodiversity coordinator at the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. There he led teams from the environmental, economic and health sectors to develop sustainable habitat creation and restoration projects for the area.

More recently he has lived in Japan, assessing the impact of habitat fragmentation on a rare species of tube-nosed bat, and has worked in 7 other countries on three continents leading a variety of conservation related research projects as well as teaching workshops and outreach efforts for local researchers and students.


Shawn Thomas

Subterranean Program Manager

Shawn coordinates projects involving inventories and monitoring of cave and mine-roosting bats Read more...
  • U.S. & Canada cave/mine bat assessments

Shawn Thomas joined the BCI staff in July, 2014. As Projects Manager for the Subterranean Program, Shawn coordinates projects involving inventories and monitoring of cave and mine-roosting bats. These projects involve working with diverse partners, ranging from federal agencies to private mining companies.

Prior to  working for BCI, Shawn specialized in cave management for the National Park Service, having worked for several cave parks in the western U.S., including Carlsbad Caverns National Park (NM), Lava Beds National Monument (CA), Oregon Caves National Monument (OR), Great Basin National Park (NV), and Jewel Cave National Monument (SD).

Outside of work, Shawn’s time is focused on exploring and mapping caves, with active projects in Arizona (Grand Canyon National Park caves), New Mexico (Lechuguilla Cave, Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave), and Montana (Bob Marshall Wilderness caves).  


Michael Schirmacher, M.S.

Wind Energy Program Manager

  • Wind Energy
  • Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC) field project management
  • Acoustic Monitoring

Rebecca Patterson

Conservation Programs Coordinator

Rebecca Patterson joined the BCI staff in January, 2008. Rebecca provides administrative support Read more...
  • Conservation Program Administration
  • Grant and Contract Management
  • Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC) administrator

Rebecca Patterson joined the BCI staff in January, 2008. As US/Canada Programs Coordinator, Rebecca provides administrative support to all current US and Canada Programs including Bracken Cave Preserve, Education and Public Outreach, Wind Energy and Public Lands. In addition to administrative support she provides expertise in event planning and grant and contract management.

Rebecca holds a B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University. Prior to joining the BCI staff, she worked as a dog-trainer, recruiting her own dog to provide pet-assisted therapy. In addition to her love for all animals, Rebecca loves hiking and running the many trails of Austin, is a part-time film geek and self-proclaimed foodie.


Tina Cheng

Conservation Biologist Postdoctoral Fellow

Tina Cheng joined BCI in 2017 as a Conservation Biology Postdoctoral Fellow. Tina has worked in the fields of disease ecology and wildlife conservation Read more...

Tina Cheng joined BCI in 2017 as a Conservation Biology Postdoctoral Fellow. Tina has worked in the fields of disease ecology and wildlife conservation for over a decade.

Tina recently completed a PhD at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she investigated spatial impacts and approaches in the conservation of North American bats affected by white-nose syndrome.

Tina also received a master's in science from San Francisco State University, where she studied the historical impact of chytridiomycosis on neotropical amphibian populations. Tina graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Integrative Biology. She is excited to join the BCI team in their joint efforts to protect and conserve bat species around the world.


Nathan Breece

Subterranean Field Lead

Nathan coordinates field projects including cave and mine wildlife surveys and white-nose surveillance. Read more...

Nathan Breece originally started working for BCI in 2009 as a part-time subterranean specialist. He was hired in early 2017 as the full-time field lead for the Subterranean Program. Nathan is involved with coordinating field work for a diverse set of partners including federal, state, and private entities. He spends a large part of his time surveying abandon mines and caves for suitable bat habitat. White-nose surveillance is also a large part of this surveying effort.

Nathan started working with bats in 2005 at the Northern Arizona University in the School of Forestry. Prior to working for BCI, Nathan worked for the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde as biologist, forest researcher, recreation technician, and wildland firefighter. These jobs were in Oregon, Idaho, and Arizona. In addition to his natural resource work, Nathan also spent several years as a professional ski instructor in Oregon, Utah, and Arizona.

Nathan has an eleven-year-old son. He enjoys spending much of his time outside of work recreating in the outdoors with his son.


Christen Long

Bat Acoustics Program Manager

Christen Long joined the BCI staff in February 2017. As the Bat Acoustic Program Manager, Christen processes bat acoustic data for several of BCI’s conservation programs. She also processes large quantities of data to contribute to the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat). Christen’s work helps inform planning to better conserve bat populations.

Christen holds a B.S. in Zoology from Humboldt State University. It was during her time in school that she gained a passion for bats and first began participating in field work, studying hoary bat migration as well as analyzing bat acoustic data.


Alyson Brokaw

Science Content Specialist

Alyson is a doctoral candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Texas A&M University Read more...

Alyson is a doctoral candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Texas A&M University. For her dissertation she is working on sensory ecology and behavior in bats, with a focus on olfactory ecology.

She received her Master’s degree from Humboldt State University, where she worked on acoustic communication in bats. She loves to share her enthusiasm for bat research and conservation through outreach. She is active on Twitter and social media, where she works to share a love of bats with public. As Science Content Specialist, she is excited to work with BCI to communicate about conservation and the amazing world of bats.


Operations

John "Beej" Nunn

Director, Information Technology

  • Information Systems
  • Webmaster & Web Development
  • Network Administrator & Systems Support
  • Flys & jumps out of perfectly good airplanes

Beej has been with BCI for many years, and looks after anything vaguely related to Information Technology. He is a graduate of Staffordshire University, UK. For those who are curious, the nickname ‘Beej’ stems from ‘Big John’ -> ‘B.J’ -> ‘Beejay’ -> ‘Beej’!

Beej is a Brit, living in Texas, and due to his English accent mixed with a slight hint of Texan, is often mistaken for an Australian! In his spare time he enjoys playing the piano, aerobatic flying, table tennis, powerlifting, and creating things (building his own airplane), and was a regular skydiver until he discovered McDonalds drive-thru’s and the joys of a high body mass index.


Jessica Jurado

Accountant

I have been in the accounting world for 6yrs+. I am very excited to be working at
BCI. Read more...

I was born in Austin, TX lived in Atlanta, Georgia. I enjoy the outdoors, live music, sports, I love coaching softball and enjoy watching my daughter play softball. I have been in the accounting world for 6yrs+. I am very excited to be working at BCI.


Development

Michelle Vryn

Director of Institutional Giving

Michelle joined the Bat Conservation International team in November 2017. As the Director of Institutional Giving, she oversees funding relationships with governments and foundations and serves as the organization’s representative to the corporate funding community. Read more...

Born in the Texas Hill Country, Michelle has always had a love and respect for nature. While earning her M.A. in environmental anthropology, Michelle conducted research on the role that values play in private landowners’ long-term conservation strategies. Before joining BCI, Michelle served as the director of communications and development at the Nature Discovery Center in Houston. She has also worked for the national consultancy, Dini Spheris, as well as directed membership for the Galveston Bay Foundation. Outside of the office Michelle enjoys hiking, live music, and spontaneous outdoor adventures!


Lisa Murdock

Development Services Associate

Lisa received her B.S. in Nursing from The University of Texas at Austin, and spent many years in the medical field before focusing on her true passion—animals. Read more...

Lisa Murdock joined the Bat Conservation International Philanthropy team in March 2016 as a membership data entry clerk. She received her B.S. in Nursing from The University of Texas at Austin, and spent many years in the medical field before focusing on her true passion—animals. Lisa has experience with small and large companion pets, as well as native wildlife, and even zoo animals.


While not working to save the bats, Lisa enjoys hiking, reading, watching sports, traveling, and spending time with her boyfriend. She hopes to someday work more hands-on with bats in their natural environment, helping to ensure their future survival and success.


Communications

Javier Folgar

Director of Communications

With over a decade of experience in Communications, Javier is a conservationist who served in key roles protecting wildlife and our natural & cultural resources. Read more...

Javier Folgar joined Bat Conservation International in October 2018. As the Director of Communications, he's dedicated to conserving the world’s bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet.

With over a decade of experience in Communications, Javier is a conservationist who served in key roles protecting wildlife and our natural & cultural resources. He received a B.S. in Marketing from Rutgers University and earned an MBA from Montclair State University. Most recently he served as the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) with accomplishments including developing an award-winning video series, called myATstory, that elevated the exposure for the organization. He also led nationwide campaigns that substantially grew ATC’s brand identify, advocated for America’s public lands, and increased financial support for the organization.

Javier currently serves on the board for Altruistic Odyssey, is a volunteer for the Catholic Fellowship of Frederick, and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America. During his free time, Javier is a competitive swimmer for the Tsunami US Master swim team and enjoys hiking on the weekends with his lab.


Katie Jepson

Content Producer

Hailing from the vast wilds of New Jersey, Katie has always possessed a keen interest in the natural world Read more...

Hailing from the vast wilds of New Jersey, Katie has always possessed a keen interest in the natural world. That fascination followed her to Virginia, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Geology at James Madison University.

The observational nature of geology instilled a desire to use a visual medium to tell the stories of the natural world. Soon after graduation, she moved out to Montana to pursue her MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking at Montana State University. Since then, her work has been featured in numerous film festivals, museums, and the occasional airport waiting room.

She has worked for a number of national brands such as National Geographic, PBS, and Curiosity Stream. Katie is a strong believer that laughter is key to fully appreciating the world around us.


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