Project Staff and Contact Info

iSWOOPLogo1wtag_bigv2Nick Hristov, Bat Biologist
Winston Salem State University

Louise Allen, Bat Biologist

Martha Merson, STEM Educator
Adult Numeracy Center, TERC

Sherry Soares, Project Coordinator
Adult Numeracy Center, TERC

Cynthia Char, Evaluator

Nickolay Hristov, co-PI, has led research teams at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. He has published in the Journal of Mammology on thermal infrared imagery to enhance the understanding of colony size and behavior. Hristov is also responsible for the development of the motion capture capability at Centers for Design Innovation (CDI), which is a multi-campus research center of the University of North Carolina System.

Louise Allen, Senior Staff, conducts research on colony dynamics at the park. Allen has published on bats’ physiological responses to human-induced environmental change, as well as disease ecology, stress physiology and reproduction in wild vertebrates. She will co-lead PD, assist with data collection, visualization, and graphics production to be shared with interpreters and visitors.

As well as being widely recognized experts on bat biology, Hristov and Allen are known in research circles worldwide for their studies of bats. Their images have appeared in the popular media, listed among the top five of Discovery’s Coolest Videos (2007) and more recently made the focus of NPR’s Science Friday video picks (See They have experience working with the public in informal settings, such as the North Carolina Zoological Park.

Project advisors include people within and outside the park service. Kirsten Leong, Human Dimensions of Biological Resource Management, Sara Melena, Education Specialist and Mike Whatley, Chief of the Office of Education and Outreach; Elaine Leslie, Deputy Chief of Operations for the Biological Resource Management Division, Natural Resource Program Center for NPS.

Lending experience and expertise on communicating science to public audiences, we will work with Flora Lichtman formerly of Science Friday and James Alexander Curwood from public radio’s show Living on Earth.

Representing scientists who work at parks, we have Lauren Nolfo-Clements of Suffolk University and Abe Miller-Rushing, Science Coordinator at the Schoodic Education and Research Center, Acadia National Park.