Chris Todd, PhD Candidate, Christmas Island flying-fox ecology
Chris Todd is a PhD candidate studying the ecology and conservation of the Critically Endangered Christmas Island flying-fox with Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment. Chris’s research interests focus on the ecology and conservation of bats on islands. Chris received a Bachelors of Science from Rutgers University in Natural Resource Management and Animal Science, and a Master’s of Science degree in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science from the University of Hawai`i at Hilo studying the seasonal movements and feeding ecology of the Hawaiian hoary bat. Over the past 13 years Chris has also conducted research on the ecology of Epauletted fruit bats in Kruger National Park, South Africa, the tent-making bat in Costa Rica and the Mariana fruit bat on the small island of Rota.
The Christmas Island flying fox was listed in January 2014 as Critically Endangered. Chris aims to address important information gaps in the flying-fox’s ecology with a special focus on: a) developing methods to accurately estimate the population size and trends; b) identifying important life history events, including the timing of reproduction and mating, reproductive success, and growth and survival rates; and c) determining patterns of foraging and roosting across the landscape of Christmas Island. Ultimately, Chris hopes that the framework of his research will serve as a model for conservation and management efforts for other declining flying-foxes species as well other declining species populations on Christmas Island.