Paul Cryan, Ph.D.
Mysteries, underdogs, and gadgets have always fascinated me, so for the past two decades I have focused my research on using technology to reveal how some of the 43+ species of U.S. bats live their cryptic lives. My particular interests include uncovering bat migration behaviors and seasonal movements, discovering the details of their winter hideouts and survival strategies, and understanding how infectious diseases influence bat populations. What began as general interest in an understudied group of mammals has grown into a practical search for answers to two of the most pressing threats currently facing U.S. bats - fatalities at wind turbines and the emerging disease known as white-nose syndrome. My basic research approach is to start by synthesizing natural history and existing information, then test plausible new hypotheses in a scientifically defensible way through observational and experimental field studies. I gravitate toward new collaborations and technologies that take us beyond existing methods and expand our abilities to follow and discover what (and how) bats are doing out there in the dark.
- Ph.D. Biology, University of New Mexico, 2003
- M.S. Biology, University of New Mexico, 1997
- B.A. Biology, The Evergreen State College, 1991
- 2003 to present, Research Biologist, USGS Fort Collins Science Center, Fort Collins, CO
- 1999 to 2003, Student Trainee (SCEP), USGS Arid Lands Field Station (Fort Collins Science Center), Albuquerque, NM
- 1994 to 1997 & 1999 to 2002, Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
- 1998 to 1999, Wildlife Biologist, USGS Arid Lands Field Station (Fort Collins Science Center), Albuquerque, NM
- 1995 to 1997, Biological Science Technician, USGS Arid Lands Field Station (Fort Collins Science Center), Albuquerque, NM
Science and Products
Wind Turbines as Landscape Impediments to the Migratory Connectivity of Bats
Unprecedented numbers of migratory bats are found dead beneath industrial-scale wind turbines during late summer and autumn in both North America and Europe. Prior to the wide-scale deployment of wind turbines, fatal collisions of migratory bats with anthropogenic structures were rarely reported and likely occurred very infrequently. There are no...Cryan, Paul M.
Investigating and managing the rapid emergence of white-nose syndrome, a novel, fatal, infectious disease of hibernating bats
White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a fatal disease of bats that hibernate. The etiologic agent of WNS is the fungus Geomyces destructans, which infects the skin and wing membranes. Over 1 million bats in six species in eastern North America have died from WNS since 2006, and as a result several species of bats may become endangered or extinct....Foley, Janet; Clifford, Deana; Castle, Kevin; Cryan, Paul M.; Ostfeld, Richard S.
Economic importance of bats in agriculture
White-nose syndrome (WNS) and the increased development of wind-power facilities are threatening populations of insectivorous bats in North America. Bats are voracious predators of nocturnal insects, including many crop and forest pests. We present here analyses suggesting that loss of bats in North America could lead to agricultural losses...Boyles, Justin G.; Cryan, Paul M.; McCracken, Gary F.; Kunz, Thomas H.
Bats of Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado: composition, reproduction, and roosting habits.
We determined the bat fauna at Mesa Verde National Park (Mesa Verde) in 2006 and 2007, characterized bat elevational distribution and reproduction, and investigated roosting habits of selected species. We captured 1996 bats of 15 species in mist nets set over water during 120 nights of sampling and recorded echolocation calls of an additional...O'Shea, Thomas J.; Cryan, Paul M.; Snider, E. Apple; Valdez, Ernest W.; Ellison, Laura E.; Neubaum, Daniel J.
Response to: Concerns about extrapolating right off the bat [Letter]
No abstract available.Boyles, Justin G.; Cryan, Paul M.; McCracken, Gary F.; Kunz, Thomas H.
Alphacoronaviruses in New World Bats: Prevalence, Persistence, Phylogeny, and Potential for Interaction with Humans
Bats are reservoirs for many different coronaviruses (CoVs) as well as many other important zoonotic viruses. We sampled feces and/or anal swabs of 1,044 insectivorous bats of 2 families and 17 species from 21 different locations within Colorado from 2007 to 2009. We detected alphacoronavirus RNA in bats of 4 species: big brown bats (Eptesicus...Montgomery, Joel Mark; Osborne, Christina; Cryan, Paul M.; O'Shea, Thomas J.; Oko, Lauren M.; Ndaluka, Christina; Calisher, Charles H.; Berglund, Andrew D.; Klavetter, Mead L.; Holmes, Kathryn V.; Dominguez, Samuel R.
Bat white-nose syndrome in North America
* The newly described fungus, Geomyces destructans, causes an invasive skin infection in bats and is the likely agent of white-nose syndrome (WNS). * With immune system functions and body temperatures reduced during hibernation, bats may be unusually susceptible to a pathogenic fungus such as G. destructans. * WNS was first observed in a popular...Blehert, David S.; Lorch, Jeffrey M.; Ballmann, Anne E.; Cryan, Paul M.; Meteyer, Carol U.
Bat ecology and public health surveillance for rabies in an urbanizing region of Colorado
We describe use of Fort Collins, Colorado, and nearby areas by bats in 2001-2005, and link patterns in bat ecology with concurrent public health surveillance for rabies. Our analyses are based on evaluation of summary statistics, and information-theoretic support for results of simple logistic regression. Based on captures in mist nets, the city...O'Shea, T.J.; Neubaum, D.J.; Neubaum, M.A.; Cryan, P.M.; Ellison, L.E.; Stanley, T.R.; Rupprecht, C.E.; Pape, W.J.; Bowen, R.A.
Experimental infection of bats with Geomyces destructans causes white-nose syndrome
White-nose syndrome (WNS) has caused recent catastrophic declines among multiple species of bats in eastern North America. The disease's name derives from a visually apparent white growth of the newly discovered fungus Geomyces destructans on the skin (including the muzzle) of hibernating bats. Colonization of skin by this fungus is associated...Lorch, J.M.; Meteyer, C.U.; Behr, M.J.; Boyles, J.G.; Cryan, P.M.; Hicks, A.C.; Ballmann, A.E.; Coleman, J.T.H.; Redell, D.N.; Reeder, D.M.; Blehert, D.S.
Wing pathology of white-nose syndrome in bats suggests life-threatening disruption of physiology
White-nose syndrome (WNS) is causing unprecedented declines in several species of North American bats. The characteristic lesions of WNS are caused by the fungus Geomyces destructans, which erodes and replaces the living skin of bats while they hibernate. It is unknown how this infection kills the bats. We review here the unique physiological...Cryan, Paul M.; Meteyer, Carol U.; Boyles, Justin G.; Blehert, David S.
White-nose syndrome fungus (Geomyces destructans) in bats, Europe
White-nose syndrome is an emerging disease in North America that has caused substantial declines in hibernating bats. A recently identified fungus (Geomyces destructans) causes skin lesions that are characteristic of this disease. Typical signs of this infection were not observed in bats in North America before white-nose syndrome was detected....Wibbelt, G.; Kurth, A.; Hellmann, D.; Weishaar, M.; Barlow, A.; Veith, M.; Pruger, J.; Gorfol, T.; Grosche, T.; Bontadina, F.; Zophel, U.; Seidl, Hans-Peter; Cryan, P.M.; Blehert, D.S.
White-nose syndrome in bats: a primer for resource managers
White-nose syndrome emerged as a devastating new disease of North American hibernating bats over the past four winters. The disease has spread more than 1,600 kilometers (1,000 mi) since it was first observed in a small area of upstate New York, and has affected six species of bats in the caves and mines they rely on for winter survival. A newly...Castle, K.T.; Cryan, P.M.