Collabinar: Community Science for One Health in Peru

November 8, 2023

Let’s talk about bats: Community Science for One Health in Peru

November 8, 2023
3:00 – 4:00 PM PST
Watch recording

Bats do not have a good reputation. These misunderstood animals are widely known as vectors for viruses, such as rabies, and as virus reservoirs for potential new diseases. However, their essential roles in the ecosystem are ignored as pollinators, seed dispersers, and plague controllers. This dichotomy of bats as a health threat and as an essential part of the ecosystem has big implications for the well-being of humans, bats, and the ecosystem. These issues are accentuated in countries such as Peru, where the limited government budget restricts the implementation of successful solutions for public health issues related to bats.

In this context, community science research was developed that seeks to improve human health, bat community, and ecosystem services, through a cooperative national sampling of bats’ distribution in Peru’s urban and rural areas. A study considered the participation of the community in obtaining information about bats species and their presence using acoustic methods. As a result of community participation in the study and systematic conversations with scientists, researchers look to encourage positive perceptions of bats and decrease negative interactions with them. Simultaneously, bats distribution information obtained by community participation will be relevant to future bat conservation measures around Peru. 

In this talk, the presenter provided the preliminary results of the 2023 campaign, focusing on the community science outcomes from the fifty participants and three farmers communities involved in our project, and lessons learned on the application of participatory research methods in Global South countries.

Questions to be discussed: 
  1. How can we now use the information to outreach to the community?


Amanda Vilchez is a Ph.D. student in the Communication Department at Cornell University. She is a Peruvian biologist who graduated from the Agrarian University of la Molina in Peru. Her research interests are science communication and participatory research. Her studies result from the synergy between her two backgrounds: natural science and social science. She is interested in the potential of participatory research, community science particularly, to reconcile politics, society, and science. She highlights community science’s democratic and political role in including diverse voices for resolving conflicts, and its scientific role in knowledge production for solving real-world problems. She is now studying volunteers’ experience in community science projects focused on urban and rural biodiversity in Peru.

Collabinar: Community Science for One Health in Peru

Collabinar: Community Science for One Health in Peru

About the Collabinar Series

The Center for Community and Citizen Science Collabinar events invite our partners from across the globe to bring us their most exciting challenges and opportunities in community and citizen science. Each event supports mutual learning, and advances projects and partnerships. To stay informed about upcoming Collabinars, please sign up here.

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