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Jodi Sedlock

Lawrence University


I have been exploring the secret lives of bats for many years, mostly across the diverse archipelago of the Philippines in Southeast Asia.  In collaboration with Filipino scientists and conservation professionals, colleagues at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Lawrence undergraduates, and many others, we have documented bat diversity within forests along elevational gradients, in limestone caves, and agricultural areas to better understand how bats respond to human-caused landscape changes. After years of eavesdropping on the echolocation calls of bats, my research has shifted to the realm of sensory ecology—specifically, how the acoustic environment serves as a niche axis structuring animal communities. While most work in this area has focused on human-generated noise and its consequences for wildlife, I am currently interested in animals’ evolved strategies for living in naturally noisy environments. Rice paddies, tropical forests and Midwest prairies provide a cacophony of animal sounds that cause annoyance to some, prey or mate cues for others, and possibly a signpost indicating habitat-related information to others. I am excited to learn how bats and insects interpret and respond to these acoustic environments.

If you are a Lawrence student interested in joining the lab, please email me.


BIOL 135: Ecology, Evolution, and Society

BIOL 150: Organismal Form and Function

BIOL 245: Conservation Biology

BIOL 200: Animal Behavior

BIOL 345: Terrestrial Wildlife Ecology

Research Projects


Philippine Bat Diversity


The Philippines comprises over 7000 islands providing a rich geological backdrop for population isolation and species diversification. Over 70 species of bats—critical for seed dispersal, pollination and insect pest control—inhabit the archipelago, and phylogenetic studies suggest that many more await discovery. I collaborate with systematists to disclose the evolutionary history, delineate species, and document current distributions of Philippine bat species. Currently, I am collaborating on projects involving Kerivoula spp., Murina spp., Miniopterus spp. and Coelops spp.  

Ultrasonic Insect Choruses

Meadow katydids (Conocephalus spp.) occupy natural grasslands (sedge meadows, prairies) and artificial wetlands (rice paddies) globally, form dense aggregations, and—importantly—produce a broadband ultrasonic chorus (~25-100 kHz) that can be heard by bats and many other insects, including eared moths. With collaborators, we are exploring the behavioral and ecological consequences of katydid choruses for other ultrasonic hearing animals.

rice field.jpg

Longhorn Beetle Squeaks

In collaboration with Rob Mitchell’s lab (UW-Oshkosh), we are documenting the characteristic squeaks of the longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae) in northeastern Wisconsin. Longhorn beetle species’ squeaks occupy various frequency bandwidths and may afford them different levels of defense against enemies sensitive to sonic (birds) and ultrasonic (bats) enemies.  

Bats an Natural Pest Enemies

In collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute and the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, we have been documenting the role of bats in species-rich rice agroecosystems. Ecological engineering aims to enhance the impact of natural enemies on rice-associated pests; however, vertebrate predators have been largely excluded from these studies. Bats are especially diverse in Southeast Asia where rice covers much of the landscape, and are behaviorally diverse—some tracking migrating crop pests over kilometers and others consuming insects on or near the rice.

Key Publications

Propper, C. R., Sedlock, J. L., Smedley, R. E., Frith, O., Shuman-Goodier, M. E., Grajal-Puche, A., Stuart, A. M., & Singleton, G. R. (2023). Balancing food security, vertebrate biodiversity, and healthy rice agroecosystems in Southeast Asia. Crop and Environment.

Propper, C. R., Singleton, G. R., Sedlock, J. L., Smedley, R. E., Frith, O. B., Shuman-Goodier, M. E., Lorica, R. P., Grajal-Puche, A., Horgan, F. G., Prescott, C. v., & Stuart, A. M. (2023). Faunal Biodiversity in Rice-Dominated Wetlands—An Essential Component of Sustainable Rice Production. Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia, 93–120.

Sedlock, J. L., Gomes, D. G. E., Rubin, J. J., Woody, S., Hadi, B. A. R., & Barber, J. R. (2021). A phantom ultrasonic insect chorus repels low-flying bats, but most are undeterred. Functional Ecology, 35(12), 2743–2752.

Sedlock JL, Heaney LR, Balete DS, Ruedi M. 2020 Philippine bats of the genus Kerivoula (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae): Overview and assessment of variation in K. pellucida and K. whiteheadi. Zootaxa 4755, 454–490. (doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4755.3.2)

Sedlock JL, Stuart AM, Horgan FG, Hadi B, Jacobson AC, Alviola PA, Alvarez JD V. 2019 Local-Scale Bat Guild Activity Di ff ers with Rice Growth Stage at Ground Level in the Philippines. Diversity 11. (doi:10.3390/d11090148)

Dimaculangan FD, Como Jacobson A, Alviola P, Alvarez J, Sedlock JL. 2019 Seasonal emergence counts from a multispecies horseshoe bat (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) roost in the Philippines. J. Bat Res. Conserv. 12, 46–49. (doi: BarbJ.12.1.2019.06)

Sedlock JL, Jose RP, Vogt JM, Paguntalan LMJ, Cariño AB. 2014 A survey of bats in a karst landscape in the central Philippines. Acta Chiropterologica 16, 197–211. (doi:10.3161/150811014X683390)

Sedlock JL, Krüger F, Clare EL. 2014 Island bat diets: Does it matter more who you are or where you live? Molecular Ecology 23. (doi:10.1111/mec.12732)

Sedlock JL, Weyandt SE. 2009 Genetic divergence between morphologically and acoustically cryptic bats: Novel niche partitioning or recent contact? J. Zool. 279. (doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2009.00634.x)

Sedlock JL, Weyandi SE, Cororan L, Damerow M, Hwa S-H, Pauli B. 2008 Bat diversity in tropical forest and agro-pastoral habitats within a protected area in the Philippines. Acta Chiropterologica 10. (doi:10.3161/150811008X414926)

Current and Past Students

Sarah Woody in field.jpg

Sarah Woody (LU '19)

Sarah--a biologist and vocalist--spent many nights stalking katydids in Wisconsin prairies and Philippine rice paddies. Her senior capstone research tested the behavioral response of meadow katydids to bat echolocation calls. She also played a vital role in the development and production of a large ultrasonic speaker array, which she helped deploy in the Philippines. Sarah served as a research intern at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago after graduation, completed a Master's degree in Misty McPhee's Lab at UW-Oshkosh, and is currently employed as a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife.


Angela Como Jacobson (LU '18)

Angela--a biologist and poet--served as a student member of the Southeast Asian Bat Research Unit (NSF-RCN grant) and traveled with me to Vietnam and the Philippines where she participated in bat research training. For her senior thesis, Angela co-authored a study on rhinolophid roosting behavior with UPLB colleagues, and wrote a poem on the work.  Angela went on to earn a Master's degree in environmental education from the Univeristy of Idaho, and is currently working as the program manager for the Indigenous Knowledge for Effective Education Program.

Contact Me

Lawrence University
711 E. Boldt Way
Appleton, WI 54911 USA


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