Rick Adams



  • Ph.D.: University of Colorado - Boulder
  • M.A.: University of Colorado - Boulder
  • B.A.: University of Colorado - Boulder

Contact information

Courses Taught

  • BIO 101 (Biological Perspectives)
  • BIO 110 (Principles of Biology)
  • BIO 265 (Life Science Concepts)
  • BIO 360 (Ecology)
  • BIO 512 (TA Development Seminar)
  • BIO 570 (Coevolution)
  • BIO 594 (Foundations of Biological Research)
  • BIO 682 (Problems in Teaching College Biology)

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Research Interests and Professional Activities

My research seeks to integrate the fields of bat ecology, evolution and development (i.e. how ecolgical patterns of bats are constructed from evolutionary history and contemporary ontogeny). Current research involves the relationship of water resources to behavioral, populational and community ecology of Coloradan and South African insectivorous bat species. In addition, I study the development and evolution of flight in bats based upon investigations of bone development in juveniles as well as their changes in functional ontogeny as they learn to fly. Another area of research has involved seed dispersal by and germination effects of flying foxes in South Africa. I have also worked on how natural disasters (hurricanes and volcanoes) affect bat populations on Caribbean islands. I recently began field projects on bat species diversity and abundance in Sichuan Province, China and on how changes in Colorado forest structure due to anthropogenic practices of thinning and prescribed burns affect bat foraging patterns. In addition, we have recently shown that the tail-membrane in bats provides a significant thrust component to flight unlike that observed in any other flying vertebrate.

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Recent academic awards and professional honors

  • 2014 Mortar Board, My Favotire Professor Award
  • 2013 UNC Winchester University Scholar
  • 2010-2011 Outstanding Scholar Award, College of Natural and Health Sciences
  • 2009-2010 Faculty Mentor of the Year-Graduate Level, College NHS

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Recently published books and book chapters

Juried books

  • Adams, R. A. and S. C. Pedersen, eds. 2013. Bat Evolution, Ecology, and Conservation. Springer Press, New York
  • Adams, R. A., ed. 2013. Into the Night. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

Recent book chapters

  • Adams, R. A. and J. Shaw. 2013. Time's arrow in the Evolutionary Development of Bat Flight. Pp. 21-46 in Bat Evolution, Ecology and Conservation (R. A. Adams and S. C. Pedersen, eds). Springer, New York.
  • Adams, R. A. 2013. Chasing nightly marvels in the Rocky Mountains. Pp. 71-87 in Into the Night (R. A. Adams, ed). University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
  • Pedersen, S. C., G. G. Kwiecinski, P. A. Larsen, M. N. Morton, R. A. Adams, H. G. Genoways and V. J. Swier. 2010 Bats of Montserrat - population fluctuations in response to hurricanes and volcanoes: 1978-2005 pp. in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation of Island Bats (T. H. Fleming and P. Racey, eds.) University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
  • Kunz, T. H. R. A. Adams, and W. R. Hood. 2009. Methods for Assessing Size and Birth and Postnatal Growth and Development in Bats, in Ecological and Behavioral Methods in the Study of Bats, 2nd Edition. (T. H. Kunz and S. Parsons, eds.). Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore
  • Adams, R. A. 2009. Techniques for the study of growth and development in the Chiroptera, in Ecological and Behavioral Methods in the Study of Bats, 2nd Edition. (T. H. Kunz and S. Parsons, eds.). Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

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Recently published articles

  • Carter, R. T., J. B. Shaw, and R. A. Adams. 2014. Ontogeny of vocalizations in Jamaican fruit bats with implications for the evolution of echolocation. Journal of Zoology, London. In Press
  • Adams, R.A. and E. M. Snode. 2013. Unique insights into dispersion distances among calling males of Wahlberg’s epauletted fruit bat in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Open Ecology Journal, 6:54-60.
  • Adams, R.A., E.M. Snode and J.B. Shaw. 2012. Flapping tail membrane in bats produces potentially important thrust during horizontal takeoffs and very slow flight. PLoS ONE.
  • Adams, R. A. 2010. Bat reproduction declines when conditions mimic climate change projections for western North America. Ecology, 91: 2437-2445.
  • Adams, R.A. 2009. The threat of climate change: bat reproduction may suffer in the American West. BATS, 27:1-4.
  • Adams, R. A. 2009. Of Darwin and bats. Bat Research News, 50: 87-88.
  • Hayes, M. A., K. W. Navo, L. R. Bonewell, C. J. Mosch, and R. A. Adams. 2009. Allen’s big-eared bat (Idionycteris phyllotis) documented in Colorado based on recordings of its distinctive echolocation call. The Southwestern Naturalist, 54: 499-501.
  • Adams, R. A. 2009. The threat of climate change: bat reproduction may suffer in the American West. Bats, 27: 1-4.
  • Adams, R. A. and M. A. Hayes. 2008. Water availability and successful lactation by bats as related to climate change in western regions of North America. Journal of Animal Ecology, 77: 1115-1121.
  • Adams, R. A. (2008) Morphogenesis in bat wings: evolutionary and ecological implications. Cells, Organs, and Tissues, 187: 13-23.

For full list of publications go to Portal

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