Double Jeopardy: Bats and Modern Roofing Membranes

Breathable roofing membranes (BRMs) have been the ‘go to’ product of choice in all re-roofing projects over the past decade; mainly due to their ease of use and potential to reduce condensation. My original research, however,  has shown that not only do non–woven roofing membranes pose a serious threat to bats as a result of entanglement but there are numerous other concerns regarding using these membranes in a bat roost, including membrane functionally and microclimatic changes. Since my original research, I have been working on ways to produce guidelines for the use of safe roofing materials in bat roosts, product testing, material design and remedial measures. Watch the video below where I outline my research and findings to AECB members with questions at the end.

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Interdisciplinary research

The effects of human activity on biodiversity have always been a topic close to my heart. I am determined to not only research these issues but bring them to the forefront of understanding. Over the past five years I have led pioneering research and developed creative methods for studying the conservation of bats in relation to urbanisation. I have brought together aspects of zoology, ecology, engineering and materials sciences to bridge the gap between conservation and construction. My personal impact on the conservation of bats in buildings is highly regarded amongst bat workers, ecologists and construction industry stakeholders.

Communication and Collaboration

I have a talent for communicating difficult concepts and working with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines. The interdisciplinary nature of my research area has resulted in excellent interpersonal and team working skills, as such I have confidence in my ability to work and liaise with a range of people.

Evidence of my skills in this area can be seen in the wide range of networks I have developed whilst carrying out research projects. Partners I have collaborated with include the Bat Conservation Trust, Natural History Museum, National Trust, National Federation of Roofing Contractors, Natural England, AEWC Ltd, Darwin Ecology, University of Leeds and RSPB. Through such connections I established a steering committee, for which I am now elected Chair, to discuss issues relating to protecting bats in the built environment.

I have always had a passion for research into how humans impact wildlife. I studied a Zoology BSc and then an Engineering Doctorate to combine the protection of wildlife in construction. I have researched bats for the past 9 years and worked with bats as an ecologist for 13 years.

Dr Stacey Dawn Waring has held a Class II Bat Licence (No. 2015-6768-CLS-CLS) for 6 years and is an Associate Member of CIEEM. She has 8 years’ experience of carrying out research at the University of Reading and has worked with several ecological consultancies conducting bat surveys for over a decade.