Research interests

  • Migration ecology
  • Microbiome
  • Nectar-feeding bats
  • Ecohealth
  • Acoustic monitoring



Scientific projects

My research focuses on the interaction between ecology and health. One of my main interests is how the ecological and natural history conditions of different species affect their overall resilience and sensitivity to diseases. Consequently, for my Master’s degree I explored for two bat species in the Mayan Forest in Chiapas (Mexico) how ecological disturbances affect the infection dynamics of two protozoan blood parasites. Seeing how different tolerances of host species to environmental disturbances can be an infection driver I got interested in how the life history and the ecological traits of different species may affect the overall health conditions of animals, particularly in bats, which brought me also to my dissertation project on nectar-feeding bats.

The Lesser Long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae) migrates from central Mexico to the northern state of Sonora, traveling annually over more than 4000 km through dry forests, scrub land and desert habitats. On their way to the north, these bats face distinct shifts in their diet, due to the inherent changes in the floristic composition of the habitats along the migratory routes. For my PhD, I am studying how a key life history factor such as the migration between two different ecosystems (coastal dry forests vs deserts) and the inherent diet shift due to the change in the floristic composition affect the intestinal microbiome of nectar-feeding bats.

I am currently involved in several Acoustic Bat Monitoring Programs in Latin America. The objective of these projects is to build a comprehensive sampling protocol to standardize data collection across seven Latin American countries. Additionally, I am Associated Editor (Latin America) for the IUCN Bat Specialist Group newsletter and Associate Program Director for the North American Society on Bat Research (NASBR) Annual meeting.


González-Terrazas TP, Víquez LR, Ibarra-Macías A, Ruíz AT, Torres-Knoop L, Jung K, Tschapka M, Medellín RA (2016) New records and range extension of Promops centralis (Chiroptera: Molossidae). Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 87:1407-1411

B. Rodríguez-Herrera, L.R. Víquez-R, J. M. Sandoval, E. Cordero Schmidt, and A. Rodríguez-Durán (2015) Energetics of tent roosting in bats: the case of Ectophylla alba and Uroderma bilobatum (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) Journal of Mammalogy 97(1):246–252

J.F. González-Maya, L.R. Víquez-R, A. Arias-Alzate, J.L. Belant and G. Ceballos (2015) Spatial patterns of species richness and functional diversity in Costa Rican terrestrial mammals: implications for conservation. Diversity and Distribution: 22 (1): 43-56

J.F. González-Maya, L.R. Víquez-R, J.L. Belant and G. Ceballos (2015) Effectiveness of Protected Areas for Representing Species and Populations of Terrestrial Mammals in Costa Rica. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0124480. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124480

Book Chapter: R.A. Medellín and L.R. Víquez-R (2015) Los murciélagos como bioindicadores de la perturbación ambiental. pp 521-542. In: Bioindicadores: guardianes de nuestro futuro ambiental. Editors: César Alberto González, Zuarth, Adriana Vallarino, Juan Carlos Pérez Jiménez, Antonio M. Low Pfeng. ISBN 978-607-8429-05-9 (Digital Version)

L.R. Víquez-R, A. Arias-Alzate, A. Hurtado and J.F. González-Maya (2014) Una propuesta para homogenizar la escritura y el uso de nombres comunes en mastozoología. Mammalogy Notes (1): 2

P. Alpízar, L.R. Víquez-R, F. Hong, B. Rodríguez-Herrera, J.F. González-Maya (2013) Efecto de los claros de bosque en la composición de murciélagos insectívoros en la Reserva Biológica la Tirimbina, Sarapiquí, Costa Rica. Rev. Biodivers. Neotrop. 2 (2):134-138

J.F. González-Maya, L.R. Víquez-R, A. Pineda-Guerrero, M. Vela-Vargas, I. Cruz-Lizano, A. Hoepker, M. Calvo, M. González and D. Zárrate-Charry (2012) Connecting Two Continents: Species richness, functional traits and extinction risk in the Panamanian Isthmus-Choco continuum. Rev. Biodivers. Neotrop. 2 (1): 5-14

Conference contributions

2016- European Conference of Tropical Ecology: "Tropical diversity, ecology and land use" and Annual Conference of the Society for Tropical Ecology (Gesellschaft für Tropenökologie, gtö), University Göttingen, Germany. Oral Presentation: Trypanosomiasis And Leishmaniasis In Bats: Evaluating The Environmental Disturbance Influence In The Greater Lacandona Ecosystem.

2015- 45th North American Society for Bat Research Conference y 17th International Bat Research Conference, Monterey, California. Oral Presentation: SIMMA: The Mexican National Bat Monitoring Protocol and Its Implementation

2013- 43rd North American Society for Bat Research Conference y 16th International Bat Research Conference, San José, Costa Rica. Oral Presentation: “Never Cry Wolf: the need for a holistic approach on zoonotic disease and bat conservation”

2012- 42nd North American Society for Bat Research Conference. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Oral presentation: Being Hot is Not Enough: Microclimate and Physical Constrains Affecting Bat Occupancy in Houses in Sarapiquí, Costa Rica.

2010- 15th International Bat Research Conference: Prague, Czech Republic. Oral Presentation: How hot is my home? Temperature in 4 different bat tents.


  • Luis Viquez, M.Sc.
    Institute of Evolutionary Ecology
    and Conservation Genomics
    University of Ulm
    Albert-Einstein-Allee 11
    89081 Ulm
    Email: luisviquez ()