BBC features Nick Dowdy’s work

dowdy_nick_2011aThe BBC recently featured Ph.D. candidate Nick Dowdy‘s work on moths in Central America.  He has some very interesting scientific findings on the unique defensive behavior of a particular Ecuadorian moth.  When threatened, it “uses an explosion of a sticky, wool-like material to defend itself.”  This has never been seen before in a moth species.

You can see the article here:

An “explosive” defensive behavior. photo credit: Nick Dowdy, WFU 2016.

Toxic Tiger Moth

Wake Forest researchers study an evolutionary arms race in the Arizona desert

By CELIA SPELL (’15), INTERN Office of Communications and External Relations

A battle for evolutionary dominance is raging in Arizona. Nick Dowdy, a graduate student at Wake Forest, spent his summer seeing which contender, the tiger moth or the bat, is prevailing.

Click here to read the article by Celia Spell, Wake Forest News Service

Tiger moths: Mother Nature’s fortune tellers

Science Daily recently covered work done by the Conner Lab.

Here is there story:

A new study shows Bertholdia trigona, a species of tiger moth found in the Arizona desert, can tell if an echo-locating bat is going to attack it well before the predator swoops in for the kill – making the intuitive, tiny-winged insect a master of self-preservation.

Click here to see the full-text at Science Daily

reference: Science Daily


Nick Hristov featured by NPR

Nick Hristov featured by NPR

Nickolay Hristov, Professor with the UNC Center for Design Innovation and Wake Forest Biology Research Professor, does amazing research on bats. His work was featured on National Public Radio (NPR) weekly program Science Friday.  Nick received his PhD. from Wake Forest in 2008 and works closely with Professor William Conner’s laboratory.  In this Science Friday segment Nick describes the technology behind his research.

Nickolay Hristov (PhD. 2008) uses technology to study the fascinating world of bats.

Click here to read more (


Nick’s work on bats has received media attention from the BBC, The Scientist, and

Bats Set Up Homes on the Highway. (

Are Bat Bridges Safer than Bat Caves? (

Aaron Corcoran featured by National Geographic

Aaron Corcoran’s research on sonar jamming moths is featured in the new National Geographic Special “Untamed Americas”. The footage is featured in the episode on Deserts. It is airing Saturday, June 16, 9pm EST.

Link to the show page:

Mexican Free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) migrate up to 1,000 miles (1609 kilometers) from their winter home in Mexico to Bracken Cave in Texas, U.S., where they raise their young. Click here for photo

In the deserts of the Americas, an abundance of wildlife has developed an array of bizarre and baffling against-the-odds survival strategies. Filmed for the first time in high-speed infrared, see the tiger moth dodge millions of hungry bats emerging from caves in the Chihuahua Desert.

–National Geographic Television

Support for Entrepreneurship

Endowed chair and planning grant provide funds to build careers in all fields

By KIM MCGRATH Office of Communications and External Relations
Biology professor Bill Conner has been named the first David and Lelia Farr Professor of Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship.

Professor of Biology William E. Conner has been named the first David and Lelia Farr Professor of Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship.

The chair was established by David (’77) and Lelia (’77) Farr of St. Louis, Mo., to recognize Conner and his work with theWake Forest Program in Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship. The funding provides support that will allow Conner to focus his expertise on the program’s continued development.

Click here to read full article at the Wake Forest News Service

Nature’s trick or treat

Windows on Wake Forest published an article about PhD. candidate Aaron Corcoran and Professor William Conner entitled, “Nature’s Trick or Treat”

In the ongoing evolutionary battle between bats and moths, a species of tiger moth plays a trick with sound to avoid becoming a bat’s tasty treat, according to new research by professor William Conner and PhD student Aaron Corcoran.

By Cheryl Walker (’88)
Office of Communications and External Relations
Published October 23, 2009

Click here to read the entire article