3-D model of a bat's sonar beam as it attacks an insect.
Aaron Corcoran, Ph.D.
I am a scientist, educator and communicator. My passion is connecting the dots of life in the natural world, relating understanding of how animal bodies work to how animals behave and interact in nature. My research on sonar-jamming moths and bats has been highlighted by media around the world. I served as a scientific consultant for National Geographic while filming a segment for the nature documentary Untamed Americas. I'm also a National Geographic Explorer.
My research on bats and moths has taken me across the country (often at the Southwestern Research Station) and to Ecuador. I began studying bat echolocation as a master's student in Dr. Joe Szewczak's lab at Humboldt State University. I did my Ph.D. on bats and moths at Wake Forest University in the lab of Dr. William Conner and then spent a year as a post-doc in the auditory neuroethology lab of Dr. Cindy Moss at the University of Maryland. I returned to Wake Forest as a post-doc studying bat jamming. I'm now a post-doc in Ty Hedrick's lab at UNC Chapel Hill.
I have given dozens of talks on my research and other topics to youth, general, and scientific audiences, and I am always happy to share my work with others. I believe multimedia and story-telling are some of our best tools for communicating science.
I use bats and moths as a model system for integrating the disciplines of animal behavior, sensory physiology, ecology and evolution. This often involves using technologies including high-speed infrared videography, ultrasound recording, custom electronics, computer programming, and computer modeling.