About us

About us

Our mission

The Midwest Bat Hub is one of several Hubs in the NABat project, which aims to develop a long-term, continental program to monitor bat distributions and abundance. NABat aims to provide regular analyses and reporting on the status and trends of bat populations to inform managers and policymakers. The Midwest Bat Hub will coordinate these efforts on a smaller scale, bridging a top-down and bottom-up management approach. The Midwest Bat Hub and its partners aim to join conservation efforts on bat species in the Midwest region, from Minnesota to Missouri to Ohio.


  • Develop a long-term program to monitor bat distributions and abundance
  • Provide regular analyses and reporting on the status and trends of bat populations to inform managers and policymakers


  • Coordinate with partners to monitor bats across the Midwest
  • Provide technical and logistical support to partners
  • Model habitat associations, population trends, & spatiotemporal patterns

The Midwest Bat Hub Team

Joy O’Keefe


Dr. Joy O’Keefe’s research primarily focuses on ways to facilitate the coexistence of bats and humans in human-altered landscapes. She works to understand the roosting and foraging ecology of bats, identify best practices for studying bat ecology, characterize bat behaviors, and assess the quality of mitigation practices designed to help bats. Dr. O’Keefe collaborates with many organizations and people who interact with bats, including private landowners, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, and state agencies.

Assistant Professor at University of Illinois

James Cox

Hub Coordinator

James Cox earned his Master of Science degree in biology at Indiana State University, under the guidance of Dr. Joy O’Keefe. His thesis focused on data collection and creating species distribution maps for 3 bat species in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. James operates as Hub Coordinator and Data Manager for the Midwest Bat Hub, focusing on processing data, maintaining and seeking new partnerships, and creating solutions to increase ease of access to the program. James also oversees the Midwest Bat Hub Volunteer Monitoring Program. Some of James’s scientific interests include species distribution modelling, computer programming, radio telemetry, and working in a GIS. In his spare time, James enjoys backpacking, gardening, carpentry, and playing live music.

Hub Coordinator/Data Manager/Volunteer Program Coordinator, Midwest Bat Hub, University of Illinois

Clarissa Starbuck

Data Analyst

Clarissa Starbuck has been fascinated by bats since at least the age of seven and has been involved in bat research since she was an undergraduate at the University of Missouri. She received her Master of Science degree from Missouri and Ph.D. from Northern Arizona University where she used bat acoustics to look at the effects of wildfire and land management on bats. She is interested in conservation, bat habitat relationships, and how bats are affected by natural and human changes at landscape scales. With the Midwest Bat Hub, she will be analyzing data and producing information on bat distributions over space and time.

Data Analyst, Midwest Bat Hub, University of Illinois