Public Awareness on Bat Research


The bat research team at Muni University in collaboration with partners from Bucknell University, USA, organised a public awareness lecture for Muni University community on Tuesday April 16th, 2024. The primary objective was to give feedback to the university community regarding the research this group is undertaking on bats dubbed ‘Uganda Bat Immune Study – UBIS’. The presenter was Professor Dr. DeeAnn Reeder, an emeritus professor at Bucknell University, USA, who doubles as the Principal Investigator for this research funded by the United States National Institute of Health (NIH) for the period 2021 – 2026. Accompanying Professor. Reeder from Bucknell were Dr. Luis Viquez-R, a Post-doctoral scientist on the project and Mr. Thomas Mazuruli, a Technician.


The public lecture was organised by the project team at Muni university led by Dr. Imran Ejotre, a Senior Lecturer at the department of Biology, who is the Co-PI and team lead of the project on the side of Muni university. Other Muni university team on this project include Associate Professor Morgan Andama, Dean faculty of science; Dr. Alfred Alumai, Dean faculty of agriculture and environmental sciences; Technicians including Mr. Anguyo Dennis Foe, Mr. Lee Michael, Mr. Nasifu Lubanga, and Mr. Adiga Kassim; and a number of student interns and participants from the community.
The presentation tackled a wide range of issues on bats such as human-bat interactions, potential of bats as hosts for emerging infectious diseases such as Marburg virus, Ebola Virus disease, SARs Corona Viruses, etc.


The presentation was well attended by mainly the university staff and graduate students. Notable among the participants included Ms. Stella Amandru, Dean of students; Dr. Bona Maandera, Principal quality assurance officer; Mr. Avayo Godfrey, the Principal administrative secretary, among others. Participants shared their experiences with bats and asked various questions allaying their fears as bats have become common features around homesteads and within human structures. The bat experts helped educate the public on how to live safely with bats.