Our Staff

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Cori Lausen
Director of Bat Conservation
Cori is the Director of Bat Conservation at WCS Canada. She completed her PhD in Ecology at the University of Calgary in 2007. Both her Masters and PhD research were on bats, with the former focussing on behaviour and physiology, and the latter on landscape genetics. Cori Lausen joined WCS Canada in 2011 as part of her NSERC Industrial Research and Development Fellowship, investigating winter bat activity and hibernation in western Canada. Her program focuses largely on a science-based response to white-nose syndrome, a catastrophic disease impacting bats in North America, with 3 main tools: inventory and monitoring, disease prevention, and mitigation research.
Jason Rae
Data and Research Scientist, Bat Program
Jason is responsible for providing management and research support for the bat program from his base in Nelson, British Columbia. Jason joined the WCS team in early 2016 after completing his MSc at Trent University examining the interactions between predation risk and disease exposure in amphibian tadpoles. Jason’s previous experience includes work as a research assistant examining traditional ecological knowledge of polar bear ecology in Northern Quebec, and estimating the local harvest of resources from 5 communities in Northern Labrador. He currently manages WCS Canada’s North American Bat Monitoring Program in British Columbia, focusing on securing knowledge of bat species diversity and relative abundance through wide-scale acoustic monitoring, roost surveillance, and netting inventories. Among other projects, Jason also contributes to the bat team’s work locating and investigating the habitat where bats choose to overwinter, and modelling white-nose syndrome survivorship prior to its arrival in Western Canada.
Sarah Olson
Associate Director - Wildlife Epidemiology
Sarah Olson joined WCS in 2011 and is currently the Associate Director, Wildlife Epidemiology, for the WCS Health Program. Her portfolio includes research on white-nose syndrome threats to western bats, zoonotic diseases, hammer-headed fruit bat ecology related to spillover risk, and One Health. Her broad research interest focuses on the intersection of wildlife, human, and environmental health. She received a joint PhD in Population Health and Environment & Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and studied how deforestation and climate affect malaria incidence in the Amazon. She has also studied regional landscape drivers of Lyme disease in North America.
Heather Gates
Conservation Assistant
As the Conservation Assistant with the Bat Program, Heather works with Dr. Cori Lausen to understand the distribution and winter ecology of bats in Alberta and British Columbia. Heather holds a BSc in Biology from the University of Victoria. Before joining WCS Canada in 2014, Heather worked for several years as the head grower for a leading forest nursery.
Dana Blouin
Program Manager, Bat Program
As a Program Manager with the WCS Canada Western Bat Research Program, Dana provides research and logistical support to our bat team. Dana has a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Manitoba specializing in applied ecology and over 20 years experience in non-profit conservation biology work in Canada. Most recently, Dana worked as Manager of Science and Conservation Planning for the Nature Conservancy of Canada-Alberta Region implementing the Nature Area Conservation Plan program.
Cory Olson
Alberta Community Bat Program
Cory Olson is the Coordinator for the Alberta Bat Program after playing this role for several years as a contractor. He is leading the development of several public outreach, education, and research projects relating to bats and other wildlife, including a citizen science project to collect information on roosting bats. He first got involved with bats at the University of Calgary, where he completed an MSc degree focusing on bat ecology. Over the last 15 years, he has been involved with several bat research and monitoring projects in western Canada.

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