Anthropology Seminar - 16 July 2020

Date Thursday 16 July 2020
Time 3:10pm - 4pm
Where K.G.06 and via Zoom (Zoom meeting ID: 719 684 2758 / Password: @nthr0)
Presenter Harvey Aughton
Contact Rachel Gosnell-Maddock
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

Bat Landscapes: Human Interactions with Bats in the 21st Century

Bats are having a bad 2020. They have become the social scapegoat for a virus which has whipped through the world and whipped people into intellectual instability. One biologist has argued that bushmeat markets should be eradicated from human society, a blanket statement which seems appropriate for the times we live. However, bats are not all made equal, and nor are bushmeat markets. For example, flying foxes are non-echolocating, and social behaviour in bats is highly variable. In Oceania and the wider Pacific region, bats – primarily flying foxes - fulfil several roles in landscapes shared by humans. Bats are a regularly hunted dietary staple, ecological protector, cultural icon, trade good, and pet. In a year where bats roosts have been burned due to erroneous connections to a virus, humans can take this moment to consider our knowledge of bats with more care. What is a bat? Where are humans placed within the interspecies frontier? And, what has the flying primate ever done for us?

Harvey Aughton completed his Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours in Anthropology and Psychology in 2018 at the University of Waikato. He is a writer and currently undertaking his master's in the Faculty of Health. His research concerns the effect of kava on human physiology when consumed in a naturalistic context. In the past he has studied the interaction between hunted animals and humans in Oceania with future research likely to focus on human-animal interactions.