Dr. Robert Barclay, Biological Sciences, University of Calgary

Robert Barclay

Pronouns: he/him


Faculty Professor

Faculty of Science, Department of Biological Sciences

Professor Emeritus

Faculty of Science, Department of Biological Sciences

Contact information

Phone number

Office: +1 (403) 220-3564


Office: BI330


Educational Background

PhD Biological Sciences, Carleton University, 1981

MSc. Biological Sciences, Carleton University, 1978

BSc. Biological Sciences, Trent University, 1976


Research and Teaching

I am retired and thus not accepting any new graduate or undergraduate students.

The research in my lab focused on the behavioural and physiological ecology of mammals and birds. We are particularly interested in the relationships among roosting and foraging behaviour, thermoregulation, reproduction and life histories of bats. The ability to use torpor provides bats with a means of saving energy, but torpor is detrimental to offspring growth and avoidance of predators. We thus investigated how bats select roosts to balance predation risk and thermoregulatory benefits. As suitable roosts may limit the distribution of bats, we also used DNA techniques to determine the landscape-scale patterns of movement among populations.

We also studied the effects of various types of disturbance on bats. For example, we investigated the causes and consequences of migratory-bat fatalities at wind energy facilities, and the impact of urbanization on prairie bats. In the Yukon, we studyied how bats cope with short seasons, low temperatures and short nights, and how logging, fire and bark-beetle infestations influence habitat selection.

Graduate Students

  • Sandra Black PhD - Climate change and narwhale



  • Faculty of Science Excellence in Research Award (Lifetime Achievement), 2021
  • U Make a Difference Award, University of Calgary. 2016
  • Students' Union Teaching Excellence Award, 2014
  • Student's Union Teaching Award of Excellence, 2011
  • Faculty of Science Public Outreach Award , University of Calgary. 2007
  • University of Calgary, Faculty of Graduate Studies, Outstanding Achievement in Supervision Award, University of Calgary. 2005
  • Canadian Society of Zoologists Award for Public Awareness of Science, 2004
  • Gerrit S. Miller Award for Contributions to the Study of Chiropteran Biology, North American Society for Bat Research. 2002
  • Canadian Federation of Biological Societies' Gordin Kaplan Award for Public Awareness of Science, 1999
  • Faculty of Science Teaching Excellence Award, 1999


  • Site occupancy of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) in response to salvage logging in the boreal forest. Thomas, J.P., M.L. Reid, T.S. Jung, R.M.R. Barclay. Forest Ecology and Management. 451:117501. (2019)
  • Echolocation activity of migratory bats at a wind energy facility: testing the feeding-attraction hypothesis to explain fatalities.. Reimer, J.P., E.F. Baerwald and R.M.R. Barclay. Journal of Mammalogy. 99:1472–1477. (2018)

Additional Publications

  • Barclay, R.M.R., D.S., C.T. Harding, A.E. McKechnie, S.D. McCulloch, W. Markotter, J. Paweska, and R.M. Brigham. 2017. Thermoregulation by captive and free-ranging Egyptian rousette bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) in South Africa.  Journal of Mammalogy  98: 572–578.
  • Frick, W.F., E.F. Baerwald, J.F. Pollock, R.M.R. Barclay, J.A. Szymanski, T.J.Weller, A.L. Russell, S.C. Loeb, R.A. Medellin, L.P. McGuire. 2017. Fatalities at wind turbines may threaten population viability of a migratory bat. Biological Conservation 209: 172–177.
  • Godwin, C.M., J.E.G. Smits, and R.M.R. Barclay. 2016. Metals and metalloids in nestling tree swallows and their dietary items near oilsands mine operations in Northern Alberta. Science of The Total Environment. 562: 714–723.
  • Luszcz, T.M.J. and R.M.R. Barclay. 2016. Influence of forest composition and age on habitat use by bats in southwestern British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 2016, 94: 145-153.
  • Baerwald, E.F. and R.M.R. Barclay. 2016. Are migratory behaviours of bats socially transmitted?  Royal Society Open Science. 3: 150658.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.150658
  • Clare et al. 2013. The diet of Myotis lucifugus across Canada: assessing foraging quality and diet variability. Molecular Ecology.
  • Coleman, J.L. and R.M.R. Barclay. 2013. Prey availability and foraging activity of grassland bats in relation to urbanization. Journal of Mammalogy 94: 1111-1122.
  • Klug, B.J. and R.M.R. Barclay. 2013. Thermoregulation during reproduction in the solitary, foliage-roosting hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus). Journal of Mammalogy 94:477-487.
  • Arnett, E., R.M.R. Barclay and C.D. Hein. 2013. Thresholds for bats killed by wind turbines. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 11: 171.
  • Olson, C.R. and R.M.R. Barclay. 2013. Concurrent changes in group size and roost use by reproductive female little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus). Canadian Journal of Zoology. 91:149–155.
  • Barclay, RMR. 2012. Variable variation: annual and seasonal changes in offspring sex ratio in a bat. PLoS ONE 7(5): e36344 http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0036344
  • Randall L.A,. Barclay R.M.R., Reid M.L., Jung T.S. 2011. Recent infestation of forest stands by spruce beetles does not predict habitat use by little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) in southwestern Yukon, Canada. Forest Ecology and Management doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2011.02.021
  • Brandon J. Klug, Amy S. Turmelle, James A. Ellison, Erin F. Baerwald, and Robert M. R. Barclay (2011) Rabies prevalence in migratory tree-bats in Alberta and the influence of roosting ecology and sampling method on reported prevalence of rabies in bats. J. of Wildlife Diseases. 47. 64-77.
  • Reimer, J.P., E.F. Baerwald and R.M.R. Barclay. 2010. Diet of hoary (Lasiurus cinereus) and silver-haired (Lasionycteris noctivagans) bats while migrating through Southwestern Alberta in late Summer and Autumn. American Midland Naturalist 164: 230-237.
  • Baerwald, E.F. and R.M.R. Barclay. 2009. Geographic variation in activity and fatality of migratory bats at wind energy facilities. Journal of Mammalogy. 90: 1341-1349.
  • Baerwald, E.F., J. Edworthy, M. Holder, and R.M.R. Barclay. 2009. A large-scale mitigation experiment to reduce bat fatalities at wind energy facilities. Journal of Wildlife Management 73: 1077-1081.
  • Cryan, P.M. and R.M.R. Barclay. 2009. Causes of bat fatalities at wind turbines: Hypotheses and predictions. Journal of Mammalogy. 90: 1330-1340. 
  • Jacobs, D.S. and R.M.R. Barclay. 2009. Niche differentiation in two sympatric sibling bat species, Scotophilus Dinganii and Scotophilus Mhlanganii. Journal of Mammalogy. 90: 879-887. 
  • Baerwald, E.F., G.H. D'Amours, B.J. Klug and R.M.R. Barclay. 2008. Barotrauma is a significant cause of bat fatalities at wind turbines. Current Biology.  18: R695-696.
  • Lausen, C.L., Delisle, I., Barclay, R.M.R., Strobeck, C. 2008. Beyond mtDNA: nuclear gene flow suggests taxonomic oversplitting in the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus). Canadian Journal of Zoology. 86: 700-713.
  • Barclay, R.M.R., E.F Baerwald, and J.C. Gruver. 2007. Variation of bird and bat fatalities at wind energy facilities: assessing the effects of rotor size and tower height. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 85:381-387 
  • Jacobs, D.S., R.M.R. Barclay, and M.H. Walker. 2007. The allometry of echolocation call frequencies of insectivorous bats: why do some species deviate from the pattern? Oecologia.
  • Lausen, C.L. and R.M.R. Barclay. 2006. Benefits of living in a building: big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) in rocks versus buildings. Journal of Mammalogy. 87:362-370. 
  • Solick, D.I. and R.M.R. Barclay. 2006. Morphological differences among western long-eared bat (Myotis evotis) populations in different environments.. Journal of Mammalogy. 87: 1020-1026. 
  • Solick, D.I. and R.M.R. Barclay. 2006. Thermoregulation and roosting behaviour of reproductive and non-reproductive female western long-eared bats (Myotis evotis) in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta.Canadian Journal of Zoology. 84:589-599.
  • Camaclang, A.E., L.M. Hollis, and R.M.R. Barclay. 2006. Variation in body temperature and the isolation calls of juvenile big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus): consequences for individual recognition. Animal Behaviour. 71: 657-662.
  • Proctor, M.F., B.N. McLellan, C. Strobeck and R.M.R. Barclay. 2005. Genetic analysis reveals demographic fragmentation of grizzly bears yielding vulnerably small populations. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B. 272:2409-2416.
  • Proctor, M. F., B. N. McLellan, C. Strobeck and R.M.R. Barclay. 2004. Gender-specific dispersal distances of grizzly bears estimated from genetic analysis. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 82: 1108-1118.
  • Barclay, R. M. R., et al. 2004. Variation in the reproductive rate of bats. Can. J. Zool. 82. 688-693 
  • Chruszcz, B.J. and R.M.R. Barclay. 2003. Prolonged foraging bouts of a solitary gleaning/hawking bat, Myotis evotis. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 81: 823-826. 
  • Lausen, C. and R.M.R. Barclay. 2003. Thermoregulation and roost selection by reproductive female big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) roosting in rock crevices. J. Zool London 260, 235-244 
  • Patriquin, K. and R.M.R. Barclay. 2003. Foraging of bats in cleared, thinned and unharvested boreal forest. Journal of Applied Ecology. 40:646-647.