Gary McCracken News

UT Study Finds Market Forces Influence the Value of Bat-Provided Services

Bats returning to Frio Cave near Conan, Texas, in the early morning. Photo Credit: Amy Russell of Grand Valley State University.

Services provided by Mother Nature, such as pest control from insect-eating bats, are affected by market forces like most anything else in the economy, a UT study finds. Researchers from UT and the University of Arizona, Tucson, studied how forces such as volatile market conditions and technological substitutes affect the value of pest control services provided by Mexican free-tailed bats on cotton production in the United States.

UT Professor Finds Economic Importance of Bats in the Billions

Bats in North America are under a two-pronged attack but they are not the only victim – so is the U.S. economy. Gary McCracken, head of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UT Knoxville, analyzed the economic impact of the loss of bats in North America in agriculture and found it to be in the $3.7 to $53 billion a year range.

UT Pregame Showcase Goes Batty

This week’s Pregame Showcase features Gary McCracken, department head and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. He will present “The Conservation of North American Bats: What Happens If We Lose Them?”

UT Professor Uncovers Clues into How Viruses Jump From Hosts

HIV-AIDS. SARS. Ebola. Bird Flu. Swine Flu. Rabies. These are emerging infectious diseases where the viruses have jumped from one animal species into another and now infect humans. Gary McCracken, a UT Knoxville professor and department head in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is one of those scientists and has made a groundbreaking discovery into how viruses jump from host to host.