I grew up in southern Bavaria, Germany. A child with many allergies including every single species of pet that had fur or feather, I was eventually given two pet turtles from the animal shelter. Naturally, that didn't keep me away from the neighbour’s farm’s kittens or the other neighbour’s ponies. In addition to that, my cousin and I kept an entire zoo of beetles and isopodes, and hosted snail races every weekend, writing names on their shells with sharpie. I liked school, even chemistry and physics once I realized that all life sciences are connected. My hobbies were (and are) theatre and first aid. I have always been fascinated with anatomy and physiology. My favourite book from my parents bookshelf was actually a big tome on diseases. The choice to study biology and not go to med school was a difficult one, but in the end I decided that biology would give me a broader perspective and lead to a wider horizon. Still, besides neurobiology and ecology I chose anthropology and pharmacology as my subjects. During my first practical I encountered the bats in the basement of the old zoology faculty at Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians-University. A few short weeks after, I decided to do my diploma thesis on their echolocation. After the first experiment failed half a year in, I switched topics and started to train six bats in order to measure their hearing thresholds. The following fifteen years took me to many different places and brought me many wonderful people who love these fascinating creatures as much as I do.
Anne Leonie Baier
... AT WORK
Right after graduating I started working as technical assistant in the newly established Sensory Ecology lab of PD Dr. Björn M. Siemers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany. My tasks included bat husbandry, catching and releasing bats, bat training, execution of experiments, data analysis, laboratory management, and public relations among other things. In late 2012, I started working towards my own Phd project, the coding of spatial of temporal frequency in echolocating bats, with my advisor Prof. Dr. Lutz Wiegrebe at the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich. I joined the IMPRS, the International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology, under the supervision of Dr. Holger Goerlitz, Björn Siemer's successor at the MPIO. In 2017, I received a fellowship to work in the labs of Prof. Dr. Wouter Halfwerk at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and of Dr. Rachel Page at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panamá. I defended my PhD in January 2019. I am currently working with PD Dr. Uwe Firzlaff from the Technical University Munich. In spring 2020 I will return to Panamá, joining the bat lab of Dr. Rachel Page at STRI on a collaboration with Prof. Dr. Mike Ryan at the University of Texas at Austin.