This section of the lab's activities deals with two aspects of bat (Mammalia: Chiroptera) taxonomy. The first part - which forms the major research area - consists of the systematic revisions of a number of bat groups (either on the level of family or genus). In the past, the genera Scotophilus Leach, 1812 (Vespertilionidae), Nycteris Geoffroy & Cuvier, 1795 (Nycteridae), Rhinopoma Geoffroy, 1813 (Rhinopomatidae) and Epomophorus Bennet, 1836 (Pteropodidae). At present, the systematics of the closely related genera Eptesicus Rafinesque, 1820 and Pipistrellus Kaup, 1829 (Vespertilionidae) is in progress. The basic material for these revisions are skins and skulls or spirit preserved specimens, which are obtained from various museums from all over the world or which are examined on the spot. On these specimens, a number of measurements are taken, which are processed by means of multivariate statistical techniques (e.g. principal components analysis). The results of these analyses are combined with morphological (e.g. the size, shape and position of the teeth) and literature data to evaluate the relationships between the various forms in the group.
The second part of this research area deals with the identification of bats from collections (primarily) made in Africa. In the past collections from Cameroon, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire) were examined. The latter collection was made in the aftermath of the 1995 Ebola haemorrhagic fever epidemic to identify possible virus hosts.