Meet Emily de Freitas, Intermediate Resource Technician with VAST. Emily has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Guelph and is currently completing her Master of Science at the University of Northern British Columbia, with an academic focus on bat roosting ecology.

“I am originally from Calgary, but I moved to Fernie in 2019 by way of Squamish. I had heard about VAST and was always interested in the diversity of projects they worked on,” said Emily. “I decided to reach out last winter to see if they were looking to grow their environmental team and here I am. VAST was supportive of a part-time, flexible position that enabled me to maintain focus on master’s degree, which was great. As for the work — I love spending time in the field. I also enjoy working on a variety of different projects; it allows me to learn something new every day.”

Since joining VAST in June, Emily has participated in a variety of field projects, including herptile salvages, wildlife surveys, badger surveys, and of course, bat-related work.

“I have been working with bats for four years, and I look forward to applying my expertise to more bat-focused projects with the VAST team,” said Emily. “There are so many interesting things about bats. We have over 1,400 species worldwide, and they display an incredible amount of diversity in their morphology, physiology and life history strategies.”

“What first interested me was how much we still need to learn – there’s a lot we don’t know about bats in British Columbia, and there is so much opportunity to participate in unique research. Also, they are very cute. The first time I held one, I was sold.”

In her spare time Emily embraces what she calls the “Kootenay Special”: skiing, biking, climbing, fishing, hiking and camping with good people in the mountains.

We’re so glad to have you, Emily, on our team.

Fun fact: BAT Week, an international, annual celebration designed to raise awareness about the need for bat conservation, takes place this year Oct. 24-Oct 31.

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