Dr. Bathala is an associate professor of Ecology and Environmental Sciences at the University of the Arts. She joined the faculty in the Division of Liberal Arts in 2007, prior to which she was an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Rosemont College. Her work is focused on the impact of environmental changes on plant and animal biodiversity. Dr. Bathala is a broadly trained ecologist and is interested in the monitoring of species in both marine and terrestrial ecosystems, particularly for education and curricular development.
During her graduate studies at Duke University, Dr. Bathala was involved with the Organization for Tropical Studies conducting international research on conservation biology in Costa Rica. This involved the study of land-use change due to deforestation. Additionally, she spent a summer at the Duke University Marine Lab studying oceanography and marine ecosystems. Her doctoral work examined the role of carbon as part of the National Science Foundation Long Term Ecological Research network at various biomes throughout North America. She returned to Costa Rica over a decade after her original studies to assist in the monitoring of endangered sea turtles nesting at the Tortuguero National Park.
Dr. Bathala has been involved in multiple post-doctoral National Science Foundation Chautauqua Field Course programs for University professors. These have included the study of biodiversity, geology and marine communities in Belize, Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands. In 2009, she participated in a scientific research expedition monitoring a population of bottlenose dolphin in western Greece. She is a certified SCUBA diver and has completed both day and nighttime dives in the Caribbean. On a regional level, Dr. Bathala has been active in the conservation efforts of a number of Mid-Atlantic marine species including the diamondback tortoise, horseshoe crab and shore birds.
Since 2013, Dr. Bathala has served as the coordinator of the Scientific Inquiry and Foundation Track at the University of the Arts. Current classes taught include Life Science Concepts, Evolution In Modern Perspective and Urban Wildlife. She has also developed two new field based ecology classes including a summer course based at the New Jersey shore on saltwater and marine ecology and an international study abroad course on coral reef and marine conservation at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences in Honduras. Additionally, she has taught multiple online science courses and been adjunct faculty for both graduate and undergraduate education at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Bathala continues to focus her efforts on increasing awareness of environmental issues and making science accessible and enjoyable to others. Her current endeavors involve the development of children’s books on conservation and species protection for both marine and terrestrial ecosystems.