With over 15 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Bathala is an accomplished educator, specializing in the fields of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Her dedication to academic teaching includes both undergraduate and graduate audiences. Currently, Dr. Bathala is serving as Visiting Faculty in Environmental Science at Villanova University.
Her expertise as an ecologist extends beyond the classroom, as she actively engages in various local and global conservation projects. Her research has taken her to diverse biomes worldwide, from monitoring bottlenose dolphins in the Mediterranean to studying carbon storage in Alaska's boreal forests.
Dr. Bathala's commitment to conservation has focused on tropical and marine ecosystems. While at Duke she conducted research in Costa Rica in collaboration with the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). She has also studied marine communities in Belize, Hawaii, and the Galapagos Islands as part of the National Science Foundation’s post-doctoral course studies. These experiences along with a summer spent at the Duke University Marine Lab allowed her to gain valuable insights into the interplay of terrestrial and marine environments which are essential for effective environmental conservation.
Beyond her research and academic endeavors, Dr. Bathala actively promotes environmental awareness and strives to make science accessible and enjoyable to the public. She is an award-winning author, focusing on educational children's books on conservation and species protection. She is also a Smithsonian Program Expert for student education groups visiting Belize and Costa Rica. Dr. Bathala is deeply committed to projects encouraging STEM, particularly for women in the sciences.
Outside the academic sphere, Dr. Bathala nurtures her love for gardening and holds a certification as a scuba diver. She is a sought-after garden speaker and volunteers her time for coastal conservation projects along the New Jersey shore.
Actively involved in various organizations, Dr. Bathala serves on the Board of Advisors of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University. She has also contributed her time as a mentor for students in Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment graduate program where she continues to inspire and educate the next generation of environmental enthusiasts and conservationists.