Kathrin Barboza Marquez
Kathrin can map the world around her by using sound.
Get to know
Kathrin is a biologist who discovered a species of bat and gained her superpowers after touching the rare and mysterious bat. Her abilities to map the world around her by using sound help her fight crime!
The drawing of a bug on her superhero outfit is an ectoparasite. These are parasites, such as a flea, that live on the outside of their hosts. Kathrin conducted a study of ectoparasites on the bat population of the savanna.
THE DRAWING'S HIDDEN TREASURES
SCIENCE SUPERHERO IDENTITY
In this fact-file find out why we turned Kathrin into a Superhero
Kathrin was born, and grew up in Cochabamba, Bolivia
In 2006, Kathrin went on a year-long expedition to track down the sword-nosed bat. The species was believed to be extinct in Bolivia. the team rediscovered the bat.
Kathrin worked with her mentor Aideé Vargas to track down the sword-nosed bat.
TOP QUARKZ CARD EXPLAINED
Sonic Interference interferes with Kathrin's ability to release sound waves (sonar).
Born: 1983
Occupation: Biologist
Kathrin Barboza Marquez
TRUE IDENTITY
Kathrin became interested in bats while studying at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón. As a student, she researched the reproductive patterns of fruit bats for her thesis and went on a year-long expedition to track down the Nariz de Espada (the sword-nosed bat), a species believed to have become extinct in Bolivia. Kathrin has created one of the first libraries of echolocation frequencies for insectivorous bats in Bolivia and in 2010 was awarded the National Geographic's "Young Explorer Grant".
Kathrin is a Bolivian biologist and expert in bat research.
Kathrin Barboza Marquez
Listening to them is an indescribable emotion, it is about making something that nobody can hear audible
WHAT'S A BIOLOGIST?
Biologists study humans, animals, plants and bacteria to gain a better understanding of how the body and nature works, and how external factors may influence each organism. There are many sub-branches of biology you could choose to explore.

Biologists can work in macroscopic (objects that are measurable and visible to the naked eye) or microscopic (requires microscopes to view the objects) biology.
Video credit: SciShow Kids
The world's largest bat is called the "flying fox" (Pteropus bats). It has a wingspan of up to 6 feet.
Most bats have only one pup (baby) a year, making them extremely vulnerable to extinction.
Take a look at how many common bat misconceptions came about and just how vital bats are to our everyday lives.
Bats Aren't as Scary as You Think
DID YOU KNOW ?
Find out cool facts about bats—from how and where they live, to what they eat and how they talk to each other.
Cool facts about bats.
Video credit: National Geographic
Video credit National Geographic Kids
Watch this video to find out how bats "see" the world around them as they look for prey in the dark.
How does echolocation work?
Video credit: SciToons
Bats make up a quarter of all mammals. There are more than 1,100 species of bats in the world!
Bats 'see' in the dark using a special skill called echolocation.
Bat Facts!
ACTIVITY
Echolocation Activity
STEP 1: Set up your experiment on a table.

STEP 2: Tape down the paper towel rolls so that they are angled towards each other but not touching.

STEP 3: Place the aluminum pie plate on its edge facing the tubes but 12 inchdes away from the tubes. Tape it down.

STEP 4:
Have one person whisper into one of the tubes.

STEP 5: The other person should listen for the sound to bounce off the pie plate and come back through the other tube (the tube not whispered into).

When sounds bounce off an object, the bat gets information about the texture, shape, size, and location of the object. The bat is using echolocation.
What you will need
  • 2 empty paper towel rolls
  • 2 aluminum pie plates
  • masking tape
  • 1 ruler
  • 2 people
Want to discover more? Dive into the world of our science superheroes
Kathrin features in our card game: Top Quarkz
Discover our free educational resources and activities
Bats: Level 3 - by Elizabeth Carney
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