‘eighty years of promoting biodiversity conservation through taxonomic research, scientific training and international networks’

Harrison Institute, Centre for Biodiversity Research

Dr Nikky Thomas is a researcher at the Harrison Institute.

She is currently studying the taxonomy of a range of Southern and SE Asian small mammal taxa, especially bats, as well as working with PhD students from Cambodia, India, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Zambia.

Dr Nikky Thomas

Scientific officer

Harrison Institute
Bowerwood House
15 St Botolphs Road
Kent, TN13 3AQ
United Kingdom
Tel/Fax: +44 (0)1732 742446
E-mail: nikkythomas@hotmail.com


1999-2000: PGCE Secondary Science, University of Roehampton

1993-1997: PhD (Zoology), University of Aberdeen
Title of thesis: A systematic review of selected Afro-Asiatic Rhinolophidae (Mammalia: Chiroptera): an evaluation of taxonomic methodologies.

1988-1991: BSc Hons (Biology), University of Sussex, UK

Research Interests:

  • Taxonomy, ecology and echolocation of Afro-Asian bats
  • Three-dimensional modelling for morphometric comparions
  • Biodiversity conservation

Current and Recent Research Activities:

2012-(ongoing): Taxonomic review of some species of the genus Hipposideros (leaf-nosed bats) in central and southern Africa

2012-(ongoing): Collation of bat acoustic data in peninsular India

2010-2012 Review of the bat fauna of Lao PDR

2010-(ongoing): Supervision of students (part of Darwin Initiative project) conducting research on a range of bat taxa

Background information

Nikky joined the Institute in 1992 after spending time working as a volunteer in the Mammal Section of the Bulawayo Natural History Museum, Zimbabwe. 

After completing her doctural thesis and a two year post-doctoral project, Nikky moved from her research post at the Harrison Institute to the Board of Trustees in order to focus on bringing up her young family. 

Nikky returned to her position as a researcher at the Institute in 2009.

She was appointed as an Associate Lecturer in Taxonomy by the University of Greenwich in 2012.

List of publications:


Csorba, G., Ujhelyi, P. & Thomas, N.M. 2003.  Horseshoe Bats of the World.  Alana Books, 160pp

Scientific Papers

Thomas, N.M., Duckworth, J.D., Douangboubpha, B. Williams, M. & Francis, C.M. (In press) A checklist of the bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of Lao PDR. Acta Chiropterologica

Douangboubpha, B., S. Bumrungsri, C. Satasook, P. Soisook, Si Si Hla Bu, B. Aul, D.L. Harrison, M. Pearch, N.M. Thomas, and P.J.J. Bates. 2011. A new species of small Hipposideros (Chiroptera: Hipposideridae) from Myanmar and a revaluation of the taxon H. nicobarulae Miller, 1902 from the Nicobar Islands. Acta Chiropterologica, 13(1): 61-78. [PDF available]

Ith, S., P. Soisook, S. Bumrungsri, T. Kingston, S.J. Puechmaille, M.J. Struebig, Si Si Hla Bu, V.D. Thong, N.M. Furey, N.M. Thomas, and P.J.J. Bates. 2011. A taxonomic review of Rhinolophophus coelophyllus Peters 1867 and R. shameli Tate 1943 (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) in continental Southeast Asia. Acta Chiropterologica, 13(1): 41-59. [PDF available]

Douangboubpha B, Bumrungsri S, Soisook P, Satasook C, Thomas N.M., Bates PJJ (2010) A taxonomic review of Hipposideros bicolor species complex and H. pomona (Chiroptera: Hipposideridae) in Thailand. Acta Chiropterologica, 12: 415-438. [PDF available]

Thomas, N.M. 2000. Morphological and mitochondrial-DNA variation in Rhinolophus rouxii (Chiroptera).  Bonn. zool. Beitr. 49: 1-18. [PDF available]

Harrison, D.L., Bates, P.J.J. & Thomas, N.M. 1995.  The Occurrence of Acotherulum pumilum (Stehlin, 1908), (Mammalia, Artiodactyla, Cebochoeridae) in the Headonian (Upper Eocene) of England.  Tertiary Research 15(4): 139-143. [PDF available]

Thomas, N.M., Harrison, D.L. & Bates, P.J.J., 1994. A Study of the baculum in the genus Nycteris (Mammalia, Chiroptera, Nycteridae) with consideration of its taxonomic importance. Bonn. Zool. Beitr. 45: 17-31. [PDF available]

Bates, P.J.J., Harrison, D.L., Thomas, N.M. & Muni, M. 1994.  The Indian fruit bat Latidens salimalii Thonglongya, 1972 (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) rediscovered in southern India.  Bonn. Zool. Beitr. 45: 89-98. [PDF available]

Recent conference and workshop presentations:

Thomas , Nikky. & D. Bartlett.  Acoustic Monitoring Training in India.  Kent Bat Group, 22 November, 2012.

Thomas, Nikky. Research and training in the Harrison Institute with particular reference to the Indian Subcontinent. Tetrapods Meeting. 5 September, 2012.

Thomas , Nikky.  Assessing bat species numbers in the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot.  Surrey Bat Group, 1 March, 2012.

Thomas , Nikky.  How many bat species are there in SE Asia? Using DNA to find out. School of Science, University of Greenwich, 31 January, 2012.

Thomas , Nikky.  'Taxonomy, the science that underpins conservation'. Biodiversity crisis in tropical Asia. ATBC Asia-Pacific Chapter Annual Meeting, Bangkok, Thailand (Oral presentation).