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Merlin D. Tuttle

NAME: Merlin D. Tuttle
PRESENT ADDRESS: 5000 Mission Oaks, #41, Austin, Texas 78735
PHONE: Office: (512) 358-0014
DATE OF BIRTH: 26 August 1941
PLACE OF BIRTH: Honolulu, Hawaii
EDUCATION: B.A. Zoology, Andrews University, 1965
  M.A. Systematics and Ecology, University of Kansas, 1969 | Thesis: Distribution and Zoogeography of Peruvian Bats
  Ph.D. Ecology and Evolution, University of Kansas, 1974 | Dissertation: (with honors) Population Ecology of the gray bat (Myotis grisescens)


• Research Fellow, Section of Integrated Biology, University of Texas (2011- present).

• Founder & Executive Director, Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation, Inc. (2014-present).


• Honorary Ambassador, Year of the Bat Campaign, United Nations Environment Program, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (2010 – 2012)

• Member, Endangered Species Recovery Team for Indiana Bats and Gray Bats, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1980 – 2012)

• Honorary Consultant, Chiroptera Specialist Group, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (1978 – present)

• Founder and President, Bat Conservation International, Inc., Austin, Texas (1982 – 2009)

• Curator of Mammals, Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1975 – 1986)

• Visiting Scholar, Zoology Department, University of Texas, Austin, Texas (1986 – 1987)

• Adjunct Associate Professor, Zoology Department, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1979 – 1986)

• Co-Director, Smithsonian Venezuelan Project, Venezuela (1965 – 1967)


Merlin Tuttle is an ecologist, wildlife photographer, and conservationist who has studied bats and championed their preservation for 60 years and continues a full-time schedule.

He is globally known through his scientific discoveries, media appearances, popular articles, and photographs of bats. His work has been featured in expositions from Harvard University to the British Museum and in numerous feature articles that include the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and National Geographic.

He founded Bat Conservation International (BCI), an organization devoted to research, education and conservation of bats, in 1982. Under his leadership BCI emphasized broad collaboration that balanced both human and wildlife needs and became a model for positive solutions to conservation challenges. Against all odds, BCI grew rapidly. When Tuttle retired in 2009 from nearly 30 years of service as its Executive Director, BCI employed 32 biologists, educators, and administrators, supported by 11,000 members in 60 countries. BCI gained permanent protection for many of the world’s largest remaining bat populations, sponsored research to document the vital ecological and economic roles of bats, trained hundreds of wildlife managers in bat research and conservation techniques, and vastly improved the public’s perception of bats.

He founded Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation ( in 2014 in support of his many continuing conservation activities, entirely independent of his original organization.


In 1986, Dr. Tuttle’s research accomplishments were recognized through the Gerrit S. Miller, Jr. Award, the highest international honor conferred by colleagues in the field of chiropteran biology. In 1991, he received The Society for Conservation Biology’s Distinguished Achievement Award, honoring his accomplishments in founding Bat Conservation International. In 1997, he received both the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Chuck Yeager Award and the Chevron/Times Mirror Magazine’s Conservation Award. In 1999, he was honored by United for Conservation in Mexico and won the $10,000 grand prize in the country’s first nature photography contest. Dr. Tuttle also received the National Wildlife Federation’s prestigious National Conservation Achievement Award for 2001. In 2002, The U.S. Postal Service featured four of Dr. Tuttle’s photographs in a commemorative stamp series. In 2003, Dr. Tuttle received the Margaret Douglas Medal for notable service to conservation education from The Garden Club of America. In 2007 he received a U.S. Congressional Award on behalf of his achievements through Bat Conservation International, and in 2011 the North American Society for Bat Research honored him with a Life Membership. In 2015 he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Andrews University.


Dr. Tuttle has authored 57 research publications and numerous popular articles. His America’s Neighborhood Bats book, and the Bat House Builder’s Handbook ranked among the University of Texas Press’ best sellers. His book, The Secret Lives of Bats: My Adventures with the World’s Most Misunderstood Mammals, was released by Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt Publishing on October 20, 2015. It was immediately selected by Amazon as one of its 10 Best Books of the month in its non-fiction category and received numerous outstanding reviews, including by The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, National Geographic Book Talk, Nature and The Huffington Post. Tuttle served as science editor and sole photographer for BATS: an illustrated guide to all species, a 400-page book published by Smithsonian Books in North America and internationally by Ivy Press in London. It was released on April 9, 2019. The American version sold its first print run of over 5,000 copies in just three months. It also received high accolades from the science journal Nature and a prestigious Star Award from the Library Journal.


Dr. Tuttle has been invited to speak in many of the world’s most prestigious lecture halls. He has given hundreds of major public lectures and research seminars, including at: Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Cornell Universities; the American Museum of Natural History, The Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, the British Museum, the Hong Kong Wetlands Park, South Africa’s Durban Natural Science Museum, the National Museum of Natural Science in Taiwan and the Smithsonian Institution, also at Sydney, Australia’s Taronga Zoo, the U.S. National Zoo, and the Brookfield Zoo; the Chautauqua Institute and the National Geographic Society Headquarters. He provided the keynote address at the 2010 International Bat Research Conference held in the Czech Republic and at the 2014 annual meeting of Discover America held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. He also was a plenary speaker at the 2015 annual meeting of the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, attended by representatives from 22 nations. He additionally provided the keynote address at the 46th Annual Research Symposium of the North American Society for Bat Research held in 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. In 2017, he provided keynote addresses for annual meetings of six national organizations from the United States to Brazil and Chile. In 2018, he provided the keynote address for the 72nd Cape May Fall Festival in New Jersey and a lead-off introduction to vampire control issues at the annual meeting of the Wildlife Disease Association in Florida. Additional appearances ranged from The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in Texas to the Milwaukee Public Museum in Wisconsin.


• In 1984, Tuttle’s conservation efforts were featured in a widely aired National Geographic Television special, titled “Merlin’s Bats”.

• In 1985, Tuttle’s research was featured in the BBC Special, The Bat That Cracked the Frog Code, which aired throughout Europe and the U.S.

• In 1990, Tuttle and his conservation efforts were featured in the Survival Anglia production, The Secret World of Bats, which premiered on CBS television in the U.S. and subsequently aired in more than 100 additional countries.  Dr. Tuttle was the Scientific Advisor who planned and participated in this award-winning documentary that continues to air on cable television shows such as the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.

• In 2006, Tuttle’s lifelong conservation successes were featured in Merlin Tuttle, Guardian Angel of Bats, part of the Mona Lisa & Mandarava Productions, “Heroes of Nature” television series which aired throughout Europe.

• Tuttle’s  other TV appearances include ABC’s Good Morning America, and World News Tonight; NBC’s Today Show, Dateline, and David Letterman Show; CBS’s Evening News; PBS’s Charlie Rose Show; the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Explorer, National Public Radio and Voice of America, among many other television and radio interviews worldwide.

• Tuttle also has appeared on National Public Radio, and Voice of America, among many other television and radio interviews worldwide including a dozen in 2015.

• Tuttle’s interview on Bird Calls Radio aired in 50 states and 108 countries, and his Austin bat story was featured on Chicago PBS station’s Urban Wildlife program in 2018.

• Tuttle provided one radio, four television, and one podcast interview through August 31 in 2019.

• Tuttle reached large national and international audiences through nine webinars and six podcasts and his conservation efforts were featured in a 1.5-hour French television documentary in 2020.


Tuttle’s accomplishments have been featured in most of the world’s major newspapers and magazines, including National Geographic, Smithsonian, Modern Maturity, The New Yorker, Time, People, Geo, Reader’s Digest and Stern magazines and most of the major metropolitan newspapers of the U.S. including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, Houston Chronicle, and Washington Post.  International newspaper articles include the China Morning Post, Indonesian Times, Sydney Morning Herald, London Times, and many others. He also was one of 40 scientists featured in the 2012 book, Wildlife Heroes by Julie Scardina and Jeff Flocken.


Thousands of publications, exhibits, and websites of a wide variety worldwide have featured Dr. Tuttle’s photographs.  These include five National Geographic articles, more than a dozen National Geographic Society books and other magazines, and inclusion in their prestigious publication, 100 Best Pictures.  His photographs in “Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats” traveling exhibit have helped educate more than two million people in a decade of touring the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe. A special 2002 commemorative stamp series by the U.S. Postal Service featured Tuttle’s photographs, and Digital Photographer magazine featured Tuttle’s work in its special issue—The best wildlife photographers of the world named by DP magazine in the year 2007. In 2011, his bat photographs were featured in a major exhibit at the Hong Kong Wetlands Park, and his article featuring how flowering plants have adapted to bat echolocation appeared in the March 2014 issue of National Geographic. Since 2010 he has taken more than 50,000 new images of bats in Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad, and the U.S.

Last revised 2/11/21

Michael Lazari Karapetian

Michael Lazari Karapetian has over twenty years of investment management experience. He has a degree in business management, is a certified NBA agent, and gained early experience as a money manager for the Bank of America where he established model portfolios for high-net-worth clients. In 2003 he founded Lazari Capital Management, Inc. and Lazari Asset Management, Inc.  He is President and CIO of both and manages over a half a billion in assets. In his personal time he champions philanthropic causes. He serves on the board of Moravian College and has a strong affinity for wildlife, both funding and volunteering on behalf of endangered species.