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Letters from a Young Bat Scientist-No. 1

Merlin and some bat fans who attended his talk. Alexis Valentine, “Bat Girl,” is on Merlin’s left, and her mom, Amy Ejma, is on his right.


Merlin and I met Alexis Valentine, aka “Bat Girl,” last spring in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Her mom, a math and science teacher, brought her to hear Dr. Tuttle’s keynote address at the Discover Life in America‘s annual meeting. We were impressed with the young bat scientist, and we thought you would be too!

Alexis Valentine won 1st place in her division in two categories: Environmental and Life Sciences
Alexis Valentine won 1st place in her division in two categories: Environmental and Life Sciences

Over the past year, Alexis has been keeping us informed via emails of her bat activities, past and present. She became interested in bats while in the third grade. She’s currently in the seventh. Every one of those years, Alexis has given a talk to the Rotary Club about bats, and she’s been entering competitions and winning prizes! Read what she wrote in her own words:


April 6, 2014

Hi Dr. Tuttle!

I wanted to let you know about the regional science fair that I just competed in. I won 1st place in the Environmental science Jr. Division category and 1st place in the Life Science Jr. Division category. I won a nice big plaque with my project name and my name on it and a $75 Visa gift card from the Leidos Corporation and 2 huge science books from Sigma Xi.

My project was “Support Bats & Let Them Flap!” My research was on bats and white-nose syndrome. I just wanted to say thank you for all of the encouragement you gave to me when you were here in TN. I can’t wait for this summer and more bat research.

Have a “Bat-tastic” day!


Alexis Valentine “Bat Girl”

In the next blog Alexis will tell us about the exciting things she did for her summer 2014 bat research.

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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.