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Student scholarships are unsurpassed in their contributions to bat conservation. Most of the world’s more than 1400 species remain unstudied beyond taxonomic descriptions. Research to document their vital ecological and economic roles and put people’s superstitious fears in perspective is urgently needed to reverse alarming decline.

The power of scholarships is well documented. Students prefer research essential to an improved future, but frequently are forced into alternative careers for lack of funds. Furthermore, because thesis research can be key to subsequent employment opportunities, students are strongly motivated for extraordinarily cost-effective accomplishment.

Toni making friends with a Mehely's horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus mehelyi) so it will perform naturally when catching prey from a set.

Awareness that bats save U.S. farmers nearly $23 billion annually began with research grants and scholarships awarded through Merlin Tuttle’s personal efforts. In fact, much of what is known of the vital roles of bats in pest control, seed dispersal, and pollination, has come from scholarships initiated by Merlin. With lessons learned from his proven track record, we are prepared to maximize returns on these investments.

Understanding the vital contributions of bats is essential. Donor-named scholarships are encouraged.

Available Scholarships

A new annual scholarship has been named in honor of Antoniya Hubancheva, the recipient of our first student scholarship award, thanks to a generous gift from MTBC’s first director, Jeff Acopian. This timely support played a key role in helping “Toni” gain acceptance into the prestigious Max Planck Institute graduate program where she excelled, completing requirements for her Ph.D. degree on December 7, 2023.

A documentary that included her thesis research recently won an Emmy award, and she has big plans for leadership in conserving her favorite animals. Awards will be preferentially targeted for students of special talent and conservation dedication from developing countries. For application details, contact with the subject line “Antoniya Hubancheva Scholarship Inquiry”.

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.