Merlin D. Tuttle
Founder & Executive Director
Merlin is comfortable crawling deep into caves, lugging equipment through tropical jungles, or standing on a stage introducing the world to the Secret Lives of Bats. (Shameless book plug…click here to purchase.)
Merlin started his bat career as a teenager, has done field research on every continent where bats live, photographed hundreds of species, founded Bat Conservation International and has been a key force in changing the way the world perceives bats.
Merlin couldn’t stand retirement with so much yet to be done, so he founded Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation. He continues to dedicate his life to the study, preservation and promotion of bats and their contributions to our world. MTBC benefits from his lifetime of knowledge, renowned photography and is the legacy of a man who turned his passion into a profession.
Teresa M. Nichta
Operations Manager, Archivist, Digital and Social Media Coordinator
Teresa’s core responsibility is managing Merlin’s extensive photographic collection. She manages social media, video production, field planning, development, correspondence and all things in between.
She is also an experienced photographer and practices gardening, aerial silks, and dreaming.
Alejandro focuses on Merlin Tuttle’s website development as well as other behind-the-scenes software matters. He is passionate about almost all tech-related things and loves traveling, mountain biking, and photography.
In addition to Tuttle (Chair), the directors are:
Jeff Acopian has a lifelong dedication to conservation, and for more than 25 years he has been a staunch supporter of Merlin’s bat conservation efforts. In collaboration with his late father, Sarkis Acopian he founded the Acopian Center for the Environment at the American University of Armenia in 1992, published A Field Guide to Birds of Armenia in 1996, and developed the Acopian BirdSavers in 2010. Jeff is an electrical engineer and Vice-President of Acopian Power Supplies www.acopian.com.
William Scanlan has an MBA in entrepreneurship and is bilingual with a special interest in Mexico, its folk art and mescal production. He spent 20 years founding and selling two businesses and collecting folk art prior to founding Heavy Metl Premium Imports in 2015. His company imports high-quality mescal batches to the U.S., bypassing rebottlers to increase income for traditional family producers in Oaxaca. He founded the Metl Matters Foundation to help preserve Oaxacan ancestral heritage and promote sustainable agave cultivation. He also supports a library and cultural center in Santa Catarina Minas where he hopes to provide increased opportunity for disadvantaged children to progress to higher education. In July, 2017, William funded MTBC’s production of a documentary illustrating the key role of bats in sustainable agave production.
Merlin remains enthusiastically committed to bat conservation full-time, and given his unprecedented track record, it is impossible to predict the full potential of his new organization for which he serves as Executive Director. As always, he is aiming high, and his current health is excellent. He hopes to continue full-time for at least another decade. However, should age catch up with him before his new organization can become fully independent, he and his directors have made provision for any remaining assets to be transferred to the most appropriate bat-focused conservation organization available at that time, most likely Bat Conservation International.