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Left: Michael and Caroline Schoner. Middle: Antonya Hubancheva. Right: Daniela Schmieder

“Your resources are always helpful, and over the past year and they’ve also helped me to explain why bats are not to blame for the current pandemic.” — Maureen Heidtmann, 2020

“I am writing to express my deep gratitude for the amazing work you have done in Brazil. The lecture in the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation on September 15th had a great impact on the vision of ecoepidemiologists on bats. The lecture you delivered in the Brazilian Bat Research Meeting/Mammals Meeting and the time you have spent chatting with students in the two sections of the “coffee with the researcher” unquestionably had a great impact on students, their careers, and the way they can be more proactive in bat conservation. I have no words to express my gratitude for accepting my invitation and join us in Rio de Janeiro and Pirenópolis. Please keep your amazing work in bat conservation.” — Dr. Ricardo Moratelli, President, Brazilian Mammal Society, September 2017

“Thank you so much for sending me that pdf of your study in Kenya – this is absolutely fantastic! I will definitely be referring to your results any time this topic/complaint comes up again. It’s exactly what I needed, and yes, we really have to conduct more of this useful research on bat damage to fruits. It’s something that I’m hoping to explore in the future.” — Dr. Sheema Aziz, Malaysia, October 2017

“These images are going to be an amazing edition to our Bats of Colorado booklet and aid in highlighting the importance of bat conservation. This updated version will be a HUGE benefit to educators, landowners and our partners.” — Emily Snode-Brenneman, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, July 2017

This statement is the most thoughtful and rational one I have seen on WNS. Thank you, Merlin Tuttle, for taking the emotion and hidden agendas out of the discussion and proposing a rational path forward.” — Louise Hose, May 2016 

“Thank you for all you do for bats. These photos are treasures.” — Janell Cannon, Author of Stellaluna, May 2016

“Fantastic, unsurpassed milestone! Congratulations Dr. Merlin Tuttle! An inspiration and hero to bats and chiroptologists worldwide! I Would not be where I am today, loving what I do, were it not for Merlin. Thank you for paving the way for all of us! Without you there would be no ‘us.'” — Joseph D’Angeli, The BATCAVE at The WILD Life! Conservation Center, 2016

“Thank you so much for all your recent help in Brunei! Your photos documenting our field research and the woolly bats living in pitcher plants will be invaluable to our professional presentations as well as to our conservation efforts with the public. Thanks also for taking time to speak to the Brunei Nature Society at the University of Brunei Darussalam and for the beautiful set of photographs you donated for their use in promoting conservation. You generated a lot of new enthusiasm for bats, and we also deeply appreciated all your career advice, not to mention teaching us how to maintain our tiny bats in captivity, which will be a big asset to our future research. Please let us know if ever there is anything we can do to help in any way in your continuing efforts for bats.” — Caroline and Michael Schöner

“I just wanted to thank you for sharing your time to talk with me. I received a lot of good advice and listening to your stories was very inspiring. It was unbelievably exciting being able to talk to the biggest name in bat conservation! Thank you for all that you have done and for all that you continue to do, especially in talking with people like me who are eager to pursue a career in bat conservation.” — Kimberly Linnell, 2014

“Thank you very much for your corrections and comments. Wow, you really had to change a lot and I`m very thankful that you took the time to help me with this ms. It looks much better now without the long and complicated sentences. The corrections with the track changes tool are perfect.” — Daniela Schmieder, Germany, 2014

“I love the idea of a website for the Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation, Inc! You and Paula are one of the biggest inspirations in my life and I am delighted to know you are keep shearing your passion, knowledge, endless energy and amazing outlook on life!

“Few days ago I was looking for a bat cave near a small village in the North-West part of the country and asked an old man for the direction. After I explained him that I work with bats he smiled and told me ‘Oh, you must be very proud with the Bulgarian bats!? I’ve just watched on the TV news that the best bat researcher in the world came to work with them. I didn’t knew that they are so important!.’This situation not only left me speechless but it was also the best example of the huge impact of your visit to the Bat Conservation in my country.

However your work here influence positively not only the public and media outreach. Just a day after you and Paula left the country I went to the public discussion for the management plan of the nature protected area Devetashkata cave (the famous place where the Hollywood production “Expendables 2” shooted pictures and killed thousands of bats). In the beginning of the discussion the representatives of the municipality and the travel agencies in the area were against the plan as they were afraid that protecting bats means no tourist in the cave. But when I, regarding your invaluable advises, explained them that if they take care of the bats in the cave they will earn even more money they were willing to compromise. After I show them part of the pictures you have made during your stay in Bulgaria they become very excited and they themselves began to offer options for the conservation of bats in the cave and Eco Tours that will show to the tourists more of the beauty of those animals!

Because of all discussions I had with you about science and bat conservation now I feel much more confident and I am sure I will be able to use my energy and enthusiasm in much better and efficient way.

Those are all just small examples of all that you made for the Bat Conservation in Bulgaria just within your short stay. I do not know how to express my great gratitude for your help, but I could promise you that I will use the knowledge you gave me in the best possible way.” — Antonya Hubancheva

“It is now two weeks since we parted company. Therefore I think it is highest time to express you my deepest thankfulness to you and your wife for coming to Bulgaria and to give my colleague Antonya Hubancheva and me the chance to work with you. Your stay with us gave us a wonderful opportunity to learn how to make professional pictures of bats. In addition it is of great help for us that you allow us to use your best pictures for public education and conservation issues.
But you did much more than ‘just’ making pictures. Your presence in Bulgaria had a big impact for bat conservation in Bulgaria. Your public talks in Sofia and Ruse were broadcasted via the television, newspapers and radio stations and reached a huge amount of people. In the name of the young people who just started to work on bats in Bulgaria I also want to thank you for taking the time to talk with them and to discuss with them their involvement in bat conservation. I hope my Bulgarian colleagues will be able to organize an exhibition in different cities with some of your best pictures of European bats to reach even more people.
I’m also very thankful that you took the time to help my colleague Antonya Hubancheva finding a new job in bat research. As you experienced on your own Antonya is a very diligent and enthusiastic person and she has a big potential to have a huge impact in bat research and bat conservation not only within Bulgaria.
And last but not least I also want to thank you for the big impact you had on me. You have such a wonderful positive and motivating attitude. Just being close to you and to experience your way of thinking and your passion for bats had a very positive impact on me. The last years working on the scientific projects of my PhD were pretty hard for me since my supervisor passed away. I got pretty depressed although I love to work with bats I had not much faith in me as a future bat researcher. You gave me new hope and confidence in my scientific work. I`m now confident that I can finish my PhD. Since our meeting I also think more positive about my future involvement on bat research that also hopefully involves bat conservation. With all this I want to express to you once more my deepest thankfulness. — Daniela Schmieder

“Merlin has a self-sacrificing drive deep in his heart and a sincere dedication that he must share. Add communication, conflict resolution and leadership skills and you have a rock solid leader. And he’s a darned good biologist, too.” — Cal Butchkoski, Wildlife Biologist, Pennsylvania Game Commission, 2009

“Merlin’s visit in 2000 was a memorable milestone in bat conservation and provided huge impetus and positive media attention to fledgling South African bat groups.” — Peter Taylor, Bat Interest Group of KwaZulu-Natal, Durbon, South Africa, 2009

“It is sheer magic for someone to take on an animal group like bats and give them a totally new public image. Because of Merlin’s magic—his great drive—many, many people see bats today as charming, furry, innocent, cute, and most of all useful Heroes of the Ecosystem.” — Sally Walker, Founder, Zoo Outreach Organization, India, 2009

“Merlin’s approach and style has always been one of education and not admonishment, of the careful choice of words and, most importantly, of leading by a positive example.” — Mark J. Bloschock, Vertex Engineering Inc., 2009

“Merlin has played a pivotal and historic role in the conservation of bats. He has crafted a program that blends cutting-edge science, outstanding outreach, amazing photography and professional advocacy to engage, inspire and motivate a global audience. For the past three decades, Merlin has been at the forefront of every important conservation issue facing bats.” — John P. Hayes, Chair, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, 2009

“Probably no other biologist has done so much to influence others to study, and ultimately protect, a group of organisms as Merlin Tuttle has done for bats. I am proud to count myself as one of those who was influenced by Merlin.” — Scott A. Mori, Nathaniel Lord Britton Curator of Botany, The New York Botanical Garden, 2009

“I have known Merlin for almost 30 years. After he burst on the scene at the National Geographic Society, I was his editor and advisor. Merlin is a remarkable character, fitting right in with the many other notable scientists who have received research grants from the Society, people like Jane Goodall, Louis and Mary Leakey, Dian Fossey—the list is long but exclusive. So why include Merlin? Not just because of his stature as a scientist, but also because he understood from the beginning that promoting bats and their importance was a vital key to our understanding of what really matters on our planet.”  — Mary Smith, Senior Editor (retired), The National Geographic Society, 2009

“I have never met anyone who has a better innate understanding of bat behavior than Merlin Tuttle. Moreover, the impact of his conservation work has been felt throughout the world. Merlin has really changed the way that people think about bats—and by so doing he has secured protection for decades to come.” — Rachel Page, Staff Scientist, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, 2009

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.