The North American Society for Bat Research bestows several awards for outstanding service, scholarly contributions, conservation and education.
This award is presented occasionally at the annual North American Symposium on Bat Research to persons in recognition of outstanding service and contribution to the field of chiropteran biology. The award is named after Gerrit S. Miller, Jr., an outstanding early 20th Century bat biologist at the Smithsonian Institution. Miller's work on the evolutionary relationships of chiropteran families and genera to one another still strongly influences taxonomic thinking about bats today.
Nomination Process: The Gerrit S. Miller Jr. Award winner is chosen by the Miller Committee which consists of all the surviving Miller award recipients. The Miller Committee chooses one of its members to act as the Secretary of the Committee, currently G. Roy Horst. Each year, generally during the summer before the annual NASBR meeting, the Secretary of the Miller Committee contacts each member and solicits nominations. Each member of the committee is encouraged to submit to the Secretary, who then compiles them on a ballot.
Any member of NASBR may nominate a worthy candidate by working with one of the members of the Miller Committee who will then communicate the nomination to the secretary. The committee members vote for their choice and return the ballot to the Secretary, who tabulates the results and sends them to all committee members. In the event that there are two candidates receiving the same number of votes the committee members are asked to reconsider their vote and resubmit the results to the Secretary. If this does not lead to a clear winner, the secretary will consult via telephone and discuss whether there can be a resolution. The committee members are then given the opportunity to name the winner as our unanimous choice. The Miller Committee is not committed to making an award every year. In the thirty-three years of the award's existence, only twenty awards have been made. If a nominee does not meet the enthusiastic approval of the majority of the committee, no award need be given. It has been our practice to hold this information in confidence (when possible) until the award is presented at the meeting. The presentation of the award is made at our annual awards ceremony. The new Gerrit S. Miller, Jr. Fellow then becomes a member of the Miller Committee.
Lifetime membership in the NASBR is conferred in recognition of a long and distinguished career in bat research or education about bats.
Nomination Process: Nominations of individuals for lifetime membership in the NASBR are made by a member of the Society to the Board of Directors, who then discuss and vote on the nomination (at least a 75 per cent vote is necessary). In addition to continuing all the benefits of regular membership, lifetime members do not need to pay a registration fee to attend the annual NASBR meeting.
The Spallanzani Award assists distinguished bat researchers from outside North America to attend the North American Symposium on Bat Research. Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729 -1799) was an Italian biologist and physiologist who made important contributions to the experimental study of anatomy and physiology, animal reproduction, and was instrumental in discovering the mechanism of animal echolocation. Spallanzani is famous for extensive experiments on bat navigation in complete darkness. He concluded that bats use sound and their ears for navigation. Spallanzani investigated each individual sense, trying to discover which governed bat navigation. Through the process of elimination, he found that plugging a bat's ears rendered it directionless. Spallanzani's hypothesis of echolocation ability of bats wasn't fully explained for well over a century when in 1941, when Donald R. Griffin first described bat's sensitivity to sound waves.Nomination Process: A Spallanzani Selection Committee of three to six NASBR members receive nominations, screen candidates, and select Spallanzani Fellows. The Committee selects one to two fellows per year based on available funding.
Spallanzani Fellowships may be awarded: 1) As Senior Fellows for recognition of a career of distinction in research, education or conservation biology of bats that has contributed to the development of these activities in their country. 2) As Fellows to persons of any age or career stage that show meritorious recent accomplishments that promote bat research, education, and/or conservation programs in their country.
Nominations may be submitted to the Spallanzani Selection Committee by any NASBR member. Call for nominations are typically made in the Spring of each year (see email announcement for actual deadline). For more information please contact the Spallanzani Award Chair.
This Villa award is bestowed upon a Latin American student who is doing outstanding research, and provides for resources to attend the NASBR meeting and present their findings. Travel, lodging, banquet, and registration are covered by the award.
Nomination Process: To be eligible, applicants must be a Latin American student currently enrolled graduate or undergraduate students in a Mexican university, or must have graduated during the past year (i.e. since the end of the most recent NASBR meeting) from a Mexican university. The student's research may be anywhere in Latin America or the Caribbean, however priority will be given to those with research emphasis and application in Mexico. Contact the Villa Committee Chair to apply.
At the annual conference, NASBR provides nine student awards for best oral and poster presentations in various categories. These awards are provided through generous contributions of our longtime award sponsors. Students should check eligibility and apply by indicating interest during the abstract submission process.