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The Kunz Award recognizes and celebrates exemplary contributions by an early or mid-career scientist to the study of bats, including measurable impacts on bat research and/or conservation, student mentoring, public education, and collaborations. This award is named in honor of Professor Thomas H. Kunz, a founding member of NASBR, for his long and distinguished career in bat biology, ecology, and conservation that inspired many people and strongly promoted positive attitudes toward bats.

To nominate someone, contact the Chair of the Board.



Gerald Carter is an Associate Professor at The Ohio State University and a Research Associate at The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Obsessed with bats since he was two years old, he sought out opportunities to study bats as an undergraduate at Cornell University. There, he sequenced the prey DNA in vampire bat feces and assisted with experiments on running in vampire bats. As a MSc student with Brock Fenton, he studied vocal communication, and later worked on learning and cognition. He began a series of experiments on cooperation and social bonding in vampire bats as a PhD student with Jerry Wilkinson and later as a postdoctoral fellow at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior. These experiments revealed how vampire bats formed cooperative social relationships, providing new insights into the  evolution of cooperative traits. He has published over 70 scientific publications. His work often garners positive media attention about bats in venues such as The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, PBS, and the BBC.  His research has earned him prestigious early career awards from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Animal Behavior Society, and the American Psychological Association. He is passionate about science outreach and helped create two outreach event series: Noche del Murci√©lago ("Bat Night") at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and The Ohio Bat Festival. He serves on the Board of Directors of Bat Conservation International and the Board of Directors at NASBR. He currently manages the NASBR website. He has attended almost every NASBR since 2003. As a PhD student in 2010, he won a competition to design the NASBR logo.


2022 - NASBR 50 - Austin, TX

Winifred (Fred) Frick is Chief Scientist at Bat Conservation International and an Associate Adjunct Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She grew up in California, completing her B.A. in Environmental Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz. She started her career with bats in 2000 when she started working as a consultant before starting graduate school. She received her Ph.D. in Forest Science at Oregon State University in 2007, where she studied the community structure of island bats off the Baja California peninsula in northwestern Mexico. For her postdoctoral fellowship with Tom Kunz at Boston University, she studied on the population impacts of white-nose syndrome and worked with Tom on advancing radar aeroecology. She joined BCI in 2016 where she now directs high priority research and development of scalable solutions for achieving meaningful conservation outcomes for bats. She has published over 90 scientific publications and is a strong advocate for mentoring the next generation of researchers. Collaboration is core to her ethos and she works with many researchers and contributes to bat conservation groups, including the North American Bat Monitoring program, the Global Union of Bat Diversity Networks (GBatNet), Bat1K, North American Alliance for Bat Conservation (NABCA), and IUCN Bat Specialist Group, among others. She is an enthusiastic spokesperson for bats, including contributing to media coverage on the importance of bat conservation. Fred’s participation in NASBR began regularly in 2006. She’s participated numerous times as a mentor for the student lunches and starting in 2014 helped organize the first Women in Science Breakfast, which has since expanded into the annual Diversity in Science Breakfast.

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