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Lifetime Members

Lifetime membership in the NASBR is conferred in recognition of a long and distinguished career in bat research or education about bats. The lifetime members recognized below have given many years of service to the Society and have made innumerable contributions to the field of bat biology through both research and education about bats. Our sincerest appreciation goes to each of them.

Merlin Tuttle
Lifetime Member Since 2011

Merlin Devere Tuttle was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1941, and moved to Knoxville, Tennessee with his parents in 1958. As a schoolboy in the early 1960s he obtained his first set of bat bands from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and began banding Myotis grisescens. He recorded their movements from their roosting cave in the fall and recaptured them that winter far to the north, demonstrating that Myotis grisescens was indeed migratory. He eventually banded more than 41,000, and his detailed studies became his 1974 Ph.D. thesis in population ecology at the University of Kansas. He was Curator of Mammals at the Milwaukee Public Museum from 1975 to 1986.

Like many of his contemporaries he had become keenly aware of the threatening environmental stress faced by many species of mammals, especially bats, and in an effort to draw attention to this impending crisis he founded Bat Conversation International (BCI) in 1982. He moved (with BCI) to his present location in Austin, Texas. Under Merlin's leadership BCI grew rapidly to include a staff of over 30 scientists and educators and thousands of members worldwide. He retired from BCI leadership in 2009, and in 2014 founded Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation, where he continues his diligent efforts on behalf of bat conservation.

Merlin Tuttle's association with the Southwestern Symposium for Bat Research began with his attendance at the early meetings of what was to become The North American Society for Bat Research. In 1992 he was the host for our 22nd annual meeting in Austin, Texas. One of the high points of that meeting was to witness the evening flight of a million Tadarida brasiliensis from the Congress Street Bridge. He was a major participant in several of our "round-table" discussions, for conservation and preservation initiatives, including White Nose Syndrome He has also served as Chair of numerous sessions on the NASBR program, and participated in judging many of the student presentations and posters. At our meeting in 1986 at the University of Massachusetts, Merlin was awarded the Gerritt S. Miller Jr. Award in recognition of outstanding service and contributions to chiropteran biology. Merlin continues to play a leading role in the affairs of the North American Society for Bat Research, as well as in bat conservation efforts worldwide. Dr. Tuttle has a long list of publications documenting his work concerning conservation and preservation of bats. Happily, Merlin continues to work for our favorite taxa, chiropterans everywhere. - Roy Horst, 2012, updated 2017.

Tom Griffiths
Lifetime Member Since 2008

Tom earned his B.S. in Biology from Bates College in Lewiston, ME in 1973; He earned his M.S. in Zoology, under the direction of Charles Woods, William Kilpatrick and Roy Horst at the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT in 1976; In 1981 he received his Ph.D. in Zoology at the University of Massachusetts under the direction of the late David Klingener. Tom has a record of many publications, primarily concerning the anatomy of the hyoid apparatus, larynx, and jaw muscles in a number of families of bats. Several of these research efforts were presented to NASBR at our past symposia.

He first attended the North American Symposium on Bat Research in Gainesville, FL in 1976, while he was a graduate student at the University of Vermont. He began studying bats as an undergraduate at Bates under the direction of Dr. Hal Hitchcock who had a profound early influence on Tom and encouraged his interests in the world of bats. Tom also developed an early friendship with Karl Koopman and made many visits to the American Museum of Natural History to work with Dr. Koopman on the Museum's extensive bat collections. In the mid-1980s, Tom was appointed to a Research Associate position in Mammalogy at the AMNH, a position he continues to hold today.

In 1995 Tom generously assumed the responsibility of Director of our annual conference. Our next symposium (the twenty-sixth in 1996) was held in Bloomington, Illinois with Tom as our very capable Program Director and Host. After several years serving as our Program Director, symposium leader, and general receiver of advice and complaints, he was joined in this responsibility by his wife Margaret as assistant. Gradually Margaret assumed more and more of the burden of designing the program, receiving and printing of the abstracts and making most of the various meeting arrangements.

Tom began his teaching career as an Instructor of Biology at State University of New York at Plattsburgh. In 1981, after completing his graduate studies he was appointed Assistant Professor of Biology at Illinois Wesleyan University in Illinois. He was promoted to Associate and then Full Professor of Biology and finally to Dean of the Faculty in 2003. He then became Professor of Biology, Provost and Dean of Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA for a number of years. After a total of eleven successful years in higher administration, he elected to return to teaching and research back in Illinois, and he is presently a professor in biology at Illinois Central College in East Peoria.

Tom has maintained his interests in chiropteran morphology. In addition to his present academic obligations, we hope that he continues with his research efforts and continues to make many more presentations to the North American Society for Bat Research and to the Science of Chiroptology. - Roy Horst, 2012

Margaret Griffiths
Lifetime Member Since 2008

Dr. Margaret A. Griffiths first came to our association via the round-about pathway of a research career in biochemical nutrition. Margaret earned her B.S. in Nursing from Northern Illinois University, an M.S. in Nursing from University of Illinois-Chicago and her Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her first attendance at a NASBR meeting was in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1990, after her recent marriage to Tom Griffiths. At the time, she was an American Heart Association Research Fellow at the University of Illinois, studying the effects of diet on the incidence of heart disease in human beings. Our NASBR conference banquet, held among the fossil elephants at the Nebraska Natural History Museum, convinced her that bat biologists have much more fun than nutritionists at their national meetings. It was only a matter of time before she was converted. Subsequently, she became a member of the Biology Faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL, and then moved with Tom to Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA., when he became Provost there.

At our 25th meeting in Boston in 1995, when Roy Horst "retired" after twenty five years as Program Director and Meeting Organizer we accepted Tom Griffiths' offer to take on that responsibility. When Tom assumed the leadership of NASBR, he also offered to host our next meeting in Bloomington, IL in 1996. Tom insisted that he could not "do this by himself" and Margaret agreed to be his unofficial assistant. She provided most of the effort of producing the Program and collecting the abstracts. Each year she assumed ever more of the responsibilities of organizing our annual meetings, including negotiating our contracts with our host hotels, audiovisual services, and food services. She assumed the responsibility for collecting registration fees and paying all the fiscal obligations associated with the program. During this decade long period of service to our constantly growing Society, Tom's academic responsibilities were demanding more of his time as he progressed from Professor to Dean to Academic Vice President, and Margaret became our de facto Program Director. In this role she generously gave our Society ten years of dedicated and highly effective service.

In 2004 when Roy Horst retired as the Editor and Publisher of Bat Research News, Margaret accepted that responsibility and continues in this position to the present. Bat Research News has continued to grow in circulation and content and is an important component of the libraries of nearly all of our members and many of our colleagues around the world.

Since Margaret's first association with our Society she has performed vital and outstanding service for all of us, including writing our constitution, founding the Board of Directors, and establishing the organization's tax-exempt status with the U.S. federal government. She and Tom placed the society on a solid financial footing. They created the Koopman fund and the Bernardo Villa student fund, and greatly expanded the number of prizes for outstanding student presentations. For all of this service, we gratefully bestowed upon her Life Membership in the North American Society for Bat Research at our 38th meeting in 2008 at the University of Scranton. - Roy Horst, 2012

John R. Winkelmann (1931-2020)
Lifetime Member Since 2005

Quoting from the By-Laws, "Lifetime membership is conferred by the NASBR in recognition of a long and distinguished career in bat research or education about bats." John has been a longtime member of the society, attending all but three meetings since his first attendance at the 2nd annual meeting (originally called the Southwestern Symposium on Bat Research), and has rendered unselfish service to NASBR. Over the past 35 years, John has chaired numerous technical sessions, judged hundreds of student papers, helped set up, rearrange, and tear down meeting room equipment, or whatever else was needed at annual NASBR meetings. As a professor at a small liberal arts institution, he has not had the opportunity to publish papers in the quantity that we see from someone at a research institution. Nevertheless, the work that he has done has been of high quality, and his work in education about bats speaks for itself. During his 40 years at Gettysburg College, John has taught thousands of undergraduate students, several of which he took on research experiences to either Papua New Guinea or South Africa. Under John's mentorship, these students have gone on to achieve professional positions in biology and related fields, and in virtually all endeavors in life. John and his wife Helen love teaching so much that they continue to teach at Gettysburg College long after the age when many professors retire. But not only has John decided to continue his teaching career, he has continued his research career with a new vigor. John's research on the roosting and foraging behaviors of Epomophorus in South Africa is supported by institutional grants, which also allow undergraduate students to accompany him for the research experience of their lives. - Margaret and Tom Griffiths, 2006

G. Roy Horst
Lifetime Member Since 2003

During his long and distinguished career, Roy was the co-founder and first director of the North American Symposium on Bat Research (NASBR). The first meeting of NASBR (originally called the Southwestern Symposium on Bat Research) was convened at the University of Arizona, Tucson in 1970, with a total of 28 bat biologists in attendance. Roy organized and directed 25 of the annual meetings of NASBR, and in 1995 was recognized for his yeoman's service at its 25th Annual Meeting, held in Boston (along with the 10th International Bat Research Conference). Roy has served on the Board of Directors of NASBR from 1999 until present, and in 2003, he was appointed as the first emeritus member of the board. He served as Publisher and Managing Editor of Bat Research News (BRN) from 1977 to 2004. When he assumed responsibility for BRN's publication and distribution in 1977, this newsletter had four annual issues averaging about 25 pages, with approximately 150 subscribers. The recent volumes, still quarterly, consist of approximately 200 pages with over five hundred subscribers. He currently holds the title of Editor Emeritus of BRN. He is also a Life Member of the American Society of Mammalogists. Beyond his academic pursuits, Roy is involved with the Norwood Model Railroad Club. He is also a member of the Environmental Management Council of St. Lawrence County, NY. For the past few years he has served as Ombudsman for nursing home residents with the St. Lawrence County Office of the Aging. His favorite pursuits continue to include model railroading, civil war history, gardening, and "keeping track of the bat world." - Tom Kunz, 2006

James Findley (1926-2018)
Lifetime Member Since 1997

Jim Findley was one of the founders of the Southwestern Symposium on Bat Research in the early 1970s. He has been a premier researcher of bat biology and produced many students with the same proclivity. Jim is the consummate naturalist with broad knowledge of animals, plants and geology. He has asked and still asks good, original scientific questions. Jim's curiosity, a most endearing quality, has lead him to research birds, reptiles, shrews, moose, bats, and coral reef fishes among others. He was trained at Case Western Reserve and the University of Kansas in the classical, comprehensive methods of the time. As a professor at the University of New Mexico, he published many papers in mammalian systematics. In the 1970s Jim's mind was actively engaged in more complex questions about bat ecology especially with the arrival of computers and quantitative, phenetic methods. At the time, Mike Rosenzweig, a theoretical ecologist, was a colleague and intellectual friend. The influence of ecological theory permanently bent Jim's mind toward a group of outstanding theoretical papers. His ecomorphological papers about bats stand out in my mind, but the culmination of that work in his 1993 book on bat communities should be considered a classic. A detailed bibliography of Jim's research appears in the Festschrift by Yates, Gannon, and Wilson, 1997. Life Among the Muses: Papers in Honor of James S. Findley. Special Publication, the Museum of Southwestern Biology, 3:1-290. This volume also contains papers by many Findley academic offspring. Jim's questions range from basic natural history to the more esoteric ecological and evolutionary. I know few people who have the working knowledge of as many creatures and plants as Jim Findley. It was a delight to be in the field with him. As a professor he delighted in holding conversations of some scientific import in the hall where students one by one would gather and contribute. Further discussions occurred over beer and at parties in the Findley Compound in Corrales. The compound is a delightful world of Findley children and grandchildren, dusty roads, a swimming pool, beautiful art, and a most hospitable household. - Trish Freeman, 1996

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