Volume 39
Issue 3

Researchers honor five decades of work with celebratory volume

Fifty years ago, a group of bat researchers gathered in Arizona for the Southwestern Symposium on Bat Research. With the name later changed to the North American Symposium on Bat Research (NASBR), researchers from around North America and beyond have gathered to share their research and knowledge, network, and work towards a more inclusive and diverse field. The North American Society for Bat Research hosts the annual meeting each year, which is typically held in October. However, this year’s symposium has been postponed until 2021.

“During our first five decades of existence, NASBR has grown from an informal gathering to one of the largest scientific organizations studying bats, and our emphasis on student participation bodes well for continued success into the next half century,” says NASBR Board Chair Dr. Burton Lim.

In honor of the meeting’s 50th anniversary, researchers are compiling a “Celebratory Volume” entitled, “50 Years of Bat Research: Foundations and New Frontiers.” The volume includes review papers from the conference’s early years, with an emphasis on how bat science has developed over the past five decades.

“NASBR played a pivotal role in advancing our knowledge of bats and their biology,” says BCI Board Member Dr. Brock Fenton, who has attended NASBR for decades. “The most obvious contribution was providing a venue where bat biologists could exchange information and ideas. The diversity of bats, researchers, and topics is reflected in the book ‘50 Years of NASBR.’ But I think that NASBR’s most important contribution is its impact on the research, careers, and ideas of bat biologists. Many of them were students when they first came to and participated in this dynamic forum of bat biologists.”