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The world through a bat’s ear and more

Remember The Daily Planet broadcasts? How about Daniel Riskin, co-host for 269 episodes from 2011 to 2018? While in high school, Riskin read a book called Just Bats by M. Brock Fenton, then a professor at York University. As Wikipedia tells it: the book inspired him, so he contacted Fenton and told him that he would like to meet him. Fenton invited him to come out to join his lab. Within a few months, Riskin was catching bats in Costa Rica!

Closer to home, some of our club members may have studied under Dr. Fenton at Carleton University, where he held academic positions from 1969 to 1986.

Retired in 2010, he continues to study the ecology and behaviour of bats, with special emphasis on echolocation and evolution. In 2014, he co-authored Sensory biology: echolocation from click to call, mouth to wing. One finding: three species of bats use their wings to generate echolocation signals.

Mark your calendar for our club’s virtual meeting on June 1, when Dr. Fenton will use images and stories to bring us into the world of bats — their basic evolution, behaviour and diversity, their reproduction and ecology. He will also speak to issues about bats and conservation and bats and public health.