M. Brock Fenton Zoology, Animals, Physiology, Metabolism

One of the world’s foremost authorities on bats

The Story

Currently chair of the biology department at U. of Western Ontario, Brock Fenton is an expert on bats. He has studied their ecology and biology all over the world, including Costa Rica, Australia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. One of his subjects, the Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus) is among British Columbia's most endangered and rarest mammals. His books on bats include: Communication in the Chiroptera (1985), The Bat: Wings in the Night Sky (1998), and The Bat (with Merlin D. Tuttle, 2001).

In addition to his bat studies, Fenton has provided leadership in the teaching of biology and science, both at York University and for universities Canada-wide. He also works to increase public awareness of science through lectures, visits to public schools (often with graduate students), workshops for teachers, and popular writing in magazines and electronic media. Often accompanied by live bats, he has worked single-mindedly to raise the profile of a misunderstood animal.

Image by: Freelance Illustrations and Graphics


Recently, Fenton has been using tiny radio transmitters to assess the distribution of Myotis keenii,, a species of bat found in rock crevices on the Queen Charlotte Islands. Fenton and his team use radio tracking to find the bat's winter hibernation sites. This information will be used to help develop a conservation plan for the species.

Sources: U of Saskatchewan; York U's Gazette, Nov 22, 1995; World Wildlife Fund; 3M Teaching Awards; Royal Society of Canada.

Photo: U of Cape Town newsletter April 10-17, 2000.

The Person

London, Ontario
Professor of Biology; Chair of Department
Biology Department, University of Western Ontario
  • BSc, Queen’s University 1965
  • MSc, University of Toronto 1967
  • PhD (Zoology), U of Toronto, 1969
  • McNeil Medal for the Public Awareness of Science (Royal Soc. of Canada), 2002
  • Gordin Kaplan Award (Canadian Fed. of Biological Societies), 1993
  • Several teaching awards
Last Updated
June 22, 2015

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