Monday, June 1, 2015

Mexico's famous bat researcher - and tequila savior - coming to New England Aquarium

The Bat Man, Rodrigo Medellín
Join us for a free lecture to hear Bat Man Rodrigo Medellín, Mexico’s famous bat conservationist. He just might be one of the most interesting men in the world.

Pioneering bat researcher and well-known Mexican conservationist Rodrigo A. Medellín is affectionately known as “The Bat Man.” He is a Mexican ecologist who has worked to save bats and, consequently, the tequila industry that thrives on the bats for pollination. An ambassador for the International Union of Conservation of Nature, Medellín, 57, is a professor at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City and a 2008 Rolex Award for Enterprise winner for his work.

Medellín was recently featured in the 2014 BBC documentary, “Natural World: The Batman of Mexico” and has been profiled in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Discover Wildlife, and The Guardian.

At the lecture, we'll watch the BBC documentary and you'll discover how the lesser long-nosed bat is crucial to the agave plant that produces the famous liquor export. The bats were put on the US endangered species list in 1988 and made the threatened species list in Mexico in 1994. But over several decades, Medellín dedicated his life to saving these important pollinators from disappearing, and the bat population resurged.

Lesser long nosed bat | Photo: via Wikimedia Commons

You can fully appreciate Medellín's efforts with a trip to the Aquarium’s outdoor café, The Reef, before the lecture, where we will be offering “The Bat Man” cocktail featuring 1800 Tequila in honor of Rodrigo’s visit. You can enjoy beautiful harbor views at the same time! Mention this offer and receive complimentary Reef Chips with the purchase of a “Bat Man” cocktail.

Learn more about Medellín in this story from The New Yorker magazine and see more clips from the film on the BBC's website.

About the Aquarium Lecture Series: The Aquarium hosts a series of informative free lectures, films, and discussions for the community this spring. The Lowell Institute supports the lectures. Most are available on the Aquarium’s YouTube channel afterward. Pre-registration is encouraged on the Aquarium’s website or call 617-973-5200 for more information.

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