Biography of Bill Schutt

Biography – Bill Schutt was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from Lindenhurst High School, Bill attended Southampton College before transferring to LIU Post College (where he received a BA in Biology). Schutt then attended Geneseo State College. There he worked with mentor Dr. Edwin Spicka, studying the ectoparasites of the gray squirrel (Sciurus caroliniensis) and earning a Master's Degree in Biology.


Photo by Jerry Ruotolo

                                                                                                                                             After spending several years working at the Environmental Protection Agency's Health Effects Research Laboratory (in the Research Triangle Park, N.C.), and two major drug companies (Revlon Health Care Group and Berlex Laboratories), Schutt was accepted into Cornell University’s Ph.D. program in Zoology. Under the mentorship of functional morphologist (and Red Sox fan) John W. Hermanson, Bill began studying various aspects of anatomy, evolution, and behavior in bats. During his 5 years in Ithaca, Bill received valuable support from his Graduate Committee members: John Bertram, Deedra McClearn, and James Ryan (Hobart and Smith College).

Initially, Schutt investigated the passive digital lock, a ratchet-like mechanism that allows some bats to hang for extended periods of time without muscle fatigue. Gradually, Bill became more involved in the study of vampire bats – their anatomy, evolution, behavior, and especially, their ability to move efficiently on the ground. Schutt and undergrad Kim Grant maintained colonies of common and white-winged vampire bats at Cornell University for three years (They'd been captured in Trinidad by vampire bat expert Farouk Muradali and imported by Schutt to the U.S.). Under the supervision of biomechanics expert, John Bertram, Bill and fellow graduate students Dennis Cullinane and Young-Hui Chang built a miniature force platform. With the help of bat expert Scott Altenbach, Schutt and his coworkers used the force platform and hi-speed video to study the forces generated during flight-initiating jumps by the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus). After graduating with a Ph.D. from Cornell in 1995, Bill taught for three years at Bloomfield College in New Jersey while simultaneously working on a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the American Museum of Natural History with bat expert Nancy Simmons.

In 1998, Bill Schutt accepted a faculty position at Southampton College (Long Island University). In 2005, he transferred to his undergraduate alma mater, LIU Post , where he is currently a Professor of Biology (teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in Evolution, Mammalogy, Vertebrate Paleontology, and Vertebrate Anatomy). Additionally, Bill has maintained his strong ties to the American Museum of Natural History, where he is a Research Associate in the Department of Mammalogy.

When he isn't teaching, writing, or doing research, Bill enjoys fishing, swimming, catching his son's nasty knuckleball, attending concerts, sporting events, and the theater. Down time is usually spent reading and watching old movies. He's also a huge music fan. Bill Schutt lives in New York with his wife and son.


Bill Schutt's literary agent is Gillian MacKenzie, Gillian MacKenzie Agency,



Dark Banquet was named one of the "Best  Books of 2008" by

Library Journal named Dark Banquet "One of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2008".

Barnes and Noble selected Dark Banquet for its 2008 "Discover Great New Writers" program.

Dark Banquet was the featured (and cover) article in Natural History Magazine (Nov. 2008 issue).

Pulitzer Prize winner, Natalie Angier's article on Bill Schutt and Dark Banquet headlined the Science Times section of The New York Times .

Dark Banquet
was mentioned on the Front Page of The New York Times (Oct. 21, 2008).

Alice Cooper talked about Dark Banquet during a "Freaky Facts" segment of his internationally syndicated radio show, "Nights with Alice Cooper."

DB garnered great reviews in The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Orion.  

Bill Schutt appeared on the Halloween edition of NPR's award-winning "Science Fridays" as well as "Talk of the Nation""Citiscapes" and "Living on Earth."

Schutt was interviewed by Boyd Matson for "National Geographic Weekend", and appeared on "Quirks and Quarks" for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Please see "Articles and Interviews" for links to all podcasts.