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Nancy Bingham Simmons
Position: Curator-in-Charge, Department of Mammalogy, Division of Vertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)
Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School, AMNH
Research Associate, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
Adjunct Faculty, Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Columbia University
Adjunct Professor, Ph.D. Program in Bio
Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. 1989 University of California, Berkeley, California
Ph.C. 1985 University of California, Berkeley, California
B.A. 1981 Cum Laude, Pomona College, Claremont, California
Subprogram: Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior
Research Interests: Evolution and systematics of mammals, bat ecology and evolution, fossil bats, morphology, phenomics, taxonomy, bat microbiomes, bat parasites, emerging infectious diseases
Research Focus: Systematics|Evolution|Conservation, Ecology, And Biodiversity|Systematics And Taxonomy
Affiliation(s): American Museum of Natural History
Twitter:  @Nancy_Bat

Nancy Simmons is the Curator-in-Charge of the Department of Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History, and a Professor in the AMNH’s Richard Gilder Graduate School as well as Ajunct Faculty at CUNY.   Her research focuses on morphology, systematics, and evolution of bats.  She works with both living and fossil species, and is interested in phylogenetic relationships, biogeography, evolution of ecological diversity, and community structure of Neotropical bat faunas. A morphologist by training, her students and collaborators have pulled her into many new research areas in recent years including bat ecology, genome/pheonome connections, bat ectoparasites and microbiomes, disease dynamics, and conservation biology.  One of the primary organizers of the new GBatNet (Global Union of Bat Diversity Networks), she is also Chair of the Global Bat Taxonomy Working Group of the IUCN Bat Specialist Group, and a member of the Board of Directors of Bat Conservation International.  She is also on the Steering Committee for SEABCRU (Southeast Asian Bat Conservation Research Union) as well as the Steering Committee for Taxonomy and Collections for the Bat 1K Project to sequence genomes of all the world’s bats. 

Awards and Grants
  • 2021—2025 National Science Foundation Grant “Collaborative: AccelNet: Global Union of Bat Diversity Networks (GBatNet): Bats as a model for understanding global vertebrate diversification and sustainability.” 
  • 2019—2021 National Geographic Society: “Vampire bat diet, movement, and rabies risks in a changing landscape in Belize.”
  • 2020—2021 Niarchos Grant “Discovering the deep roots of Amazonian bat diversity in the Middle Miocene of La Venta, Colombia.”
  • 2015—2021 National Science Foundation Grant “ABI:  Sustaining – MorphoBank: The Web Tool and Database for Phylogenetic Tree-Building with Phenotypes and the Interpretation of Trait Evolution.” 
  • 2016—2021 National Science Foundation Grant “Innovative tools for incorporating continuous data from fossils in phylogenetic tree-building:  leveraging in the MorphoBank platform.” 
  • 2013—2016 National Institutes for Health (NIH) Explorator/Developmental Research Grant (R21): “Diversity and dispersal routes of bat-borne paramyxoviruses in densely populated tropical Asia.” 
Professional Affiliations and Memberships
  • 2020—present Organizer and Executive Committee Member, GBatNet (Global Union of Bat Diversity Networks);
  • 2020—present Founding Member of iDigBio’s ViralMuse Task Force
  • 2020—present Member of CETAF-DiSSCo Natural Science Collections COVID-19 Task Force (CETAF = Consortium of European Taxonomic Faciities, DiSSCo = Distributed System of Scientific Collections)
  • 2020—present Member, Bat One Health Research Network
  • 2019—present Director, Board of Directors, Bat Conservation International
  • 2018—present Steering Committee Member, NSF Revitilizing Monography Project
  • 2017—present Chair, Global Bat Taxonomy Working Group (committee of IUCN SSC Bat Specialist Group)
  • 2017—present Steering Committee Member for Taxonomy and Collections, Bat1K Project (
  • 2014—present Member of IUCN Bat Specialist Group of Species Survival Commission (
  • 2010—present Steering Committee Member, SEABCRU (Southeast Asian Bat Conservation Research Union; and member of NSF-funded RCN; Team Leader for Taxonomy and Systematics Team (2010-2014)
  • Simmons, N. B., J. Flanders, E. M. Bakwo Fils, G. Parker, J. D. Suter, S. Bamba, M. Douno, M. Kobele Keita, A. E. Morales, and W. F. Frick.  2021.  A new dichromatic species of Myotis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from the Nimba Mountains, Guinea.  American Museum Novitates 3963: 1-37. 
  • Almeida, F. C., N. B. Simmons, and N. P. Giannini.  2020.  A species-level phylogeny of Old World fruit bats with a new higher-level classification of the Family Pteropodidae.  American Museum Novitates 3950: 1-24. 
  • Curtis, A., T. D. Smith, K. P. Bhatnagar, A. Brown, and N. B. Simmons.  2020.  Maxilloturbinal aids in nasophonation in horseshoe bats (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae). Anatomical Record 303: 110-128.
  • Tsang, S. M., S. Wiantoro, M. J. Veluz, N. Sugita, N. B. Simmons, and D. J. Lohman.  2020.  Dispersal out of Wallacea spurs diversification of Pteropus flying foxes, the world’s largest bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera).  Journal of Biogeography. 47: 527-537
  • Oelbaum, P. J., M. B. Fenton, N. B. Simmons, and H. G. Broders.  2019.  Community structure of a Neotropical bat fauna revealed using stable isotope analysis:  Not all species fit neatly in predicted guilds.  Biotropica 51: 719-730.
  • Morgan, G. S., N. J. Czaplewski, and N. B. Simmons.  2019.  A new mormoopid bat from the Oligocene (Whitneyan and Early Arikareean) of Florida, and phylogenetic relationships of the major clades of Mormoopidae (Mammalia:  Chiroptera).  Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History.   434: 1-141.
  • Ingala, M. R., D. J. Becker, J. B. Holm, K. Kristiansen, and N. B. Simmons.  2019.  Habitat fragmentation is associated with dietary and microbiome shifts in vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus).  Ecology and Evolution.  9: 6508-6523