HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Bill Schutt

Vertebrate Zoologist, Professor, and Author of Fiction and Non-Fiction Books


  • The Science Behind “Hell’s Gate”
  • The Natural History of Cannibalism
  • Bats: Facts and Fiction
  • Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures
  • Bats Entertainment: A Kids Guide to Nature’s Night Flying Mammals
  • Vampires Are Real: A Kids Guide to Blood and Blood-Feeding Creatures

Bill Schutt is a professor of biology at LIU Post and a research associate in residence at the American Museum of Natural History. Born in New York City and raised on Long Island by parents who encouraged his love for turning over stones and peering under logs, he quickly grew a passion for the natural world, with its enormous wonders and its increasing vulnerability. Schutt received his PhD in zoology from Cornell and held a post-doctoral fellowship at the American Museum of Natural History where he was a recipient of the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Grant. He has published over two dozen peer-reviewed articles on topics ranging from terrestrial locomotion in vampire bats to the precarious, arboreal copulatory behavior of a marsupial mouse. His research has been featured in Natural History magazine as well as the New York TimesNewsday, the Economist, and Discover magazine.

In Schutt’s first novel, Hell’s Gate (William Morrow), co-authored by J. R. Finch, after a 300-foot Japanese submarine is found abandoned deep in the Brazilian wilderness, a smart, adventurous, and tough zoologist must derail a catastrophic plot. As World War II rages across Europe and the Pacific, and after a team of Army Rangers sent in to investigate the sub has gone missing, the military sends in Captain R. J. MacCready, a quick-witted, brilliant scientific jack-of-all-trades to learn why the Japanese are there and what they’re planning. Parachuting deep into the heart of Central Brazil, one of the most remote regions on the planet, Mac is unexpectedly reunited with his hometown friend and fellow scientist Bob Thorne. A botanist presumed dead for years, Thorne lives peacefully with Yanni, an indigenous woman who possesses mysterious and invaluable skills. Their wisdom and expertise are nothing short of lifesaving for Mac as he sets out on a trail into the unknown.

His first book, Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures, was selected as a Best Book of 2008 by Library Journal and Amazon and was chosen for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. Schutt’s next non-fiction book, Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History, will be published on Valentine’s Day 2017.

Schutt Lives on the East End of Long Island with his wife and son.

Praise for Bill Schutt:

“Bill Schutt has presented two very popular and well-attended programs for Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon. Informative, interesting, entertaining and utterly fascinating, Bill never fails to hook the audience from beginning to end. One of our most popular speakers, we are looking forward to hosting Bill in the near future.”
-- Stella Miller, President, Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon

“Bill Schutt is an enthusiastic and engaging presenter who captivates both children and adults alike with his exciting presentations. We had over 80 attendees for his Bats Program, and he did not disappoint! The content was fantastic, but it was the energy behind the program that truly enchanted the entire audience.”
-- Marisa Nelson, Assistant Director, Quogue Wildlife Refuge

“Bill Schutt presents with the perfect mixture of solid science, exciting adventure and downright creepy, get under your skin true to life stories that are engaging and memorable for all ages.”
-- Rob Mies, Executive Director, Organization for Bat Conservation

“Bill is well known for his ability to communicate in the sciences. He has a knack for turning a good phrase, using creative props, and keeping the interaction lively and humorous. Who else would bring forth a fishing rod to illustrate biomechanics principles?”
-- John W. Hermanson, Associate Professor of Anatomy, Cornell University

“Bill Schutt presents scientific information in an engaging and easily understandable manner for audiences of all ages. He brings the quirks of science to life, offering his perspective with a witty sense of humor and infectious enthusiasm that our attendees find completely enthralling. The Peconic Land Trust has been thrilled to host Bill for several workshops in recent years, and we look forward to more opportunities to work with Bill to inform the public about the often misunderstood aspects of science that he so loves.”
-- Kathy Kennedy, Outreach Manager, Peconic Land Trust

“Bill’s talks are always entertaining, educational, and very well received. His style is one of infectious enthusiasm for his topic, and he uses humor and an array of often striking visuals that make his presentations even more interesting. In summary, he is an excellent public speaker.”
--Dr. Nancy B. Simmons, Curator-in-charge, Department of Mammalogy, American Museum of Natural History

Praise for Hell’s Gate:

“Working within chilling scientific plausibility, this two-fisted jungle adventure swerves unexpectedly down a path of heart-pounding suspense. What emerges from the darkness will haunt you long after you put the book down.”
--James Cameron, director/writer/explorer on Hell’s Gate

“Schutt and Finch’s debut novel HELL’S GATE has everything I love in a book: rip-roaring action, strange-but-authentic science, and characters that pop right off the page. Here is an adventure that harkens to the glory days of H. Rider Haggard and H.G. Wells. It’s a thrill ride set in the Amazon that would challenge Indiana Jones at his best. Two warnings: Do NOT miss this debut…and be prepared to read this in one sitting. I know I sure did!”
--James Rollins, New York Times bestseller of The Bone Labyrinth on Hell’s Gate

“This one pushes the envelope to the edge and beyond, with tension and imagination that crackles from the first page. A terrific story, terrifically told. So take a walk on the perilous side, if you dare.”
--Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The 14th Colony on Hell’s Gate