Jay Hosler is an assistant professor of Biology at Juniata College. He came to Juniata from Ohio State University’s Rothenbuhler Honey Bee Research Laboratory where he was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow.
A 1989 graduate of DePauw University, Dr. Hosler was an Honor Scholar and earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. Upon graduation he received the 1989 Albert E. Renolds Senior Biologist Award. Dr. Hosler earned his Ph.D. in 1995 in biological sciences from the University of Notre Dame where he remained as an assistant professional specialist from 1995-96 to teach Evolutionary Ecology and Introductory Biology Laboratory. In 2000, Dr. Hosler joined the faculty of Juniata College where he teaches General Biology, Sensory Biology, Animal Behavior, Invertebrate Biology, Neurobiology and Comics and Culture. In 2005 he was the recipient of the Gibbel Award for Outstanding Teaching.
As a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Hosler was awarded a National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Health to study olfactory processing in honey bees. Dr. Hosler’s research focuses on learning and sensory biology and has been published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, Behavioral Neuroscience, The Journal of Insect Physiology and the Journal of Comparative Psychology. He has also served as a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Insect Physiology and Naturwissenschaften. In addition to his work with insects, his lab has also started using an eye-tracking device to examine the cognitive basis of how people read comics. Dr. Hosler’s research at Juniata has been funded by money from the William Von Liebig Foundation and Kresge Foundation.
Outside the lab, Dr. Hosler has garnered national recognition for his work as a cartoonist and in 1998 received a Xeric Grant to publish his first graphic novel Clan Apis, a comic book on honey bee biology and natural history. His second graphic novel The Sandwalk Adventures was released in the spring of 2003. It tells the story of a conversation about evolution between Charles Darwin has with a follicle living in his left eyebrow. His books have been featured on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition as well as in The New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education and Science.
In 2006, Dr. Hosler was received an Honorable Mention for the University/Post Secondary Teaching Award in Carnegie Science Center Awards for Excellence. In the same year, he received a two-year grant from the National Science Foundation to continue integrating science and comics. The grant funds the development of a college biology textbook in comic book format. This text, called Optical Allusion, that focuses on the evolution of the eye and was released early in of 2008. He was also a writer, artist and consultant for a new line of educational comics from Harcourt Achieve’s LYNX line. He wrote and drew two comics for the ten comic line. The first story, Zoo Break, addressed concepts of animal intelligence while the second story, UFO, examine life in the ocean. During the 2007-2008 academic year, he was the Lee G. Hall Distinguished Visiting Professor of Biology at DePauw University. During that year, he finished Optical Allusions as well working on a comic book about beetles and extinction called The Age of Elytra.
When Dr. Hosler isn’t teaching, drawing or in the lab, he can be found rolling around the floor with his sons Max and Jack and making goo-goo eyes at his wife Lisa.