About

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.

  1. Jamie’s avatar

    Hi Dr. Hosler,

    Your “ordering” link to order from the clan apis page is dead: http://www.jayhosler.com/clanapis.html

    I was emailed the link to that page directly by a beekeeper acquaintance here in San Diego and came up short. I ended up going through to Amazon to find your books . . . and a few others while I was there . . . . ;-)

    I have a 3 1/2 year old at home and after an uncharacteristically wet winter and spring here in normally arid San Diego, she’s been fascinated by the proliferation of bees in our xeriscaped yard. I am greatly looking forward to reading your comics to her!

    Also, many websites are adding Facebook “Like” tags to their websites as a way of driving traffic to their sites. I was looking for one on yours, but if it was there I missed it on the first pass. Just a thought as you never know how some of this stuff will take off! We just finished another successful ComicCon here in San Diego. If you don’t already attend, you might consider it in the future. We NEED entertaining ways such as your obvious gifts to teach our next generations SCIENCE if we are to find the next adaptation to survive the coming economic collapse.

    Best Wishes,

    Jamie Edmonds
    San Diego, CA
    kmg-365@pacbell.net

  2. Vicki Salter’s avatar

    Dr. Hosler,
    I am currently teaching my first year of Special Ed High School Biology classes and I accidentally came across your Photosynthesis Cartoon. In the following week, I hope to use it as a supplement to lecture and I anticipate my “experiment” to be a major success! Do you anticipate publishing the cartoon in book format? If it is a big hit like I expect it to be, I look forward to purchasing permanent copies for my classroom. Thank you for creating this, even as a recent Biology graduate, it has helped me remember a few things! I plan on checking out your other work in the future.

  3. Britt Jerlinga’s avatar

    Dr. Hosler,
    I agree 100% with Ms. Salter. I teach middle school science and have used portions of your photosynthesis cartoon as a hook or explanation for my kiddos. They absolutely LOVE the characters and humor, and I love the content and the beauty of the art. I also have the Evolution book and find it exquisite! I would love to see the photosynthesis as a downloadable PDF or in a booklet form. Are there any plans to sell your material? I absolutely LOVE what you are doing for education and am so glad I stumbled upon your blog!

    Britt Jerlinga

  4. Patricia House’s avatar

    Dr. Hosler,
    Love your work and I am wondering if you are interested in visiting museums as a book signing and maybe bring some drawings form tour colleagues that are in the book- fishing for what may be of interest to you. We are a museum serving Centre County and environs. Many thanks , Patricia

  5. Debra Reames’s avatar

    Dear Dr. Hosler,
    I just received compliments from my Beekeeping club during a discussion of EpiPens when I referred them to your “Killer Bee” comic. I love your work, especially “Clan Apis.” It is the most succinct, amusing, and memorable presentation of “how honey bees work” I have ever seen! I have given copies to everyone on my Christmas list. So much easier than constantly explaining that honey bees don’t hibernate, why bees in swarms don’t sting (usually), and saying “Um, how much time do you have?” in answer to “Why keep honey bees?” I also have a blatant personal request: please write another graphic novel a la “Clan Apis” on how to rear queens. No matter how often I read “Increase Essentials,” I just can’t visualize queen raising beyond the “grab the frame with the queen cell and a few frames of brood and food and pop them into a new box with extra frames and a sugar syrup feeder…oh, and try not to take the old queen along for the ride!” approach. “Mille grazie!” from me and the approximately hundred thousand Italians hanging out in my backyard.

  6. Astrid’s avatar

    Dear Jay Hosler,

    I just swallowed your “Evolution” – with great delight. The perfect way to teach science. Images helping to understand and to remember, gags helping to stay hooked. Thank you and the artists for this wonderful enrichment of my comic collection.

    There is just one little detail I was missing in the evolution of mankind: Maybe because all author and artists are men, there is no word about the human pregnancy having to be abbreviated because of our heads getting bigger and of our upright position. Human babies subsequently resting a much longer time in the care of their mothers and families. This being probably one source of developping empathy, sociality, speech and culture, as some scientists popose.

    Thanks again.

    Astrid

  7. Melissa Fletcher’s avatar

    As one of your earliest fans who worked very hard to collect all of your early Cow-Boy toons (but was never able to do it), I was thrilled to find this site and finally get to read the whole story. Thank you for sharing this! I have loved all the work that has come since, but one never gets over the first love.