Jay L. Keller Curator

Joined: Dec 21, 2013 Last Active: Oct 17, 2018

I am a financial services professional based in Boca Raton, Florida (as of August 2018) by trade, but my lifelong passion for study of the natural world has culminated into what I consider to be a parallel "career" as a naturalist and wildlife photographer. In an effort to contribute as much as possible to our understanding of the natural world, I spend as much free time as I am able to find documenting everything that flowers, slithers, walks, swims and flies.

My enthusiasm for nature began at about age eight with a keen interest in nature, especially scarab beetles and other insects. Starting at age 13, I spent the next few summers assisting with the re-sorting of the Pennsylvania State University collection and leading public tours at the Frost Entomological Museum, eventually amassing with my own 8,000 specimen collection. For the most part, I now "collect" specimens through photography.

I transitioned my interest primarily to ornithology in my later teens, later setting various Big Day/Month/Year records, starting a new CBC and leading dozens of public walks.

As an undergraduate at Penn State in the late 90s, I was employed with the Department of Agronomy and participated in various turfgrass research initiatives dealing with soil amendments, bentgrass morphogenesis, fungal resistance among others (see pubs below). In the past few years, I extended my PSU agronomic experience to finally tackle the challenging broader field of botany, which in many ways now dominates my biological surveying. A primary focus of mine at the present time is on understanding the distribution and natural histories of species of the genus Euphorbia.

As far as my observations submitted here, I do the best I can with identifications - especially with less familiar taxa - so please don't expect perfection and correct me when needed. That said, if you disagree with an ID I have made to species, I would appreciate some sort of evidentiary explanation so I may learn. Thanks!

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Publications

Creeping Bentgrass Morphogenesis and Competition
http://plantscience.psu.edu/research/centers/turf/research/annual-reports/1999ARR.pdf

Valuation of an athletic field root-zone amended with DuPont shredded carpet
http://plantscience.psu.edu/research/centers/turf/research/annual-reports/1999ARR.pdf

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Volunteerism

San Diego Audubon Birding Festival Leader, 2013-2016
https://bvaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/1-Janurary-Digital-Edition-2014.pdf

Conservation of Virginia's Merrimac Farm:
http://www.pwconserve.org/issues/conservation/merrimacfarm/

Protecting the Quantico Creek Watershed:
http://www.pwconserve.org/wildlife/birds/lists/possumpoint.htm

Bird Walk Volunteer for Friends of Dyke Marsh, 2003-2006
https://www.fxva.com/event/dyke-marsh-sunday-morning-bird-walks/17970/

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Press

2018 San Diego Union Tribune: San Diego places third in international biodiversity competition
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/communities/north-county/sd-me-nature-challenge-20180504-story.html

1992 Daily Collegian: Museums attract not only pests
http://www.collegian.psu.edu/arts_and_entertainment/article_dd3cf442-216a-56f0-81d5-b509f427f54e.html

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Outreach

24 April, 2018 - Collaborated with Kari McWest to Lecture on "Scorpions of the Southwestern US and their Venom Toxicity" to the US Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit Five (NEPMU-5) as part of their Seminar on Vector-borne Diseases
http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/nepmu-5/Pages/default.aspx

17 April, 2018 - Participated as a guest iNaturalist "super-user" at the San Diego Natural History Museum Nat Talk on Citizen Science with Dr. Jon Rebman and Dr. Brad Hollingsworth
http://www.sdnhm.org/calendar/public-programs/nattalks-and-films/

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Me being a PFB
Me photographing a Chocolate Lily (Fritillaria biflora) at Mission Trails Regional Park, 11 February, 2017. Photo by BJ Stacey

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