Jonathan Hoskins Curator

Graduate student at UT San Antonio • Teaching assistant / lab instructor • Paleontologist • Taxonomist

My research interests include invertebrate paleontology, taxonomy, extant hymenoptera of Texas, and genetics - I'm currently conducting research to update the taxonomy of a group of fossil oysters. I've always been detail-oriented, so taxonomy was just a natural step. I'm currently finishing up my master's thesis involving oyster taxonomy and then will begin work on my Ph.D.

As a paleontologist, my school of thought is that the field requires being a good biologist first, especially in the realm of taxonomy. As such, I maintain a biodiversity collection with particular emphasis on hymenoptera following training at the university. I like to work with groups that are relatively well understood in the US so have worked with the vespid wasps of Texas (particularly the genus Polistes), ants, some mutilids, Sphex, and a few of the more readily-diagnosed ichneumonids of Texas as well. I definitely stalk the publications of experts in these groups.

When it comes to identifications, I am by no means a “yes man”. This really stems from my background in taxonomy due to the existence of cryptic and near-cryptic species. As such, I prefer accuracy over specificity (or precision). That said, I also love researching new-to-me taxonomic groups in the scientific literature and perusing compendia such as BugGuide. Our world has a vast many fantastic organisms that sadly often remain under-appreciated.

In the realm of paleontology, I've always been interested in fossils (I was the kid who could name most any dinosaur and preferred Kentrosaurus and Pentaceratops to the typical lineup). Way back in junior high, I did a science fair project over the paleontology of the Benbrook, Texas, area involving species-level identification. I've since continued research in the area representing the Cretaceous reefal system involving aspects of ecology and taxonomy.

When I'm not working on science, my interests include: writing (fiction), lyricism, online administration, drawing, Marvel & DC comics, online security, cooking, and theology. I also speak a decent amount of Spanish.

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