Texas Tech University

Mammals of Korea

When he arrived at Texas Tech University in 2013, Yeong-Seok Jo was already a researcher at the South Korean National Institute of Biological Resources. A mammal expert in the Division of Animal Research, his dream was to write the first comprehensive treatment of mammals of the diverse landscapes of the Korean peninsula – and to get his doctorate in the Department of Natural Resources Management. A rapidly growing human population makes the conservation of Korean biodiversity an urgent mission, and having a complete list of species and a way to identify them is an essential step.

Now back in South Korea, Dr. Jo has completed both tasks. His doctorate, entitled "Mammals of Korea: Conservation and management," was approved by the Graduate School in December of 2015. His book "Mammals of Korea," co-authored with PhD advisor Dr. John Baccus and committee member Dr. John Koprowski and beautifully illustrated by Yo-Han Ji, was published in December 2018.

Dr. Mark Wallace, Chair of the Department of Natural Resources Management and a member of Jo's graduate committee, said "he brought a very different perspective, one that helped our traditional students see our wildlife resources and North American wildlife management in a new light." Of his advisor, Dr. Jo said "He has been more than my academic adviser; he has also treated me more like a son than a student." It is this kind of personal interaction, as well as the university's reputation as a top research institution friendly to international students, that has now brought his colleague, Hong Seomun, to Texas Tech to conduct his own research in the NRM department.

korean mammal book cover