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.