Jay L. Keller Curator

Joined: Dec 21, 2013 Last Active: Dec 06, 2021 iNaturalist

I am a lifelong naturalist in pursuit of contributing as much as possible to our understanding of the natural world, documenting everything that flowers, slithers, walks, swims and flies.

You can view videos of some of the observations submitted here on My YouTube Channel.

My enthusiasm for nature began at about age eight with a keen interest in arthropods, 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 my own 8,000 specimen collection. For the most part, I now "collect" specimens only through photography. I transitioned my interest primarily to ornithology in my later teens, later in life 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). This eventually led to a passion for Botany, especially Euphorbia, and frankly these days I am interested in almost everything!


First Record of Hydrophilus ensifer Brullé in the Continental United States

Creeping Bentgrass Morphogenesis and Competition

Valuation of an athletic field root-zone amended with DuPont shredded carpet


San Diego Audubon Birding Festival Leader, 2013-2016

Conservation of Virginia's Merrimac Farm:

Protecting the Quantico Creek Watershed:

Bird Walk Volunteer for Friends of Dyke Marsh, 2003-2006


2018 San Diego Union Tribune: San Diego places third in international biodiversity competition

1992 Daily Collegian: Museums attract not only pests


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

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

A Note About Community ID

To anyone who has issues with my choice to opt out of "Community ID" on the site, please remember that it is my choice for my account and don't take it personally. There are numerous reasons why I have chosen this setting for my observations, which I learned over the years of contributing here. If you must know the reasons, here are a few:

1) Do you ever experience situations where you and perhaps others have identified an observation to species after detailed analysis and review of keys, then someone without having the knowledge or with lack of care puts a more general ID on it? Well, this offers a level of control over that.

2) Have you ever been spammed by those less thoughtful or serious about the work being done here? Well, I have, and this also helps prevent this from becoming an issue.

3) Are you interested in learning about taxa about which you are less knowledgeable? I am, and this setting helps me take others' identifications more seriously and forces me to review each disagreement. If I agree, I will generally accept the ID. That said, if you perform what I call a "drive-by" ID and disagree with zero explanation (especially with difficult-to-separate taxa), and I have no history with you or you haven't filled out your profile, I am not likely to agree just because you said it is what you feel it is. My ID accounts for something too.

Finally, If I don't respond right away, understand I have MANY life pursuits away from iNat and I am generally stretched for time, so it may take me a while. Across my 45,000+ observations here, I need to use my time wisely. If you feel I have overlooked something, you can politely nudge me. Be respectful and put a brief note on it to help me understand your choice. I assure you that will go a long way.

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