Jay Hosler is the author and illustrator of science-oriented comics. He is best known for his graphic novels Clan Apis, The Sandwalk Adventures, and Optical Allusions. Clan Apis follows the life of a honey bee named Nyuki; the story conveys factual information about honey bees in a humorous fashion as Nyuki learns about each new stage of her life. The Sandwalk Adventures follows a conversation about evolution between Charles Darwin and a follicle mite living in his left eyebrow. Optical Allusions explains the evolution of the eye and vision by following the story of Wrinkles the Wonderbrain. Hosler is also an entomologist and associate professor of biology at Juniata College.
Hosler grew up in Huntington, Indiana and is a 1989 graduate of DePauw University. He received a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana in 1995, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Ohio State University's Rothenbuhler Honey Bee Research Laboratory.
Hosler was not formally trained in art, but grew up reading comics and says he "was always a doodler". He drew comic strips for the student newspaper when he was at DePauw, and was paid for a daily comic strip in the student paper when he was at Notre Dame. He first mixed his interests in science and cartooning with his 1997 publication Cow-Boy.
As an associate professor at Juniata College, Hosler has brought his interests in comics and teaching together in several ways. In addition to creating Clan Apis and The Sandwalk Adventures, Hosler was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to create a hybrid of comics and traditional text covering the evolution of sensory biology. Optical Allusions is the first graphic novel of this planned series and covers the evolution of the eye and vision in graphic novel format. "Student performance ratings in science in secondary education is dropping at an alarming rate, so clearly something isn't working well in the classroom," Hosler says. "We can't be afraid to try something radical to change how students learn." Hosler has also team-taught (with a historian) a course on "Comics and Culture".
He has a wife, Lisa, and two sons, Max and Jack.
Hosler cites Steve Ditko, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as early influences that drew him to comics. He also cites Gary Larson, Bill Waterson, Jeff Smith, Linda Medley and Larry Marder as later influences.
- Clan Apis, Active Synapse, ISBN 978-0-9677255-0-5, 2000
- The Sandwalk Adventures. Active Synapse, ISBN 978-0-9677255-1-2, 2003
- Optical Allusions. Active Synapse, ISBN 978-0-9677255-2-9, 2008
- Evolution. (art by Kevin Cannon and Zander Cannon) Hill and Wang, ISBN 978-0-8090-9476-9, 2011
- Cow-Boy #1, Active Synapse, 1997
- "The Conundrum of the Killer Coronavirus" in the Emerging Diseases issues of Your World: Biotechnology and You (14.1), 2004
- "The Diabolical Dr. Nonono" in AWIS Magazine, 2004
- illustrated 6 pages in Suspended in Language by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis, G. T. Labs, ISBN 978-0-9660106-5-7, 2004
- Hosler, Jay S., Buxton, Kristi L. and Smith, Brian H. (2000). Impairment of Olfactory Discrimination by Blockade of GABA and Nitric Oxide Activity in the Honey Bee Antennal Lobe. Behavioral Neuroscience 114 No. 3 pg. 514–525
- Hosler, Jay S. and Smith, Brian H. (2000). Blocking and the detection of odor components in blends. Journal of Experimental Biology 203, 2797-2806
- Chandra, S., Hosler, J. S. and Smith, B. H. (2000). Heritable variation for latent inhibition and its correlation to reversal learning in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Journal of Comparative Psychology 114, No.1, 86-97.
- Hosler, J. S., Burns J. E., and Esch H. E. (2000). Flight Muscle Resting Potential and Species-Specific Differences in Insect Chill-Coma. Journal of Insect Physiology 45 No.5 pg. 621-627
- Biemiller, Lawrence. "Darwin's Talking Mite." The Chronicle of Higher Education. Volume 49, Issue 40, Page A48. June 13, 2003.
- Hosler, Jay. Jay Hosler, Ph.D. [curriculum vita]
- "Fine-tooning Science: Juniata Biologist to Create Comic Science Text." Campus News. Juniata College. June 26, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
- "Pow! Juniata Professors Take On Comic Books and American Culture." Campus News. Juniata College. March 5, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
- Interview: Cartoonist/Scientist Jay Hosler Answers SciScoop: Science News Forum, posted Feb 28, 2004.
- Chronicle of Higher Education Profiles Prof. Jay Hosler '89, Whose Comics Teach DePauw University News. June 10, 2003.
- "Teaching Comic" of Prof. Jay Hosler '89 Featured in Magazine DePauw University News. December 6, 2004.
- The Sandwalk Adventures [review] reviewed in Comics Worth Reading, Jan 22, 2006.
- Holy Evolution, Darwin! Comics Take On Science, by Neda Ulaby on NPR's Morning Edition. Includes interviews with Jay Hosler and science comic writer Jim Ottaviani. Aired Feb. 14, 2005.
- To Bee or Not to Bee. Sequential Tart. Interview of Jay Hosler by Marcia Allass. Jan 2001.