UNT Elm Fork Natural Heritage Museum

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Todd Jackson-Graduate Student


B.S. Biology, University of North Texas, 2001

M.S. Biology Student; Advisor: Dr. James H. Kennedy

Photo: Todd JacksonLike many other field biologists, my interest in the natural world began at an early age and I always had a particular interest in spiders and insects. I grew up playing in the creeks and fields near my house in north central Texas but extensive growth of housing and commercial developments in this region brought about rapid changes in the landscape during my lifetime. I didn’t have a word for it back then, but watching ecosystems fragment and disappear as a youngster later caused me to gravitate towards courses that focused on ecology and conservation biology during my undergraduate career.

While working on my master’s degree I have been involved in an arthropod bio-inventory for two Texas Army National Guard training sites. My thesis research involves the use of insects as biological indicators that may be used to evaluate land management practices over time. I am currently investigating changes in grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) species assemblages on grazed versus non-grazed grasslands at Camp Bowie in central Texas.

Tracee Bennett-Graduate Student

Photo: Tracee BennetI grew up as the only daughter of an Air Force Officer father and stay-at-home-mother. I lived in several different countries, and always in fairly large cities. Even then, I had an appreciation for the outdoors and loved being around animals. One of my favorite classes in high school was General Biology with Mr. Price, and even though books and literature were my first love, I harbored a secret desire to be a scientist. It wasn’t until I took Insect Biology with Dr. Kennedy that I realized how incredible these organisms are, and he’s instilled in me a curiosity about something that I never even thought about studying until that time!

I have been working with aquatic beetles for the past year and a half, and am still amazed at the diversity found within this group of animals. My project is a problems-in-lieu-of-thesis in which I am looking at the distribution of aquatic beetles on two Texas Army National Guard bases.

In the fall I will be passing on my joy of learning about insects, as well as ecology in general, in the capacity of 6th grade life science teacher at Episcopal School of Dallas.

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Operation Hours

9-5 Monday-Friday


The next upcoming event will be the Museum open house in November. Details soon.

Contact Us

Phone: 940-565-2981
Email: kennedy@unt.edu

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