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Cave-exploring alumnus to speak on liberal arts education

J. Judson “Jut” Wynne, who earned a B.S. in communications and minor in anthropology from Georgia Southern in 1993, returns to the University on Tuesday, March 4, as the third CLASS Alumni Connection Series speaker.

Wynne, who recently completed his Ph.D. in biological sciences at Northern Arizona University, is a conservation biologist, explorer, and professional speaker. He works as a research ecologist with the Colorado Plateau Biodiversity Center and an associate curator of the Colorado Plateau Museum of Arthropod Biodiversity. He has conducted cave studies in Belize, Chile, Easter Island, Hawaii, and throughout the American Southwest, and his research has been featured by NASA TV, the Discovery Channel, USA Today, and El Mercurio de Santiago.

Wynne and his colleagues have identified three new genera and nearly 30 new species of cave-dwelling invertebrates in the Southwest, 10 new species of insects in the caves of Easter Island, a new species of algae in the Atacama Desert of Chile, and among the first cave-like structures on Mars. He even has a cave-dwelling beetle as his namesake: Eleodes (Caverneleodes) wynnei.

While on campus, he will visit classes and speak about how his communications and anthropology degrees have helped him in
conservation biology.

“I’m honored that Georgia Southern found my work worthy of showcasing during their alumni lecture series,” Wynne says. “I’m really looking forward to this wonderful opportunity to interact with students and faculty at Georgia Southern.”

When not conducting research, he is an athlete, yogi, and musician. He trains in trail running, mountain and road biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoe running, kayaking and surfing. He also competes in various summer and winter races, including the Imogene Pass Run and the Mount Taylor Winter Quadrathlon.

Wynne’s lecture, “The Mysteries of Easter Island Caves,” provides an overview of the natural history and ancient human settlement and discuss new species discoveries and archaeological findings from caves on the most remote inhabited island on earth. His lecture is at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 4, in the Williams Center Multipurpose Room and is free and open to the public. For more information on the lecture, visit, and for more information on Wynne, visit


Posted in Alumni, Communication Arts, Lectures, Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, Sociology & Anthropology