John L. Hunt

 

The southeastern United States is home to a remarkable and diverse mammalian fauna that is a significant part of the region’s rich natural heritage.

John Hunt, a Professor of Biology at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, has co-authored a book on these animals, entitled Mammals of the Southeastern United States. The book, which was co-written by Troy Best of Auburn University, was recently released.

Mammals of the Southeastern United States presents accounts of 137 species that currently or previously occurred in the Southeast. Each account includes full-color images of the animal, plates featuring at least three views of its skull, color distribution maps of its geographic range in the Southeast and in North America, and an up-to-date synthesis of several aspects of its biology. Although accessible and useful for the generalist, this book presents an up-to-date compilation of basic knowledge about native and nonnative mammals of the region, and is suitable for students of all ages, and for professional mammalogists and biologists alike.

Hunt has been at UAM for sixteen years. He teaches a number of biology classes at the University, including Mammalogy, Comparative Anatomy, Environmental Science, Evolution, and their associated labs. He credits UAM for making the book possible.

“This project is the culmination of eight years of work by my co-author and me,” Hunt said. “This work would not have been possible without support—financial and otherwise—from the School of Math and Science and the University.”

Troy Best is a Professor Emeritus of Biology at Auburn University, and is one of the leading mammalogists in the United States. He has conducted research on mammals on four continents, and is the author of two other books on mammals. Hunt has been conducting research with Best for nearly 25 years.

“Troy was my mentor in graduate school at Auburn, and we have worked on several projects together concerning mammals and birds,” Hunt said. “When he suggested we collaborate on this book, I jumped at the chance.”

Hunt and Best are working on another book, Mammals of the Southwestern United States, which is scheduled to be finished in the next two or three years.

Mammals of the Southeastern United States is now on bookstore shelves. It is published by the University of Alabama Press.

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