Jut Wynne is a conservation biologist who has bushwacked through the jungles of Belize, rappelled into the deepest volcanic pit on the Big Island of Hawai’i, endured the world’s driest desert in northern Chile, used cutting edge instruments onboard NASA aircraft, and traveled to the most remote inhabited place on earth, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) - just to learn more about caves and the secrets they contain. With training in wildlife ecology, entomology, habitat modeling, and remote sensing, Jut is a passionate field scientist dedicated to the study of the natural world and conservation science. 

 

He has led cave studies in Belize, Chile, China, Easter Island, Spain, Hawaii and throughout the American Southwest. Jut has also participated in other field research projects in Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Mexico, Scotland and across the United States. He has led over 50 research expeditions, served as supporting personnel on nearly 100 expeditions around the world, and carried the flag for the prestigious Explorers Club on 17 research expeditions.  

Research highlights to date by Jut and colleagues include the identification of three new genera and nearly 50 new species of cave-dwelling invertebrates from the southwestern U.S., 10 new species of insects from caves on Rapa Nui, seven new cave-adapted species from southern China, and some of the first cave-like features detected on Mars. He even has a cave-dwelling Tenebrionid beetle with his namesake, Eleodes (Caverneleodes) wynnei.  In 2016, Jut recieved a Fulbright Visiting Scholars Fellowship to continue his work on Rapa Nui.

Jut is an assistant research professor with the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University and a research scientist with The SETI Institute, Carl Sagan Center. He is a member of the IUCN SCC Cave Invertebrate Specialist Group, an invited group member of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s White-Nose Syndrome Disease Management Working Group, and Vice Chairman of the Southwest Chapter of The Explorers Club. He has served as a member on the Flag and Honors Committee, The Explorers Club (2012-2013) and as Chairman of the Southwest Chapter and Chairman, The Explorers Club (2012-2016). 

Jut has 17 years experience rappelling, anchor building and technical caving, and is considered an expert in technical caving, rope work, and use of related climbing equipment.  He has four years experience as medical and safety personnel including serving as Technical/ Safety/ Medical Officer on two NASA funded projects and several National Park Service funded projects. He holds Ropes That Rescue, AZ, Personal Rescue Skills and Clean Rigging (Dec. 2009) and WMI/NOLS Wilderness First Responder certifications (August 2009; recert. May 2015).

In his spare time, Jut is an endurance athlete, yogi, and musician. His endurance training consists primarily of trail running, mountain biking and road biking, and during the winter cross-country skiing and snowshoe running. When he's near the ocean, you will find him in a kayak, surfing and stand-up paddle boarding. Although he practices mostly Anusara yoga now, he considers himself an ardent student of Steve Ilg's High Performance Yoga. Jut's vigorous pursuit to stay in top physical shape by endurance training, yoga, meditation practice and eating healthfully enables him to endure the challenges of working underground.

When he's not on expedition, Jut is practicing yoga and training for both summer and winter races throughout the southwest. To date, he's completed the Imogene Pass Run (17.1mi run -7810 to 8820 feet through the Imogene Pass of 13,120 feet) four times and the Mount Taylor Winter Quadrathlon (a 44 mile race involving cycling, running, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing) twice. He's also completed the 2008-2010 Kahtoola Snow or No- 10K Snowshoe Race, 2008 and 2010 Annual Kahtoola Agassiz Uphill Climb, 2008, 2009 and 2011 Gaspin' in the Aspen 15K trail run, 2007 and 2014 Hopi Paatuwaqatsi Water is Life 50K Run (as a 3-person relay), 2007-2011 Big Brothers-Big Sisters Half Marathon, the 2005, 2007 and 2009 Soulstice Trail Run (10.2mi), and a multitude of 10K races from 2005 to present. Although he hasn’t performed in public in several years, Jut continues to play guitar, ukulele, harmonica, as well as sing and song write.