Jorge M. GonzÁlez (California)

 

JAHP Vice President

Jorge M. González is a Venezuelan born Entomologist. Mentored by Francisco Fernández Yépez, a renowned Venezuelan Lepidopterist, Jorge has been on insect collecting trips throughout Venezuela including the Gran Sabana region of south eastern Venezuela.

After graduating in 1981 as an Agricultural Engineer from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, he went to the University of Georgia in Athens. He obtained his MS in 1985 with Robert W. Matthews in insect behavior. His oldest daughter Daniela was born in Athens the same year. His youngest daughter Andrea was born in Caracas in 1987.

Returning to Venezuela he joined Fundación Terramar and was a participant in many scientific expeditions in the 1980s and 1990s to the Pantepui region.


While working with other Institutions in the late 1980s and 1990s he had the opportunity to freelance as guide for some Ecotourism companies, exploring the Llanos and the Northern and Interior Cordilleras.


He obtained his PhD in Entomology at Universidad Central de Venezuela in 1994. He was then contacted by Pedro Trebbau, the leading Venezuelan zoo specialist, to join him in a project to modernize Zoos in the country. After presenting the idea to the team for the need of an Insect Zoo in Venezuela, Jorge was sent to Germany in 1995 to be trained in building and managing insect zoos and butterfly gardens. He worked with Günther Nogge, Peter Klaas, Mathias Forst and José “Pepe” Alcaraz at the Köln Zoo. He studied the management of South American Fauna in confined conditions with Wolf Bartmann at the Dortmund Zoo. The Venezuelan Zoo Team was eventually disbanded, but Jorge has stayed active in zoo matters. In 1998, he designed the Insectarium-Butterfly Garden of El Pinar Zoo, Caracas where he became director in 2000.


Invited back to Georgia in 2001 to work with wasps, Jorge, his wife Mayra and their daughters Daniela & Andrea and a niece Malle moved to Athens. In 2005 Jorge joined S. Bradleigh Vinson’s team at Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas. Jorge and family became permanent U.S. citizens in 2013. This year, Jorge and his wife moved to Clovis, California and he is now a professor of the Plant Science Department at California State University, Fresno, where he teaches Entomology related courses.


Jorge has travelled through Europe, Israel, Latin America and extensively in the USA. He has published about one-hundred articles in peer review journals and has co-authored six books and translated Jan-Willem de Vries’ graphic novel “Truth or Dare: The Jimmie Angel Story”. He frequently reviews scientific manuscripts and books for specialized journals. He first became interested in the history of explorers that visited Venezuela looking for insects. As his “on the side” project he continues to investigate the history of exploration in Venezuela, but now focused on all types of explorers. His interest in exploration is how he “found” Ruth Robertson and the details of her 1949 expedition to measure Angel Falls. He wanted to know more about the Jimmie Angel-Ruth Robertson relationship and contacted Karen Angel in 2007 for information. Jorge is interested in keeping alive the memory of these explorers and their discoveries and activities by publishing his investigations of their explorations. He was elected to the JAHP Board in 2009.