Jason Cryan: Executive Director

Salt Lake City, UT – Jason Cryan, biodiversity scientist and veteran of natural sciences museums, has been named Executive Director of the Natural History Museum of Utah, a world class destination for informal learning in natural sciences and native cultures. An enthusiastic advocate for science education, community engagement and lifelong learning, Cryan brings extensive experience in research and collections, especially in making scientific research accessible to the public.

For the past eight years, Cryan has been Deputy Director and Chief of Research and Collections at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Previously, he directed the Laboratory for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics at the New York State Museum in Albany, a DNA sequencing laboratory.

His research focuses on evolutionary investigations of plant-eating insects—specifically planthoppers, spittlebugs, froghoppers and treehoppers—using DNA sequencing to reconstruct their history. Many of the insects he studies are of worldwide economic and agricultural importance. Cryan is also an adjunct professor at State University of New York, Albany, and is a member of the graduate faculty at the University of Connecticut.

As the designated state museum of natural history, the Natural History Museum of Utah serves rural and urban communities across the state through its exhibits, educational programs, citizen science, and broad outreach activities. By providing access to these collections and through its insights into Utah’s rich natural history, the Museum serves as a threshold to all that Utah’s natural places have to offer, inspires curiosity, and communicates science to wide audiences.