Don E. Wilson

Last updated

Don Ellis Wilson (born April 30, 1944 in Davis, Oklahoma) is an American zoologist. His main research field is mammalogy, especially the group of bats which he studied in 65 countries around the world.

Contents

Career

Wilson spent his childhood and youth in Nebraska, Texas, Oregon and Washington. After finishing high school in Bisbee, Arizona in 1961 he graduated to Bachelor of Science from the University of Arizona in 1965. Still an under-graduate in 1964, he made his first expedition to the tropics, to which he travelled many times in the subsequent decades to study the mammalian fauna.

After working for the National Park Service in a fire lookout tower in the Grand Canyon National Park for one summer, he attended the graduate school of the University of New Mexico, where he graduated respectively in the discipline biology to Master of Science in 1967 and promoted to Ph.D. in 1970.

During this period he spent the summer months working as a naturalist for the U.S. Forest Service in the Sandia Mountains. His master thesis dealt with the relationships of five Peromyscus species in the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico, his dissertation with the small tropical insectivorous bat Myotis nigricans .

From 1986 to 1988, Wilson was president [1] of the American Society of Mammalogists. In 1992, he was president of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. In addition, he was editor of the Journal of Mammalogy for five years, and editor of the publications Mammalian Species and Special Publications for three years. He also worked in various editorial boards. He is on the board of the organizations Bat Conservation International, the Biodiversity Foundation for Africa, Integrated Conservation Research and in the Lubee Bat Conservancy.

Publications

Wilson published more than 270 scientific publications, including the book Mammals of New Mexico and three monographs on bats. In 1997, the book Bats in Question – The Smithsonian Answer Book was published. In 2005, he was co-editor (along with DeeAnn M. Reeder) of the reference work Mammal Species of the World . [2] Since 2009, he is co-editor (with Russell Mittermeier) of the book series Handbook of the Mammals of the World , from the Spanish publishing house Lynx Edicions. In addition, he published the books Animal, Human, Smithsonian Handbook of Mammals and Mammal for the publisher Dorling Kindersley. He also authored a field guide to the North American mammal fauna as well as the work Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals.

Honors

Wilson won several awards, including the Smithsonian Institution Awards for outstanding contributions in the field of tropical biology, the Outstanding Publication Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Gerrit S. Miller Award from the North American Symposium on Bat Research, and the Hartley H. T. Jackson Award of the American Society of Mammalogists. In addition he received recognition of the Asociacion Mexicana de Mastozoologia for his outstanding scientific achievement and he received an honorary membership of the American Society of Mammalogists.

A species of snake, Myriopholis wilsoni , is named in honor of Don E. Wilson. [3]

Personal life

Wilson lives with his wife, whom he married in 1962, in Gainesville, Virginia. The couple has two daughters who work as teachers and four granddaughters.

Related Research Articles

Vampire bat subfamily of mammals

Vampire bats, species of the subfamily Desmodontinae, are leaf-nosed bats found in the Americas. Their food source is blood, a dietary trait called hematophagy. Three extant bat species feed solely on blood: the common vampire bat, the hairy-legged vampire bat, and the white-winged vampire bat. All three species are native to the Americas, ranging from Mexico to Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina.

Spectral bat the largest living carnivorous bat in the world

The spectral bat, also called the great false vampire bat or Linnaeus's false vampire bat, is a large, carnivorous leaf-nosed bat found in Mexico, Central America, and South America. It is the only member of the genus Vampyrum; its closest living relative is the big-eared woolly bat. It is the largest bat species in the New World, as well as the largest carnivorous bat: its wingspan is 0.7–1.0 m (2.3–3.3 ft). It has a robust skull and teeth, with which it delivers a powerful bite to kill its prey. Birds are frequent prey items, though it may also consume rodents, insects, and other bats.

Common vampire bat species of mammal

The common vampire bat is a small, leaf-nosed bat native to Latin America. It is one of three extant species of vampire bat, the other two being the hairy-legged and the white-winged vampire bats. The common vampire bat practices hematophagy, mainly feeding on the blood of livestock. The bat usually approaches its prey at night while they are sleeping. It then uses its razor-sharp teeth to cut open the skin of its hosts and lap up their blood with its long tongue.

The American Society of Mammalogists (ASM) was founded in 1919. Its primary purpose is to encourage the study of mammals, and professions studying them. There are over 4,500 members of this society, and they are primarily professional scientists who emphasize the importance of public policy and education. There are several ASM meetings held each year and the society manages several publications such as the Journal of Mammalogy, Special Publications, Mammalian Species, and Society Pamphlets. The most well known of these is the Journal of Mammalogy. The ASM also maintains The Mammal Image Library which contains more than 1300 mammal slides. A president, vice president, recording secretary, secretary-treasurer, and journal editor are all elected by the members to be officers of the society. In addition, ASM is composed of thirty one committees, including the Animal Care and Use Committee, the Conservation Awards Committee, the International Relations Committee, and the Publications Committee. It also provides numerous grants and awards for research and studies on mammals. These awards can go to both scientists and students. The ASM also lists employment opportunities for their members.

Jamaican fruit bat species of mammal

The Jamaican, common or Mexican fruit bat is a fruit-eating bat native to Mexico, through Central America to northwestern South America, as well as the Greater and many of the Lesser Antilles. It is also an uncommon resident of the Southern Bahamas. Populations east of the Andes in South America are now usually regarded a separate species, the flat-faced fruit-eating bat. The distinctive features of the Jamaican fruit bat include the absence of an external tail and a minimal, U-shaped interfemoral membrane.

Merlin Tuttle American ecologist (born 1941)

Merlin Devere Tuttle is an American ecologist, conservationist, writer and wildlife photographer who has specialized in bat ecology, behavior, and conservation. He is credited with protecting the Austin Congress Avenue Bridge bat colony from extermination. Tuttle is currently active as founder and executive director of Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation in Austin, Texas.

Long-tongued nectar bat species of mammal

The long-tongued nectar bat, also known as the northern blossom bat, honey nectar bat, least blossom-bat, dagger-toothed long-nosed fruit bat, and lesser long-tongued fruit bat, is a species of megabat. M. minimus is one of the smallest species in the family Pteropodidae, with an average length of 60–85 mm. It has a reddish-brown colouring with relatively long hair compared to the other species. The hair on the abdomen is a lighter colour, and a dark brown stripe runs bilaterally down the top of the head and back.

Kitti Thonglongya was an eminent Thai ornithologist and mammalogist. He is probably best known for two discoveries of endangered species.

Richard Van Gelder American mammologist

Richard George Van Gelder was a prominent mammalogist who served as the Curator of Mammalogy for the American Museum of Natural History in New York for more than twenty-five years.

John L. Koprowski, Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona, mammalogist, conservation biologist, and leading expert on the ecology and conservation of squirrels, was born in 1961 in Lakewood, Ohio.

Oliver Payne Pearson Zoologist and Ecologist

Oliver Payne Pearson, or "Paynie" to many that knew him, was an American zoologist and ecologist. Over a very active 50-year career, he served as professor of zoology at UC Berkeley and curator of mammals at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Pearson is best known for his work on the role of predation on vole demography and population cycles, and for his piercing contributions to the biology of South American mammals, but his earlier studies on reproductive and physiological ecology are highly regarded as well.

James L. Patton American zoologist

James Lloyd Patton, is an American evolutionary biologist and mammalogist. He is emeritus professor of integrative biology and curator of mammals at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley and has made extensive contributions to the systematics and biogeography of several vertebrate taxa, especially small mammals.

Marcus Ward Lyon Jr. U.S. mammalogist, bacteriologist, and pathologist (1875–1942)

Marcus Ward Lyon Jr. was an American mammalogist, bacteriologist, and pathologist. He was born into a military family, and demonstrated an early interest in zoology by collecting local wildlife around his father's army posts. He graduated from Brown University in 1897, and continued his studies at George Washington University while working part-time at the United States National Museum (USNM). At the same time, he taught at Howard University Medical School and later George Washington University Medical School. He received his Ph.D. from George Washington University in 1913. In 1919, he and his wife, Martha, moved to South Bend, Indiana to join a newly opened clinic. Prior to moving, Lyon had published many papers on mammalogy, both during and after his tenure at the USNM. In these papers, he had formally described six species, three genera, and one family. Once in South Bend, he began to publish medical studies, too, but continued his work in mammalogy, with a particular focus on the local fauna of Indiana. He published more than 160 papers during his career.

Bryan Pettigrew Glass was an American mammalogist.

Raymond Gilmore American zoologist

Raymond Maurice Gilmore was an American zoologist and a recognized authority on whales. He conducted the first census of California gray whales and is credited with creating public interest in their conservation by leading the earliest whale-watching excursions for the San Diego Natural History Museum. Guiding groups of whale-watchers beginning in 1958, Gilmore was the first onboard naturalist in San Diego; he continued his popular excursions for 25 years. Known as the father of whale watching, Gilmore was the leading expert on California gray whales.

William F. Perrin American zoologist and marine biologist

William F. Perrin is a noted American biologist specializing in the fields of cetacean taxonomy, reproductive biology, and conservation biology. He is best known for his work documenting the unsustainable mortality of hundreds of thousands of dolphins per year in the tuna purse-seine fishery of the eastern tropical Pacific. This work became a primary motivation for the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972). His work on cetacean taxonomy was acknowledged in 2002 when a newly recognized species of beaked whale, Perrin's beaked whale, was named in his honor.

Thomas H. Kunz was an American biologist specializing in the study of bats. He was credited with coining the study of aeroecology; additionally, he wrote several fundamental textbooks and publications on bat ecology.

Nancy B. Simmons is an American zoologist, mammalogist, professor, and author. Specializing in bats, Simmons has conducted extensive research on the morphology and evolutionary history of numerous bat species. She is also the curator-in-charge of the Department of Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History and a professor at the Richard Gilder Graduate School.

David Christopher Dawber Happold, FZS, in publications often D. C. D. Happold, is a British-Australian mammalogist. His main research interests are the small mammals of Africa and Australia.

Eugene Raymond Hall was an American mammalogist.

References

  1. "Past ASM Officers". American Society of Mammalogists. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  2. "Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference". Google Scholar. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  3. Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN   978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Wilson, D.E.", p. 287).

Further reading