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Meet the Dean

Gerald WilkinsonGerald Wilkinson became interim dean of the University of Maryland College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS) on July 1, 2017.

Wilkinson joined the UMD faculty in 1987 as an assistant professor of zoology and was promoted to professor of biology in 1998. He has served the department, college and campus in many capacities, including as director of the multidisciplinary graduate program in Behavior, Ecology, Evolution and Systematics (1999-2005) and chair of the Department of Biology (2009-13).  Most recently, Wilkinson sat on the Graduate Council (2014-16) and the campus Appointment, Promotion & Tenure Review Committee (2016-17).

 Wilkinson has also served the larger scientific community in roles such as program director in the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation (2006-07), president of the Animal Behavior Society (2007) and a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin (2013-14).

An award-winning scholar and teacher, Wilkinson has been recognized with the Searle Scholar Award from the Chicago Community Trust (1988) and the UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award (1997). He has also received the College of Chemical and Life Sciences’ Faculty Research Award (2001) and Faculty Service Award (2007).

“Having been here for 30 years, I am very aware that the college contains many exceptional faculty, students and staff,” Wilkinson said. “I'm honored to serve on their behalf and look forward to helping advance the research and teaching efforts of each unit during the transition period.”

With publications in animal behavior, genetics and evolution, Wilkinson’s research addresses a wide range of topics including sexual selection, communication, genomic conflict and speciation.  Much of his work explores the inherent tension between cooperation and conflict at different levels of biological organization, from genes to whole organisms. He is an elected fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

Wilkinson earned his B.S. in zoology from the University of California, Davis, and his Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, San Diego. He held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Colorado, Boulder; the University of Sussex and the University of Edinburgh.