The University of Maryland announced the appointment of UMD Biology Professor Gerald Wilkinson as interim dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, effective July 1, 2017.
Gerald Wilkinson. Photo: John T. Consoli/University of Maryland. (Click image to download hi-res version.)
“A highly regarded scientist and administrator, I am confident Dr. Wilkinson will be an outstanding interim dean,” said Mary Ann Rankin, UMD’s senior vice president and provost. “I am grateful to Dr. Wilkinson for agreeing to serve in this capacity.”
Wilkinson joined the faculty at UMD 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.
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. Wilkinson is an elected fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
He replaces Jayanth Banavar, who announced in February that he was ending his six-year tenure at UMD to become provost and senior vice president at the University of Oregon.
A national search will begin soon to find a permanent dean for the college, which educates more than 7,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college’s 10 departments and more than a dozen interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $150 million.
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The University of Maryland is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 37,000 students, 9,000 faculty and staff, and 250 academic programs. Its faculty includes three Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 47 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The institution has a $1.8 billion operating budget, secures $500 million annually in external research funding and recently completed a $1 billion fundraising campaign. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit www.umd.edu.