Don E. Wilson

Don Ellis Wilson ( born April 30, 1944 in Davis, Oklahoma) is an American zoologist. His research focus is the mammalogy, particularly the group of bats, for their studies, he traveled to 65 countries around the world.


Wilson spent his childhood and youth in Nebraska, Texas, Oregon, and Washington. In 1961 he made ​​in Bisbee, Arizona 's high school graduation. In 1965 he graduated from the University of Arizona Bachelor of Science. As a student, he made his first 1964 expedition to the tropics, where he returned in the subsequent period and over again to study the mammalian fauna.

After working in a fire lookout tower in the Grand Canyon National Park one summer for the National Park Service, he attended the Graduate Faculty of the University of New Mexico, where he respectively in Biology in 1967 graduated as a Master of Science in 1970 for Ph.D. doctorate. During this time he worked during the summer months for the United States Forest Service as a naturalist in the Sandia Mountains. His thesis dealt with the family relationships of five deer mouse species in the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico, his doctoral thesis he wrote about the small tropical insectivorous bat Myotis nigricans.

1968 Wilson began a long- term cooperation with the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica, where he regularly gives courses in tropical biology ever since. He also lived for 15 months in Costa Rica, to study a post-doctoral fellowship from the University of Chicago seed eaters. He was also Chairman of the Organization for Tropical Studies.

In 1971, Wilson of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a job as a research zoologist at the National Museum of Natural History, where he worked in the department of biological research. From 1973 to 1978 he was head of the mammal department, and from 1978 to 1983 director of the museum. From 1983 to 1990 he headed the department of biological research. In September 1990 he was appointed director of the Biodiversity Program of the Smithsonian Institution. In 2000 he returned as a senior scientist and curator of mammals at the mammalian branch of the National Museum of Natural History.

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

Wilson has published over 200 scientific publications, including the book Mammals of New Mexico and three monographs on bats. In 1997 the book was Bats in Question - published The Smithsonian Answer Book. In 2005 he was co-editor (along with DeeAnn Reeder ) of the reference book Mammal Species of the World. Since 2009, he has next to Russell Mitter Meier co-editor of the book series Handbook of the Mammals of the World from the Spanish publishing house Lynx Edicions. He also published the books Animal, Human, Smithsonian Handbook of Mammals and Mammal for the publisher Dorling Kindersley. He also wrote a field guide to the North American mammal fauna as well as the work of Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals.

Wilson is the winner of the Smithsonian Institution Awards for outstanding achievements in the field of tropical biology, the Outstanding Publication Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Gerritt S. Miller Award from the North American Symposium on Bat Research and the Hartley HT Jackson Award of the American Society of Mammalogists. From the Asociacion Mexicana de Mastozoologia he received recognition for his outstanding scientific achievements and of the American Society of Mammalogists, he is also recognized with the honorary membership.

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