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Office of the Provost, Division of Academic Affairs, University of Maryland


Interim Dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences


As you know the departure of Dean Banavar for his new role at Oregon is approaching, and although the search for a new dean of CMNS is underway, there will be a need for an interim leader before a new dean can be in place. I am pleased, therefore, to announce the appointment of Professor Gerald Wilkinson as Interim Dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, effective July 1, 2017. I am grateful to Dr. Wilkinson for agreeing to serve in this capacity until a new dean assumes the permanent position sometime in FY 2018.

Dr. Wilkinson earned his B.S. in Zoology at the University of California, Davis, and his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California, San Diego. He held postdoctoral fellowships at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics at the University of Colorado, Boulder; in the Dept. of Biological Sciences at the University of Sussex; and in the Dept. of Zoology at the University of Edinburgh. He joined the faculty at UMD in 1987 as an assistant professor of Zoology and was promoted to professor of Biology in 1998. He served as director of the graduate program in Behavior, Ecology, Evolution and Systematics (BEES) from 1999 to 2005 and as chair of the Dept. of Biology from 2009 to 2013. He has served the department, college, and campus in many capacities, most recently on the Graduate Council (2014-16) and the campus APT Tenure Review Committee (2016-18). Additionally, in 2006-07, Dr. Wilkinson was program director of Population and Evolutionary Processes, in the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation, and in 2013-14, was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin.

His many awards for outstanding scholarship and teaching include a Searle Scholar Award from the Chicago Community Trust in 1988 and the Distinguished Scholar Teacher award from UMD in 1997. He also received the College of Life Sciences’ Faculty Research Award in 2001 and the Faculty Service Award in 2011. He is an elected fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. With publications in animal behavior, genetics, and evolution, his research has addressed a wide range of topics including sexual selection, genomic conflict, and speciation. Much of this work addresses the inherent tension between cooperation and conflict at different levels of biological organization from genes to organisms. A highly regarded scientist and administrator, I am confident Dr. Wilkinson will be an outstanding interim dean. Jerry will be contacting chairs and center directors in the near future to begin the process of learning more about the particular issues and opportunities facing each of the college units.

Many thanks to Dean Jayanth Banavar for his very positive leadership as dean and his commitment to making this transition to the new dean as smooth and complete as possible. Please join me in thanking Dean Banavar for his excellent service and in welcoming Dr. Wilkinson to this important new leadership role.


Mary Ann Rankin