Benjamin T. Wilder, PhD

Director, Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill

 My research is broadly focused in desert ecology, botany, and biogeography. I utilize multiple approaches and time scales to establish baselines to better understand modern biodiversity and connect science to conservation.

I have been Director of the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill since 2016, and also serve as Director of CAZMEX, the Consortium for Arizona-Mexico Arid Environments, and Director of the Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers (N-Gen).

In these roles, I increasingly values the incorporation of diverse perspectives and the powerful results made possible via collaboration. With others, I strive to create opportunities for collaboration across borders and disciplines and a more holistic understanding and appreciation for the Sonoran Desert.
 

 See the Desert Lab's active research projects for an overview of a selection of some current projects.

If you are a student interested in working with me of the Desert Lab, please contact me to explore possible opportunities.

 

CV

To see my resume see this file: wilder_cv_feb2020.pdf

 

Publications

Book

Felger, R.S., B.T. Wilder in collaboration with H. Romero-Morales. 2012. Plant Life of a Desert Archipelago: Flora of the Sonoran Islands in the Gulf of California. University of Arizona Press, Tucson. 624 pages.

Peer-reviewed papers and book chapters

30. Wilder, B.T, A.T. Becker, A. Munguia-Vega, M. Culver. 2022. Tracking the desert’s edge with a Pleistocene relict. Journal of Arid Environments: 196, 104653. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2021.104653

29. Wilder, B.T., C.S. Jarnevich, E. Baldwin, J.S. Black, K.A. Franklin, P. Grissom, K.A. Hovanes, A. Olsson, J. Malusa, A.S.M.G. Kibria, Y.M. Li, A.M. Lien, A. Ponce, J.A. Rowe, J.R. Soto, M.R. Stahl, N.E. Young, J.L. Betancourt. 2021. Grassification and Fast-Evolving Fire Connectivity and Risk in the Sonoran Desert, United States. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution: 9:655561. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2021.655561

                        Media coverage: Arizona Daily Star (June 2021 and October 2021)

28. Zamora, H.A., C.J. Eastoe, B.T. Wilder, J.C. McIntosh, T. Meixner, K.W. Flessa. 2020. Groundwater Isotopes in the Sonoyta River Watershed, USA-Mexico: Implications for Recharge Sources and Management of the Quitobaquito Springs. Water: 12(12), 3307; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123307

27. Wilder, B.T. 2020. At the desert’s edge. In Nabhan, G.P., The Nature of Desert Nature. University of Arizona Press. Pp. 79–81.

26. Nabhan, G.P., E.C. Riordan, L. Monti, A.M. Rea, B.T. Wilder, E. Ezcurra, J.B. Mabry, J. Aronson, G.A. Barron‐Gafford, J.M. García, A. Búrquez, T.E. Crews, P. Mirocha, W.C. Hodgson. 2020. An Aridamerican model for agriculture in a hotter, water scarce world. Plants People Planet: https://doi.org/10.1002/ppp3.10129

25. Clark, S.E., E. Magrane, T. Baumgartner, S.E.K. Bennett, M. Bogan, T. Edwards, M.A. Dimmitt, H. Green, C. Hedgcock, B.M. Johnson, M.R. Johnson, K. Velo, and B.T. Wilder. 2020. 6&6: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Art-Science Collaboration. BioScience: https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biaa076

24. Armenta-Méndez, L., J.P. Gallo-Reynoso, B.T. Wilder, A.A. Gardeo, M.M. Ortega-Nieblas, I. Barba-Acuña. 2020. The role of wild canids in the seed dispersal of Washingtonia robusta (Arecaceae) in Sonoran Desert oases. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 91: e913129, https://doi.org/10.22201/ib.20078706e.2020.91.3129

23. Zamora, H.A., B.T. Wilder, C.J. Eastoe, J.C. McIntosh, J. Welker, K.W. Flessa. 2019. Evaluation of Groundwater Sources, Flow Paths, and Residence Time of the Gran Desierto Pozos, Sonora, Mexico. Geosciences 9:378 doi:10.3390/geosciences9090378 zamora_et_al._2019_age_and_origin_of_the_gran_desierto_pozos.pdf

22. Wilder, B.T., R.S. Felger, E. Ezcurra. 2019. Controls of plant diversity and composition on a desert archipelago. PeerJ 7:e7286 DOI 10.7717/peerj.7286 wilder_et_al._2019_controls_of_plant_diversity_and_composition_on_a_desert_archipelago.pdf

21. Ezcurra, E., B.T. Wilder. 2019. Tres siglos de colaboración científica entre México y los Estados Unidos. Ciencia 70:8–15.  ezcurra_wilder_2019_ciencia_3sigloscolaboracion.pdf

20. Gil-Loaiza J., Lutz Ley A.N., Wilder B.T., Lever J., Ruiz J., Scott, C.A. 2019. La ciencia cruzando fronteras: Consorcio Arizona-México para Ambientes Áridos. Ciencia 70:56–63. gil-loaiza_et_al._2019_cazmex.pdf

19. Armenta-Méndez, L., M.M. Ortega-Nieblas, J.P. Gallo-Reynoso, A.A. Gardea, B.T. Wilder, G. González-Aguilar, & A.M. Preciado-Saldaña. 2019. Proximal chemical analysis and secondary metabolites in Washingtonia robusta fruit (Arecaceae): relevance for the feeding of wildlife and humans. Botanical Sciences 97 :155–166. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17129/botsci.2057

18. Wilder, B.T., C.O’Meara, L. Monti, G. Nabhan. 2016. The importance of indigenous knowledge in curbing the loss of language and biodiversity. BioScience 66:499–509. pdf (suplementary info)

17. Wilder, B.T., C.O’Meara, L. Monti, G. Nabhan. 2016. Ethnoscience, the “Oldest Science”: A needed complement to academic science and citizen science to stem to the losses of biodiversity, indigenous languages, and livelihoods. In Nabhan, G. (ed) Ethnobiology for the Future. University of Arizona Press. Pp. 23–35. Link

16. O’Meara, C., B.T. Wilder (eds). 2015. Seeds in the Sand: The next generation of approaches to understanding the Sonoran Desert and Gulf of California. Journal of the SouthwestLink

15. Wilder, B.T., C. O’Meara. 2015. The Continuum of Desert Research. In O’Meara, C., B.T. Wilder (eds.) Seeds in the Sand: The next generation of approaches to understanding the Sonoran Desert and Gulf of California. Journal of the Southwest 57:163–186.  pdf

14. Dolby, G. Bennett, S.E.K., A. Lira-Noriega, B.T. Wilder, A. Munguia-Vega. 2015. The Geologic and Climatic Forcing of Biodiversity Surrounding the Gulf of California. In, O'Meara, C., B.T. Wilder (eds.) Seeds in the Sand: The next generation of approaches to understanding the Sonoran Desert and Gulf of California. Journal of the Southwest 57:391–455. pdf Supplemental Info 1 (additional maps, studies used in distribution maps, and list of the 526 plant species co-distributed between Mainland Mexico and the Baja California peninsula 57.2-3_8_dolby_et_al_si1.pdfSupplemental Info 2 (supplemental bibliography) 57.2-3_8_dolby_et_al_si2.pdf

13. Wilder, B.T. 2014. Historical Biogeography of the Midriff Islands in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Dissertation, UC, Riverside, Plant Biology. Link

12. Ratay, S.E., S. Vanderplank, B.T. Wilder. 2014. Island specialists: Shared flora of the Alta and Baja California Pacific islands. Western North American Naturalist 7:161–220.  pdf

11. Wilder, B.T., J.L. Betancourt, C. Epps, R. Crowhurst, J.I. Mead, E. Ezcurra. 2014. Local extinction and unintentional rewilding of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) on a desert island. PLoS ONE 9(3): e91358. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091358pdf

                        Media coverage: 35+ unique articles in Spanish and English including La JornadaNSF, and The Last Word on Nothing.

10. Velarde, E., B.T. Wilder, R.S. Felger, E. Ezcurra. 2014. Floristic diversity and dynamics of Isla Rasa, Gulf of California, Mexico – A globally important seabird site. Botanical Sciences 92(1):89–101. pdf

9. Wilder, B.T., C. O’Meara, A. Medel, N. Narchi, O. Aburto-Oropeza. 2013. The need for a next generation of Sonoran Desert researchers. Conservation Biology 27:243–244.  pdf

8. Wilder, B.T., P.P. Garcillán, B. Marazzi. 2013. Sonoran Desert. In Howarth, R.W. (ed.), Biomes and Ecosystems: An Encyclopedia. Salem Press, Ipswich, MA. Pp. 1160–1163.  pdf

7. Garcillán, Pedro P., B. Marazzi, B.T. Wilder. 2013. Baja California Desert. In Howarth, R.W. (ed.), Biomes and Ecosystems: An Encyclopedia. Salem Press, Ipswich, MA. Pp. 346–349. pdf

6. Gallo-Reynoso, J.P, R.S. Felger, B.T. Wilder. 2012. Near colonization of a desert island by a tropical bird: Military macaw (Ara militaris) at Isla San Pedro Nolasco, Gulf of California. The Southwestern Naturalist 57:461–464. pdf

5. Felger, R.S., B.T. Wilder, J P. Gallo-Reynoso. 2011. Floristic diversity and long-term vegetation dynamics of San Pedro Nolasco Island, Gulf of California, Mexico. Proceedings of the San Diego Society of Natural History 43:1–42. pdf

4. Wilder, B.T. & R.S. Felger. 2010. Cardons, guano, and isolation: The flora and vegetation of San Pedro Mártir Island, Gulf of California, Mexico. Proceedings of the San Diego Society of Natural History 42:1–24. pdf

3. Wilder, B.T., R.S. Felger, H. Romero. 2008. Succulent plant diversity of the Sonoran Islands, Gulf of California, Mexico. Haseltonia 14:128–161. pdf

2. Wilder, B.T., R.S. Felger, T. R. Van Devender, H. Romero-Morales. 2008. Canotia holacantha on Isla Tiburón, Gulf of California, Mexico. Canotia 4(1):1–7. pdf

1. Wilder, B.T., R.S. Felger, H. Romero-Morales, A. Quijada-Mascareñas. 2007. New plant discoveries for Sonoran Islands, Gulf of California, Mexico. Journal of Botanical Research Institute of Texas 1:1203–1227. pdf

 

Reports and general audience publications

8. Rutman, S., K.A. Dahl, R.E. McManus, G.P. Nabhan, A.T. Smith, M.B. Traphagen, B.T. Wilder. 2019. Defend the Biological and Cultural Integrity of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. https://wildlandsnetwork.org/support-gems-of-the-sonoran-desert/

7. Wilder, B.T. 2019. 6&6: Artists | Scientists. Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers. 43 pg. https://ngen6and6.com/ 

6. Wilder, B.T., M.M. Early Capistrán, S.E. Vanderplank. 2018. 2018 N-Gen Border BioBlitz. Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers. 36 pg. http://nextgensd.com/border/bioblitz/ 

5. Vanderplank S.E., B.T. Wilder, E. Ezcurra. 2016. Arroyo la Junta: Una joya de biodiversidad en la Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra La Laguna / A biodiversity jewel in the Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers, and UC MEXUS. 159 pg. Link

                        Media coverage: Six unique articles in Spanish and English including MongabayLa Jornada, and Latin American Science

 4. Vanderplank, S.E., B.T. Wilder, E. Ezcurra. 2014. Descubriendo la Biodiversidad Terrestre en la Región de Cabo Pulmo / Uncovering the Dryland Biodiversity of the Cabo Pulmo Region. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers, and UC MEXUS, U.S.A. 122 pg. Link

                        Media coverage: 15+ unique articles in Spanish and English including mongabay.com and Huffington Post.

3. Wilder, B.T., C. O’Meara, A. Medel, N. Narchi. 2012. Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers 2012 Summit: The beginning of a movement. EnglishSpanish.

2. Wilder, B.T., R.S. Felger, H. Romero-Morales. 2007. Succulents and bighorn of Isla Tiburón. The Plant Press, Arizona Native Plant Society 31(2):9–11. pdf

1. Wilder, B.T. 2007. Report to Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science on the project: Vascular flora of Isla Tiburón and satellite Islands, Gulf of California Mexico. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science 39(1):51–55.