Thomas H. Wilson
Professor of Biology
Originally from Camden, Ark., Dr. Wilson has taught biology at Judson College since 1972. He was a captain in the Medical Service Corps. After his service, Dr. Wilson received two job offers – one from North Carolina State University, the other from Judson College. Wishing to remain in the South, he took the job at Judson and now says there is no other place he would rather be. “Judson’s location in one of the most ecologically diverse regions of Alabama was very important in my decision to teach here and to live in Marion. Our students are deeply concerned with learning about natural history. They participate in efforts to restore, protect and preserve areas such as Perry Lakes Park. We are always excited about the next trip to the Cahaba River or to the Golden Club Swamp. I truly enjoy and cherish my days at Judson and my life in Perry County,” says Dr. Wilson.
His research interest on a group of small insects, named thrips, resulted in numerous publications and a reference book entitled, A Monographic Review of the Panchaetothripinae, published by the Entomological Society of America. Dr. Wilson discovered four new genera and six undescribed species of thrips which he named for science. Dr. Wilson also has a long history of natural resource preservation activities. He regularly leads Judson students in community service outreach projects, particularly with his Earth Team and their work at Perry Lakes Park. Of his unique approach to teaching, Dr. Wilson says, “I am dedicated to the preservation of natural heritage and to the use of nature as a platform for teaching biology. My academic interests focus on birds, aquatic environments, and parasites of public health importance.” Dr. Wilson’s teaching areas include parasitology, comparative anatomy, general ecology, and ornithology.
Dr. Wilson, along with his biology students, has spent the last decade lobbying to stop the Fisheries Section of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources from logging mature trees in the Marion Hatchery Woods near Perry Lakes Park. The park is widely used by students as an outdoor laboratory and is a prized birding hot spot. For more information on this subject, visit www.perrylakes.org.
Married to Doris Wilson, also of Arkansas, Dr. Wilson has one son, Chadwick, one daughter, Caroline, and four grandchildren. Dr. Wilson, along with his wife, lived in India for a year doing nature research. Since that time, he has been “around the world twice.” In 2009, Dr. Wilson conducted studies in tropical ecology in Costa Rica and in Cuba. Dr. Wilson’s hobbies include fishing, birding, and dendrology with emphasis on native trees.
Dr. Wilson created and maintains five websites to promote his preservation interests. He is also responsible for the creation of the Judson College Chapter of the Cahaba River Society, and he established the Judson Kappa Sigma Chapter of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society.
Involvements & Awards
- Past Vice President for Conservation of the Alabama Environment Council
- Past Board Member for the Cahaba River Society
- 2009 “Outstanding Conservationist of the Year” award from the Cahaba River Society
- Mary Gibson Thompson Faculty Award
- Lula and Alton Holley Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching
- Environmental Advisor for the Perry Lakes Park Board
- W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Award for Achievements in Forestry, Wildlife and Related Resources – 1989 (The W. Kelly Mosley Award is the highest environmental award given by the state of Alabama.)