Benjamin Wilder

Research Scientist, College of Science

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

I received my PhD in 2014 from the University of California, Riverside under the guidance of Dr. Exequiel Ezcurra for my dissertation research, "Historical Biogeography of the Midriff Islands, Gulf of California." From 2014–2015 I was a Visiting Scholar in the lab of Dr. Rodolfo Dirzo at Stanford University focusing on ecological education for indigenous communities. I returned to my native desert and Tucson in the Fall of 2015 to work with Dr. Cristopher Scott and the Consortium for Arizona and Mexico Arid Environments (CAZMEX) in addition to continuing my research in arid environments.

I increasingly value the incorporation of diverse perspectives and the powerful results made possible via collaboration. In my role as director of the Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers (N-Gen) I strive to create opportunities for collaboration across borders and disciplines and a more holistic understanding and appreciation for the Sonoran Desert.


  • PhD, Botany, UC, Riverside, 2014