Faculty & Staff

H Garrison Wilkes, PhD

Emeritus Professor


Areas of Expertise

Origin and Evolution of Maize and its New World Relatives


PhD, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1966
Fulbright to India-Andhra University, Waltair, India 1959-1960
BA, Pomona College, Claremont, California 1959

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Teaching Experience

  • Assistant Professor of Biology, Tulane University 1966-1970.
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin, Summer School 1967, 1968, 1970 (teaching Plants and Man).
  • Assistant Professor (1970-1973), Associate Professor (1973-1984), Full Professor (1984-present) of Biology, University of Massachusetts Boston.
  • Visiting Professor of Plant Breeding, Punjab Agricultural University, India 1978-1979.
  • Adjunct professor of Botany, National School of Agriculture Chapingo, Mexico 1985-1986.

College Distinctions, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants

  • BA, Cum Laude, Pomona College. 
  • Phi Beta Kappa elected 1959. 
  • Fulbright to India 1959-1960. 
  • Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Harvard University 1960-1961. 
  • Harvard Traveling Fellow in Mexico and Central America 1963-1964. 
  • Three successive NSF grants to continue studies of the genetic and ecological structure of Meso-America (Mexico and Guatemala) maize fields and especially the relationship of maize to teosinte: NSF GB 8623-1968-1970; NSF GB 27982 1971-1973, NSF BMS 7420577 1975-1978.
  • Indo-American Fulbright-Research Fellowship to India 1978-1979 (Sabbatical).
  • CMMMYT Fellowship – Mexico 1985-1986 (Sabbatical).
  • USDA Plant Genetic Resources Collection Grant 1989-1993.
  • Chancellor's Distinguished Scholarship Award 1993.

Professional Service

  • Secretary 1973-1975, 1975-1977, Member of the council 1977-1986, President 1985, Society for the Study of Economic Botany.
  • Editorial Board of the Journal Economic Botany 1974-1979, 1979-1986, 1987-1995, 1996-2001.
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Assembly of Life Sciences, National Research Council/National Academy 1973-1974, 1974-1977.
  • Member of Committee on Selected Biological Problems in the Humid Tropics 1980-1982 National Research Council.
  • Advisor to the World Maize Collection CIMMYT 1985-1995.
  • Plant Genetic Resources subcommittee of the NRC/NAS Committee on Managing Global Resources: Agricultural Imperatives – chairman of committee to write Genetic Vulnerability Report 1987-1989.
  • Member of the USDA maize crop advisory committee 1999-2002.
  • Advisory Committee – McKnight Foundation MILPA Project 1995-2001, Conservation of Genetic Diversity and Improvement of Crop Production in Mexico: A Farmer-based Approach.

Research Interest

  • Evolution of maize and its wild relatives, teosinte and the genus Tripsacum.
  • The structure and operational functions of genebanks – plant genetic resource policy.
  • Economic botany and the genetics of domestication.