Dustin Wilgers, associate professor of biology at McPherson College, is among three Southwestern College graduates inducted into its Natural Science Hall of Fame. An induction ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 11 in Deets Library on the Southwestern campus.
Wilgers graduated with honors in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. While at Southwestern, he participated in golf and was an athletic trainer for one year. He was active in Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society. He earned a master’s degree in science from Kansas State University in 2005 and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in 2011. He has been a professor at McPherson College since 2011.
He has contributed to the field with his ecological research that focuses on the diversity found in the prairie and understanding the communication and behavioral systems of spiders. Wilgers has published 22 scientific papers and one book chapter. He co-authored many of his papers with undergraduate students. He has presented his research at numerous international, national, and regional scientific meetings, winning awards for his research at several of them. He served as President of the Kansas Academy of Science and the Kansas Entomological Society. Wilgers works extensively with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks through their Chickadee Checkoff program, researching the state’s arachnids and educational outreach programs. He has published multiple children’s books that aim to entertain and educate younger children about science and his favorite animal group.
While at McPherson College, he has led student travel experience classes to the Amazon rainforest.