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The following page is a two column layout with a header that contains a quicklinks jump menu and the search CSUN function. Page sections are identified with headers. The footer contains update, contact and emergency information.

Links in the Hierarchy

Ecology and Evolution

Biology Faculty

Biology Department



BIOL 106L Principles of Biology I Lab

Free download for iBooks


BIOL 322 Evolutionary Biology


The Evolution Report, audio interviews with evolutionary biologists


BIOL 323 Plants and Animals of s CA; BIOL 423 Field Ecology

Free download for iBooks


BIOL 330 Design & Analysis of Expts

Free download for iBooks


BIOL 409 Non-flowering Plants



Other web Resources

My Youtube channel

California Moss eFlora

Images of California Bryophytes

My academic technology gallery




James Thomson, pollination

Brent Mishler, bryology

Sarah Kimball, comparative ecology

Deone Zell, academic technology


sidebanner of flowers and mosses
Paul Wilson portrait

Paul Wilson, Professor

Email: paul.wilson@csun.edu

Office: Chaparral Hall 5317

Lab: Chaparral Hall 5309

Paper mail: Department of Biology, California State University, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330-8303

Phone: 818-677-2937

Fax: 818-677-2034


Humboldt State University, B.S., Botany

Stony Brook University, Ph.D., Ecology and Evolution

Harvard University, Post-doctoral Researcher

Sabbaticals: University of Toronto; University of California Berkeley


CSUN: Outstanding Faculty Award

CSUN College of Science and Math: Bianchi Research Award

Stony Brook University: Teaching Assistant Award

Humboldt State University: Botany, Telonicher, and Rumble Awards


Currently, I and my students are working on how to identify mosses in California and descriptive comparisons of their niches. I also have a master's student who is working on vascular vegetation ordination and fire recovery. I do not expect to take on any more master's students (unless someone shows up who has excellent grades and wants to study California mosses); however, I do still work with undergraduates on a shorter-term basis.


Technical Publications (*student)

Google Scholar Citation Trend. Papers shown in green are recommended as positive models for master's theses.

Amoroso D*, Wilson P. 2018. Ten Cases of Divergence in the Seedling Ecology of Dudleya (Crassulaceae). Systematic Botany 43: 889-901.

Gould K*, Wilson P. 2015. Lack of evolution in a leaf beetle that lives on two contrasting host plants. Ecology and Evolution 5: 3905-3913.

Holt JR*, Wilson P, Brigham CA. 2014. A test of density-dependent pollination within three populations of endangered Pentachaeta lyonii. Journal of Pollination Ecology 12: 95-100.

Wilson P. 2012. Macroevolution for plant reproductive biologists. Evolution of Plant-Pollinator Relationships. S. Patiny (ed). Cambridge University Press.

Guzman WA*, Wilson P. 2012. Hummingbirds at artificial flowers made to resemble ornithophiles versus melittophiles. Journal of Pollination Ecology 8: 67-78.

Dorsey AE*, Wilson P. 2011. Rarity as a life-history correlate in Dudleya (Crassulaceae). American Journal of Botany 98: 1104-1112.

Wilson P, Jordan, E*. 2009. Hybrid intermediacy between pollination syndromes in Penstemon, and the role of nectar in affecting hummingbird visitation. Botany 87: 272-282.

Wilson P. 2009. Striking example of avatars evolving together among local communities. New Phytologist 182: 293-295.

Sagar T*, Wilson P. 2009. Niches of common bryophytes in a semi-arid landscape. Bryologist 112: 30-41.

Thomson JD, Wilson P. 2008. Explaining evolutionary shifts between bee and hummingbird pollination: Convergence, divergence, and directionality. International Journal of Plant Sciences 169: 23-38.

Wilson P, Wolfe AD, Armbruster WS, Thomson JD. 2007. Constrained lability in floral evolution: counting convergent origins of hummingbird pollination in Penstemon and Keckiella. New Phytologist 176: 883-890.

Yip, KL, Wilson P, Toren D, Kellman KM. 2007. Pleuridium mexicanum (Ditrichaceae) new to the U.S.A. from California. Bryologist 110: 510-513.

Sagar T*, Wilson P. 2007. Bryophytes of the Santa Monica Mountains. Pp. 63-92 in D. A. Knapp (ed.) Flora and ecology of the Santa Monica Mountains. Southern California Botanists special publication 4, Fullerton, CA.

Lancaster J*, Wilson P, Espinoza RE. 2006. Physiological benefits as precursors of sociality: Why banded geckos band. Animal Behavior 72: 199-207.

Castellanos MC*, Wilson P, Keller S*, Wolfe A, Thomson JD. 2006. Anther evolution: pollen presentation strategies when pollinators differ. American Naturalist 167: 288-296+10 pages of Appendix.

Kerby JL*, Riley SPD, Katz LB, Wilson P. 2005. Barriers and flow as limiting factors in the spread of an invasive crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in southern California streams. Biological Conservation 126: 402-409.

Fenster C, Armbruster S, Wilson P, Dudash M, Thomson JD. 2004. Pollination syndromes and floral specialization. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 35: 375-403.

Kimball S*, Wilson P, Crowther J. 2004. Local ecology and geographic ranges of plants in the Bishop Creek watershed of the eastern Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Journal of Biogeography 31: 1637-1657.

Castellanos MC*, Wilson P, Thomson JD. 2004. 'Anti-bee' and 'pro-bird' changes during the evolution of hummingbird pollination in Penstemon flowers. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 17: 876-885

Wilson P, Castellanos MC†, Wolfe A, Thomson JD. 2006. Shifts between bee- and bird-pollination among penstemons. Pp. 47-68 in NM Waser and J Ollerton (eds.) Plant-pollinator interactions: from specialization to generalization. University of Chicago Press.

Wilson P, Castellanos MC*, Hogue JN, Thomson JD, Armbruster WS. 2004. A multivariate search for pollination syndromes among penstemons. Oikos 104: 345-361.

Motzkin G, Foster D, Allen A, Donohue K, Wilson P. 2004. Forest landscape patterns, structure, and composition. Pp. 171-188 in DR Foster and JD Aber (eds.) Forests in time: the environmental consequences of 1,000 years of change in New England. Yale University Press, New Haven.

Castellanos MC*, Wilson P, Thomson JD. 2003. Pollen transfer by hummingbirds and bumblebees, and the divergence of pollination mode in Penstemon. Evolution 57: 2742-2752.

Castellanos MC*, Wilson P, Thomson JD. 2002. Dynamic replenishment of nectar in Penstemon (Scrophulariaceae). American Journal of Botany 89:111-118.

Wilson P, Valenzuela M*. 2002. Three naturally occurring Penstemon hybrids. Western North American Naturalist 62: 25-31.

Chari J*, Wilson P. 2001. Factors limiting hybridization between Penstemon spectabilis and Penstemon centranthifolius (Scrophulariaceae). Canadian Journal of Botany 79: 1439-1448.

Thomson J, Wilson P, Valenzuela M*, Malzone M*. 2000. Pollen presentation and pollinator syndromes, with special reference to Penstemon. Plant Species Biology 15: 11-29.

Dilley J*, Wilson P, Mesler MR. 2000. The radiation of Calochortus: Generalist flowers moving through a mosaic of potential pollinators. Oikos 89: 209-222.

Motzkin G, Wilson P, Foster DR, Allen A. 1999. Vegetation patterns in heterogeneous landscapes: the importance of history and environment. Journal of Vegetation Science 10: 903-920.

Wilson P, Stine M*. 1996. Floral constancy in bumble bees: handling efficiency or perceptual conditioning? Oecologia 106: 493-499.

Wilson P, Buonopane M*, Allison T. 1996. Reproductive biology of the monoecious clonal shrub Taxus canadensis. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 123: 7-15.

Wilson P, Thomson JD. 1996. How do flowers diverge? Pp. 88-111 in D. Lloyd and S. C. H. Barrett (eds.). Floral biology. Chapman & Hall, New York.

Wilson P. 1995. Selection for pollination success and the mechanical fit of Impatiens flowers around bumble bee bodies. Biolological Journal of the Linnean Society 55: 355-383.

Wilson P. 1995. Pollination in Drosera tracyi: selection is strongest when resources are intermediate. Evolutionary Ecology 9:382-396.

Wilson P. 1994. The east-facing flowers of Drosera tracyi. American Midland Naturalist 131: 366-369.

Wilson P, Thomson JD, Stanton ML, Rigney LP. 1994. Beyond floral Batemania: gender biases in selection for pollination success. American Naturalist 143: 283-296.

Wilson P. 1992. On inferring hybridity from morphological intermediacy. Taxon 41: 11-23.

Mesler MR, Cole J, Wilson P. 1991. Natural hybridization in western gooseberries (Ribes subgenus Grossularia: Grossulariaceae). Madroño 38: 115-129.

Wilson P, Thomson JD. 1991. Heterogeneity among floral visitors leads to discordance between removal and deposition of pollen. Ecology 72: 1503-1507.

Gurevitch J, Wilson P, Teese P, Stone JL, Stoutenburgh RH. 1990. Competition among old-field perennials at different levels of soil fertility and available space. J. Ecol. 78: 727-744.

Wilson P, Norris DH. 1989. Pseudoleskeella in North America and Europe. The Bryologist 92: 387-396.

Writings of a much lighter sort

Here is systematics

Kimball S, Wilson P. 2009. The insects that visit penstemon flowers. Bulletin of the American Penstemon Society 68: 20-27+centerfold.

Kimball S, Wilson P. May 2005. Local habitat is related to the broader geographic ranges of plants. Sierra Nature Notes 5

Wilson P. Essays and stories circa 2000

Wilson P. When I was in college, a few examples: Passacaglia and fugue in Pseudoleskeella; Beyond studio mistakes; A sea of turmoil at the heart of taxonomy; I'm younger than that now.

Other writings by my students

Dorsey A.* 2007. Dudley, with special reference to those growing in the Santa Monica Mountains. Pp. 93-107 in D. A. Knapp (ed.) Flora and ecology of the Santa Monica Mountains. Southern California Botanists special publication 4, Fullerton, CA.

Zander RH, Jiménez JA, Sagar T.* 2005. Didymodon bistratosus (Pottiaceae) in the New World. Bryologist 108: 540-543.

Gershwin L.* 2001. Systematics and biogeography of the jellyfish Aurelia labiata (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa). Biological Bulletin. 201: 104-119.

Gershwin L.* 1999. Clonal and population variation in jellyfish symmetry. Journal of Marine Biology Association U. K. 79: 993-1000.

Current and past M.S. students & thesis topics

Daniel Palmer - Mosses of Tejon Ranch

Daniella Amoroso - Comparisons of morphology, germination, and establishment success among Dudleya (Crassulaceae). Now a college instructor.

Nickte Mendez - A California Moss Flora: Orthotrichum. Now a K-12 teacher.

Katherine Gould - Host-specificity and its effect on mate choice in a plant-eating beetle. Now a college instructor.

Lena Ayala Coleman - Bryophyte diversity and niche relations along a 3000 m gradient in Sequoia National Park. Now a college instructor.

Jocelyn Holt - No Allee effects in Lyon's Pentachaeta, a federally listed endangered sunflower. Now a college instructor.

Wyndee Haley - Hummingbird choices at artificial flowers made to resemble ornithophiles versus melittophiles. Now college instructor.

Ann Dorsey - The role of life-history traits, tradeoffs, and habitat in the rarity of Santa Monica Mountains Dudleya species (Crassulaceae). Now Botanic Garden staff.

Tarja Sagar - Bryophytes of the Santa Monica Mountains. M.S. 2007. Now NPS employee.

Joanne Moriarte - Bobcat reproduction. M.S. 2006. Now NPS employee.

Elizabeth Jordan - Hybrid intermediacy between pollination syndromes. M.S. 2004. Now college instructor.

Jacob Kerby - Invasive crayfish. M.S. 2003. Now professor U of S. Dakota.

Jeannie Chari - Speciation in penstemon. M.S. 2000. Now professor College of the Canyons.

James Dilley - Diversification of generalist lily flowers. M.S. 1999. Now USFS employee.

University and Professional Service

Academic Technology Fellow

General Education Council, Graduate Studies Committee, Educational Resources Committee, International Education Council.

Associate Chair

Graduate Coordinator

Department newsletter editor

Curriculum Committees

Search Committees, seven

California Native Plant Society, founding president of the Bryophyte Chapter

Assistant then Associate Editor, Systematic Botany.

Book review editor, The Bryologist

National Park Service collaborator