Photo of Alphus D. Wilson

Alphus D. Wilson

Research Plant Pathologist
P.O. Box 227
(432 Stoneville Road)
Stoneville, MS 38776-0227
Phone: 662-336-4809
Fax: 662-336-4829

Current Research

My current research program involves the development of new information and methodologies for the early detection and control of microbes causing lumber defects, tree failures, and economic losses in southern bottomland hardwoods within forest stands and urban areas. My specific pathology research emphasis is focused on developing novel technologies and control measures for the early detection and management of wood decay fungi, stain fungi, and wetwood bacteria, as well as other microbes that cause lumber cull and tree mortality, to minimize economic losses to the hardwood timber industry and to people and property in forested urban environments. Recently, I have initiated new research to investigate a new disease of southern and eastern cave-dwelling bat species, called White-nose Syndrome (WNS), caused by an invasive exotic fungal pathogen. As a new member of the national WNS Forest Service research team, I also am involved in developing new electronic methods for the noninvasive early detection of this disease prior to symptom development (within bat hibernacula) to allow WNS disease-control treatments to be applied early in order to mitigate the many significant negative impacts of this disease [high bat mortality, cascade of ecological effects, human health effects (caused by the appearance of newly recorded U.S. human diseases, such as new forms of Encephalitis, Zika virus and West Nile virus, associated with increased mosquito populations and disease transmission), and agro-economic losses caused by increased insect pests and related crop damage] throughout North American regions affected by this devastating bat disease.


Ph.D. in Plant Pathology, 1988
Washington State University
M.S. in Plant Pathology, 1983
Texas A&M University
B.S. in Bioenvironmental Science, 1981
Texas A&M University

Awards and Recognition

Bats vs White-Nose Syndrome: What We Know!, 2017
Rob Nelson video (Untamed Science) featuring US Forest Service research scientist's efforts to help understand and control White-nose Syndrome in North American bat species; video available on youtube at URL:
Atlas of Science features 2015 Metabolites Paper, 2016
Atlas of Science invited Layman's summary, posted online 29 February 2016, titled "Finding aroma clues in the human breath to diagnose diseases", features my article published in the journal Metabolites; available at URL:
Nova PBS Digital Video Series (Gross Science) features part of my Sensors 2011 article, 2015
Video title: "How Different Diseases Make You Smell", hosted by Anna Rothschild, and posted by Medical Daily at URL:
MDPI Sensors Best Paper Award 2015, 2015
Second place award for 2011 best review article titled: "Advances in electronic-nose technologies developed for biomedical applications"; paper available at URL:
IARIA Sensor Devices Best Paper Award 2015, 2015
Award for best research journal article on a novel (electronic-nose) approach for detecting wood decays in living trees; Paper available at URL:
BBC News Magazine feature of my 2011 Sensors review article, 2014
The 2011 Sensors review article (on electronic-nose detection of human diseases) was recognized in an article titled "Sniffing out cancer with electronic noses", by William Kremer, BBC World Service, at URL:
MDPI Sensors Best Paper Award 2013, 2013
First place award for Sensors 2009 best review article, titled "Applications and advances in electronic-nose technologies"; paper available at URL:
Japanese Government Research Award for Foreign Specialists, 2000
Given in recognition for consultations & technology transfer provided to Japanese scientists in association with a scientific exchange (Technical Assistance Visit) held at the Shikoku Research Center, Kochi, Japan.

Featured Publications and Products


Research Highlights

White Oak Reproduction Under Fire: Thinning and Prescribed Fire to Benefit Species in Demand (2020)
SRS-2020-24 White oak commodity production has seen an uptick due to increased demand for spirits distilled in white oak barrels. To maintain white oak primacy, which supports ecosystems as well as industry, managers must ensure that white oak saplings survive and grow into the canopy. USDA Forest Service researchers are partnering wtih partners across the U.S. to provide managers with wills and knowledge to maintain this vital component of U.S. Forests.

R&D Affiliations
Research Topics
External Resources