Joined: November 30, 2015
Biography: My taxonomic expertise is insects. I have a Ph.D. in Entomology from Colorado State University (2012) where I studied plant-insect interactions of noxious weeds and their natural enemies. I received my Masters Degree in Biology from Boise State University (2007), my thesis for which was on host selection behavior of Douglas-fir beetle in the intermountain West. I was employed by the USGS Canyonlands Field Station (Moab, Utah) from 1999-2004 as a biological technician where I conducted biodiversity surveys of invertebrates on the Colorado Plateau and I was the curator of an entomological collection. I have also conducted entomology research in Panama, Costa Rica and my home state of Nebraska. My other work experience includes a seasonal employee of the U.S. Forest Service (biological control of weeds), adjunct biology instructor at BSU, Colorado Department of Agriculture (insect trapper) and technician for a biotech company specializing in bedbug control devices.
I joined the Oregon Department of Forestry, Forest Health Unit, in September of 2012 where I serve as the Invasive Species Specialist. My primary focus is on preventing new invasive species, including forest insects, disease and noxious weeds, from establishing on non-federal forestlands. To do so, I work on the front lines alongside my friends and colleagues at the Oregon Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Oregon State University. I also respond to and make recommendations for landowners and land managers on invasive forest pests currently affecting Oregon's forests, taxa that includes Scotch broom, English ivy, false brome, Sudden Oak Death, among others.
I represent the State Forester on the inter-agency Oregon Invasive Species Council and I enjoy working with graduate students in the two forestry departments of Oregon State University. I am a USFS certified tree climber. I really enjoy mountain biking and being with my wife and two young daughters.
Check out the Oregon Forest Pest Detector Program - a program targeted for arborists, foresters, landscapers, park workers and other professionals - that trains these folks on the signs and symptoms of key invasive forest pests that are not here in Oregon. Having hundreds of people with information on what these pests look like will allow us a better chance of catching them early when eradication is still possible.
Affiliations: Wyatt Williams, Ph.D.
Invasive Species Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Private Forests Division
2600 State St. Bldg. D
Salem, OR 97310-0340