Latest News

November 2017
Kelly successfully defends her Masters Thesis on salamander population dynamics in managed forests- Great Work Kelly!

Clint's undergraduate research published - Introduced Seal Salamanders in NW Arkansas - Copeia

October 2017
Python research featured in Popular Science

July 2017
DoD Grant and snake abundance estimation research featured in UArk Newswire

Tropical Lizard Research Featured in UArk Research Frontiers.

Summer 2017
Fieldwork in Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, and Costa Rica!

March 2017
J.D. Awarded the Conservation Hero Award by Southeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)!

Willson Lab welcomes our newest and most promising field tech - Cora Grace Willson, Born 3-14-17!

Jan 2017
Paper Published - Indirect effects of pythons on turtle nesting success - Journal of Applied Ecology.
- Covered in UArk Research Frontiers, Anthropcene and Hakai magazines.

Ethan Royal joins the lab to work on upland herp communities in the Gulf Coastal Plain! Welcome Ethan!

Phil successfully defends his Masters Thesis on the effects of drought on aquatic snakes - Great Work Phil!

Meredith Awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to study tropical lizard declines - Congrats Meredith!

Paper Published - Role of Aquatic Snakes as Predators - J. Zoology.

Chelsea's work on Crawfish Frogs wins best poster award at Kansas Herpetological Society meeting

Salamander / Forestry Research Featured in UArk Research Frontiers.

Singapore Snake Research Featured in UArk Research Frontiers.

Dr. John (J.D.) Willson
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Office: SCEN 630
Phone: 479-575-2647


Department of Biological Sciences

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Group

  Willson Lab  






Research in our lab focuses on understanding factors that drive population and community dynamics of reptiles and amphibians including inter- and intra-specific interactions, environmental variation, and anthropogenic impacts such as land-use change, pollution, and invasive species. Our work uses a combination of descriptive, experimental, and theoretical approaches to integrate responses from the level of the individual organism to the landscape. Although much of our work is very applied, we are also shedding light on many basic questions in ecology and especially on aspects of reptiles and amphibian biology that set them apart from other vertebrates.

Current projects under investigation in the Willson Lab include:

1) Evaluating population and landscape-scale effects of anthropogenic stressors (pollution, land-use change, intensive forestry, invasive species) on pond-breeding and stream-dwelling amphibians.

2) Understanding the ecology, impacts, and management of Burmese pythons and other invasive snakes.

3) Assessing interactions between environmental variation (especially drought), prey availability, and density dependence in driving aquatic snake population and community dynamics within wetland ecosystems

4) Development of novel field and anylitical methods to understand reptile and amphibian distribution and abundance.

Please contact Dr. Willson if you are interested in these questions or are looking for graduate opportunites.


© J.D. Willson – Updated 2017
These materials are not indorsed, approved, sponsered, or provided by or on behalf of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville