Department of Biological Sciences

  Willson Lab > Research  




Current Projects in the Willson Lab

Population and landscape-scale effects of anthropogenic stressors on amphibians
Collaborators: William Hopkins, Jessica Homyack, Christine Bergeron, Dan Cristol, Brian Todd, Steve Price.

  • Effects of land use and intensive forestry on stream-associated herpetofauna
  • Evaluating the ability of managed pine forests to support longleaf pine associated herpetofauna
  • Conservation of Prairie-associated herpeofauna in Northwest Arkansas
  • Evaluating the effects of invasive Seal Salamanders in Northwest Arkansas
  • Effects of environmental contaminants on pond-breeding amphibians
  • Developing population models to evaluate population and landscape level effects of stressors


Ecology, impacts, and risk assessment of Burmese Pythons and other invasive snakes
Collaborators: Shannon Pittman, Skip Snow, R. Reed, G. Rodda, C. Romagosa, M. Miller, P. Andreadis, F. Mazzotti, K. Hart, M. Dorcas

  • Evaluating the direct and indirect effects of pythons on the Everglades Ecosystem
  • Development of novel methods for abundance and density estimation
  • Population modeling to assess population growth and evaluate control measures
  • Evaluating how ecological and life-history traits differentiate snakes from other invasive species
  • Laboratory and field experiments to investigate python thermal biology, physiological cold-tolerance, and behavioral plasticity


Evaluating complex relationships between environmental stochasticity, predator-prey interactions, and aquatic snake population and community dynamics
Collaborators: C. Winne, B. Todd, M. Pilgrim, J.W. Gibbons, A.M. Durso

  • Using intensive field sampling and novel mark-recapture techniques to evaluate aquatic snake population and community dynamics in relation to drought cycles and prey availability
  • Using stable isotope tracers to explore reproductive allocation strategies in black swamp snakes
  • Occupancy modeling to explore factors that influence aquatic snake communities at landscape scales


Development of novel techniques for monitoring reptiles and amphibians
Collaborators: S. Pittman, T. Tuberville, C. Winne, B. Todd, J. W. Gibbons, M. Dorcas.

Past Projects

Ecotoxicology of semi-aquatic reptiles
Collaborators: William Hopkins, Dan Cristol, Birttney Hopkins, Stephanie Chin, David Drewett.

Ecology of small fossorial snakes
Collaborators: Chris Winne, Brian Todd, and M.Dorcas


© J.D. Willson – Updated 2017
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