William F. Morris

Professor of Biology

104 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Duke Box 90325, Durham, NC 27708-0325
(919) 684-5257
Bill Morris studies the population ecology of plants and insects (both herbivores and pollinators). Current projects include: the population dynamic consequences of constitutive and inducible resistance in plants, the maintenance of mutualistic interactions between flowering plants and nectar-robbing pollinators, the use of population-level attributes to detect biotic responses to ongoing environmental changes, and the use of mathematical models to assess viability of threatened and endangered populations. The common thread uniting these projects is that they combine field experiments and mathematical models to study population dynamics in natural and managed systems.


  • Ph.D., University of Washington 1990

  • B.S., Cornell University 1983

Campos, FA, Morris, WF, Alberts, SC, Altmann, J, Brockman, DK, Cords, M, Pusey, A, Stoinski, TS, Strier, KB, and Fedigan, LM. "Does climate variability influence the demography of wild primates? Evidence from long-term life-history data in seven species." Global change biology 23, no. 11 (November 2017): 4907-4921. Full Text

Pietrek, AG, Himes Boor, GK, and Morris, WF. "How effective are buffer zones in managing invasive beavers in Patagonia? A simulation study." Biodiversity and Conservation 26, no. 11 (October 2017): 2591-2605. Full Text

Canelles, Q, Saura-Mas, S, Brotons, L, García, MB, Lloret, F, Villellas, J, and Morris, WF. "Environmental stress effects on reproduction and sexual dimorphism in the gynodioecious species Silene acaulis." Environmental and Experimental Botany (June 2017). Full Text

Vázquez, DP, Gianoli, E, Morris, WF, and Bozinovic, F. "Ecological and evolutionary impacts of changing climatic variability." Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 92, no. 1 (February 2017): 22-42. Full Text

Sivakoff, FS, Morris, WF, Aschehoug, ET, Hudgens, BR, and Haddad, NM. "Habitat restoration alters adult butterfly morphology and potential fecundity through effects on host plant quality." Ecosphere 7, no. 11 (November 2016): e01522-e01522. Full Text

Aschero, V, Morris, W, Vázquez, D, Alvarez, J, and Villagra, P. "Demography and population growth rate of the tree Prosopis flexuosa with contrasting grazing regimes in the Central Monte Desert." Forest Ecology and Management 369 (June 2016): 184-190. Full Text

Bronikowski, AM, Cords, M, Alberts, SC, Altmann, J, Brockman, DK, Fedigan, LM, Pusey, A, Stoinski, T, Strier, KB, and Morris, WF. "Female and male life tables for seven wild primate species." Scientific data 3 (March 2016): 160006-. Full Text

Ehrlén, J, Morris, WF, von Euler, T, and Dahlgren, JP. "Advancing environmentally explicit structured population models of plants." Edited by A Griffith. Journal of Ecology 104, no. 2 (March 2016): 292-305. Full Text

Ford, KR, Ness, JH, Bronstein, JL, and Morris, WF. "The demographic consequences of mutualism: ants increase host-plant fruit production but not population growth." Oecologia 179, no. 2 (October 2015): 435-446. Full Text

Villellas, J, Doak, DF, García, MB, and Morris, WF. "Demographic compensation among populations: what is it, how does it arise and what are its implications?." Ecology letters (September 10, 2015).


Selected Grants

Evaluating the Use of Spatially Explicit Population Models to Predict Conservation Reliant awarded by Institute for Wildlife Studies (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2020

Collaborative Research: Scaling to Regional Controls Over Prairie Plant Range Distributions under Future Climate Change awarded by University of Colorado - Boulder (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2019

Endangered Butterflies as A Model System for Detecting and Managing Source-Link Dynamics awarded by Tufts University (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2018

LTREB RENEWAL: Collaborative LTREB Research: Population and community awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2007 to 2017

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Can indirect interations arise from sharing mutualists? Detecting competition or facilitation awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2007 to 2010

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Predicting the combined effects of plant resistance and natural enemies on plant fitness awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2004 to 2007

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Changes in Ecomycorrhizal Fungal Communities Along a Nitrogen Deposition Gradient and Their Conse awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2004 to 2006

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Does the presence and spatial arrangement of co-flowering species affect threshold critical popul awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2002 to 2006

Collaborative Research-Assessing the Geographic and Temporal Consistency of Life History and Demographic Patterns: A Lon awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2000 to 2005

(98-0424) Collaborative Research: Using Demographic Techniques to Test for the Signatures of Environmental Change awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1998 to 2001