William F. Morris

Professor of Biology

104 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Duke Box 90325, Durham, NC 27708-0325
(919) 525-4585
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

Canelles, Q., S. Saura-Mas, L. Brotons, M. B. García, F. Lloret, J. Villellas, and W. F. Morris. “Environmental stress effects on reproduction and sexual dimorphism in the gynodioecious species Silene acaulis.” Environmental and Experimental Botany 146 (February 1, 2018): 27–33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envexpbot.2017.06.010. Full Text

Louthan, Allison M., Robert M. Pringle, Jacob R. Goheen, Todd M. Palmer, William F. Morris, and Daniel F. Doak. “Aridity weakens population-level effects of multiple species interactions on Hibiscus meyeri.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115, no. 3 (January 2018): 543–48. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1708436115. Full Text

Campos, Fernando A., William F. Morris, Susan C. Alberts, Jeanne Altmann, Diane K. Brockman, Marina Cords, Anne Pusey, Tara S. Stoinski, Karen B. Strier, and Linda M. Fedigan. “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): 4907–21. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13754. Full Text

Pietrek, A. G., G. K. Himes Boor, and W. F. Morris. “How effective are buffer zones in managing invasive beavers in Patagonia? A simulation study.” Biodiversity and Conservation 26, no. 11 (October 1, 2017): 2591–2605. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-017-1373-1. Full Text

Vázquez, Diego P., Ernesto Gianoli, William F. Morris, and Francisco Bozinovic. “Ecological and evolutionary impacts of changing climatic variability.Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 92, no. 1 (February 2017): 22–42. https://doi.org/10.1111/brv.12216. Full Text

Sivakoff, F. S., W. F. Morris, E. T. Aschehoug, B. R. Hudgens, and N. M. Haddad. “Habitat restoration alters adult butterfly morphology and potential fecundity through effects on host plant quality.” Ecosphere 7, no. 11 (November 1, 2016). https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1522. Full Text

Aschero, V., W. F. Morris, D. P. Vázquez, J. A. Alvarez, and P. E. Villagra. “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 1, 2016): 184–90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2016.03.028. Full Text

Ehrlén, J., W. F. Morris, T. von Euler, and J. P. Dahlgren. “Advancing environmentally explicit structured population models of plants.” Journal of Ecology 104, no. 2 (March 1, 2016): 292–305. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12523. Full Text

Bronikowski, Anne M., Marina Cords, Susan C. Alberts, Jeanne Altmann, Diane K. Brockman, Linda M. Fedigan, Anne Pusey, Tara Stoinski, Karen B. Strier, and William F. Morris. “Female and male life tables for seven wild primate species.Scientific Data 3 (March 2016): 160006. https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.6. Full Text

Villellas, Jesús, Daniel F. Doak, María B. García, and William F. Morris. “Demographic compensation among populations: what is it, how does it arise and what are its implications?Ecology Letters 18, no. 11 (November 2015): 1139–52. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12505. Full Text


Selected Grants

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

Dissertation Research: Reproductive Strategy in an Uncertain Environment--How Well Do Frogs Cope With Shifting Risks? awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1997 to 1999

The Balance Between Benefit and Abuse in a Plant-nectar Robber Mutualism awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1995 to 1999

Dissertation Research: The Effect of Aggregation on the Coexistence of Insects Living in Rotting Fruits awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1996 to 1998

Does Damage-dependent Movement Affect the Population Growth and/or Spread of Insect Pests awarded by Department of Agriculture (Principal Investigator). 1994 to 1996

Using Mathematical Models of Pollinator Movement and Pollen Deposition to Predict Gene Flow in Plants awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1992 to 1993