William F. Morris

Professor of Biology

257 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Duke Box 90338, 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

Ehrlén, Johan, and William F. Morris. “Predicting changes in the distribution and abundance of species under environmental change.Ecology Letters 18, no. 3 (March 2015): 303–14. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12410. Full Text

Doak, D. F., G. K. H. Boor, V. J. Bakker, W. F. Morris, A. Louthan, S. A. Morrison, A. Stanley, and L. B. Crowder. “Recommendations for improving recovery criteria under the US Endangered Species Act.” Bioscience 65, no. 2 (January 28, 2015): 189–99. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biu215. Full Text

Ehrlén, J., and W. F. Morris. “Predicting changes in the distribution and abundance of species under environmental change.” Ecology Letters 18, no. 3 (January 1, 2015): 303–14. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12410. Full Text

Pironon, S., J. Villellas, W. F. Morris, D. F. Doak, and M. B. García. “Do geographic, climatic or historical ranges differentiate the performance of central versus peripheral populations?Global Ecology and Biogeography 24, no. 6 (January 1, 2015): 611–20. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12263. Full Text

Breckheimer, Ian, Nick M. Haddad, William F. Morris, Anne M. Trainor, William R. Fields, R Todd Jobe, Brian R. Hudgens, Aaron Moody, and Jeffrey R. Walters. “Defining and evaluating the umbrella species concept for conserving and restoring landscape connectivity.Conservation Biology : The Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology 28, no. 6 (December 2014): 1584–93. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12362. Full Text

Crone, Elizabeth E., Martha M. Ellis, William F. Morris, Amanda Stanley, Timothy Bell, Paulette Bierzychudek, Johan Ehrlén, et al. “Ability of matrix models to explain the past and predict the future of plant populations.Conservation Biology : The Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology 27, no. 5 (October 2013): 968–78. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12049. Full Text

Alberts, Susan C., Jeanne Altmann, Diane K. Brockman, Marina Cords, Linda M. Fedigan, Anne Pusey, Tara S. Stoinski, Karen B. Strier, William F. Morris, and Anne M. Bronikowski. “Reproductive aging patterns in primates reveal that humans are distinct.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110, no. 33 (August 2013): 13440–45. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1311857110. Full Text

Villellas, Jesús, William F. Morris, and María B. García. “Variation in stochastic demography between and within central and peripheral regions in a widespread short-lived herb.Ecology 94, no. 6 (June 2013): 1378–88. https://doi.org/10.1890/12-1163.1. Full Text

Trainor, A. M., J. R. Walters, W. F. Morris, J. Sexton, and A. Moody. “Empirical estimation of dispersal resistance surfaces: A case study with red-cockaded woodpeckers.” Landscape Ecology 28, no. 4 (March 4, 2013): 755–67. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-013-9861-5. Full Text

Hudgens, Brian R., William F. Morris, Nick M. Haddad, William R. Fields, John W. Wilson, Daniel Kuefler, and Todd Jobe. “How complex do models need to be to predict dispersal of threatened species through matrix habitats?Ecological Applications : A Publication of the Ecological Society of America 22, no. 5 (July 2012): 1701–10. https://doi.org/10.1890/11-1048.1. Full Text