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

Eckhart, V. M., M. A. Geber, W. F. Morris, E. S. Fabio, P. Tiffin, and D. A. Moeller. “The geography of demography: long-term demographic studies and species distribution models reveal a species border limited by adaptation.The American Naturalist 178 Suppl 1 (October 2011): S26–43. https://doi.org/10.1086/661782. Full Text

Bronikowski, Anne M., Jeanne Altmann, Diane K. Brockman, Marina Cords, Linda M. Fedigan, Anne Pusey, Tara Stoinski, William F. Morris, Karen B. Strier, and Susan C. Alberts. “Aging in the natural world: comparative data reveal similar mortality patterns across primates.Science (New York, N.Y.) 331, no. 6022 (March 2011): 1325–28. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1201571. Full Text

Crone, Elizabeth E., Eric S. Menges, Martha M. Ellis, Timothy Bell, Paulette Bierzychudek, Johan Ehrlén, Thomas N. Kaye, et al. “How do plant ecologists use matrix population models?Ecology Letters 14, no. 1 (January 2011): 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01540.x. Full Text

Morris, William F., Jeanne Altmann, Diane K. Brockman, Marina Cords, Linda M. Fedigan, Anne E. Pusey, Tara S. Stoinski, Anne M. Bronikowski, Susan C. Alberts, and Karen B. Strier. “Low demographic variability in wild primate populations: fitness impacts of variation, covariation, and serial correlation in vital rates.The American Naturalist 177, no. 1 (January 2011): E14–28. https://doi.org/10.1086/657443. Full Text Open Access Copy

Doak, Daniel F., and William F. Morris. “Demographic compensation and tipping points in climate-induced range shifts.Nature 467, no. 7318 (October 2010): 959–62. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature09439. Full Text

Strier, Karen B., Jeanne Altmann, Diane K. Brockman, Anne M. Bronikowski, Marina Cords, Linda M. Fedigan, Hilmar Lapp, et al. “The Primate Life History Database: A unique shared ecological data resource.Methods in Ecology and Evolution 1, no. 2 (June 2010): 199–211. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2041-210x.2010.00023.x. Full Text

Morris, William F., Diego P. Vázquez, and Natacha P. Chacoff. “Benefit and cost curves for typical pollination mutualisms.Ecology 91, no. 5 (May 2010): 1276–85. https://doi.org/10.1890/08-2278.1. Full Text

Kuefler, Daniel, Brian Hudgens, Nick M. Haddad, William F. Morris, and Nicole Thurgate. “The conflicting role of matrix habitats as conduits and barriers for dispersal.Ecology 91, no. 4 (April 2010): 944–50. https://doi.org/10.1890/09-0614.1. Full Text

Ness, J. H., W. F. Morris, and Judith L. Bronstein. “For ant-protected plants, the best defense is a hungry offense.Ecology 90, no. 10 (October 2009): 2823–31. https://doi.org/10.1890/08-1580.1. Full Text