Ecology & Population Biology

Ecology is the scientific study of the distribution and abundance of organisms, the interaction among organisms, and the interactions between organisms and their abiotic environment. Ecologists try to understand the inner workings of natural ecosystems and the species they contain. In fact, the Ecology faculty at Duke University span the complete range of ecological inquiry, from individual organisms to populations and communities of interacting species to ecosystems to the entire biosphere.

Susan C. Alberts

Susan C. Alberts

Robert F. Durden Distinguished Professor of Biology

Research in the Alberts Lab investigates the evolution of social behavior, particular in mammals, with a specific focus on the social behavior, demography, life history, and behavioral endocrinology of wild primates. Our main research focuses on one of the longest-running studies of wild primates... Full Profile »

Emily S. Bernhardt

Emily S. Bernhardt

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor

I am an ecosystem ecologist and biogeochemist whose research is principally concerned with tracking the movement of elements through ecological systems. My research aims to document the extent to which the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems is being altered by land use change (... Full Profile »

Kathleen Donohue

Kathleen Donohue

Professor of Biology

We investigate the genetic basis of adaptation, including the evolution of phenotypic plasticity and maternal effects, the adaptive value of epigenetic modifications, niche construction, dispersal, and mechanisms of multilevel natural selection. Full Profile »

Jean Philippe Gibert

Jean Philippe Gibert

Assistant Professor of Biology

I study how phenotypic traits and trait evolution determine predator-prey interactions and, through these, the structure and dynamics of complex networks of interacting species like food webs. I'm also interested in how these effects are mediated by the spatial structure of interacting species and ... Full Profile »

Sheng-Yang He

Sheng-Yang He

Professor of Biology

Interested in the fascinating world of plants, microbes or inter-organismal communication and co-evolution? Please contact Prof. Sheng-Yang He (shengyang.he@duke.edu; hes@msu.... Full Profile »

Sonke Johnsen

Sonke Johnsen

Professor of Biology

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William F. Morris

William F. Morris

Professor of Biology

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... Full Profile »

Stephen Nowicki

Stephen Nowicki

Professor of Biology

Our lab studies animal communication and sexual selection from an integrative perspective that includes a wide range of behavioral ecological, neuroethological, developmental, genetic, and evolutionary approaches. Birds are our most common model system, but we also have worked with insects, spiders... Full Profile »

Mark D. Rausher

Mark D. Rausher

John Carlisle Kilgo Distinguished Professor of Biology

We investigate the evolutionary processes that cause change at both the phenotypic and genetic levels. We have particular interests in the genetic basis of adaptation and in the evolution of metabolic pathways. Our approaches include molecular dissection of ecologically important phenotypes and... Full Profile »

Julie Reynolds

Julie Reynolds

Associate Professor of the Practice of the Department of Biology

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Jenny Tung

Jenny Tung

Associate Professor of Biology

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Marcy K. Uyenoyama

Marcy K. Uyenoyama

Professor of Biology

Marcy Uyenoyama studies mechanisms of evolutionary change at the molecular and population levels. Among the questions under study include the prediction and detection of the effects of natural selection on genomic structure. A major area of research addresses the development of maximum-likelihood... Full Profile »

John H. Willis

John H. Willis

Professor of Biology

We conduct research on broad issues in evolutionary genetics, and we are currently addressing questions relating to the evolution of adaptation, reproductive isolation, breeding systems, inbreeding depression, and... Full Profile »

William G. Wilson

William G. Wilson

Associate Professor of Biology

I earned my physics Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii on a topic in condensed matter theory using computer simulations and mathematics. I transferred those interdisciplinary skills to geophysics, fluid flow, and theoretical evolutionary ecology at the University of Calgary and UC Santa Barbara. In... Full Profile »

Justin Prouty Wright

Justin Prouty Wright

Associate Professor of Biology

My research focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of patterns of biological diversity across the planet. I am particularly interested in two broad questions: 1)How does the modification of the environment by organisms affect community structure and ecosystem function? and 2) what... Full Profile »