JD Willson

Willson is an integrative applied ecologist, broadly interested in how organisms respond to changing environments. Although much of his research aims to understand natural population drivers such as predator-prey interactions, density-dependence, and stochasticity, his questions are frequently couched within the context of relevant anthropogenic threats including habitat alteration, pollution, invasive species, and climate change. His primary taxonomic focus is on reptiles and amphibians for three important reasons: 1) They have always fascinated him; 2) they are critical components of many terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems but are among the most imperiled vertebrates; and 3) their unique ecological and life-history characteristics lead to interesting, but poorly understood, emergent population, community, and ecosystem-level processes. His research uses descriptive, experimental, and theoretical approaches to understand mechanisms underlying population dynamics and landscape-scale patterns of distribution and abundance.